Disputed Territories in the Southern Suburb of Beirut: Development, International Action, Temporalities  

According to the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), implemented by the High Commission for Refugees (HCR) and the Lebanese government to lessen the precariousness of Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities, “the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon is an urban crisis”. This research analyzes the new rationales of internationalization produced by this aid mechanism, on the basis of an ethnography of the fringes of Beirut’s southern suburb. In these social spaces of “cosmopolitan poverty”, home to Syrian and Palestinian refugees, African and Asian migrants and former internally displaced persons, there is a significant sociopolitical framework of Islamic organizations (Hezbollah, Amal, Hamas). The aim of the research is to examine how international intervention is deployed among these populations in difficulty, in what is commonly known as “Hezbollah territory”. How do these new rationales internationalizing aid come into conflict with and/or work along with local realities of religious aids dispensed by Islamic networks? By what process do the actors of international intervention participate, on the micro-local scale, in new dynamics of social differentiation of the populations receiving aid, and on the national scale, in an emergency public policy? Between sharing and disputing, solidarity and competition, hospitality or belonging, the thesis aims to understand how the integration of these urban fringes in international aid programs contributed to the transformation of mechanisms for the legitimation of local political elites. 

Affichages de l’UNRWA et de l’ONG Najdeh signalant l’ouverture de leurs programmes d’aide aux réfugiés Palestiniens de Syrie et aux familles libanaises hôtes dans le camp de Chatila
Affichages de l’UNRWA et de l’ONG Najdeh signalant l’ouverture de leurs programmes d’aide aux réfugiés Palestiniens de Syrie et aux familles libanaises hôtes dans le camp de Chatila
A Hey Gharbe, des enfants de la communauté nawar, tardivement naturalisée, trainent dans les ruelles tandis que passent deux femmes réfugiées syriennes avec leurs enfants, de retour de l’unique ONG de ce quartier-camp. Qui est l’étranger de qui ? Qui est l’hôte de qui dans les nouvelles configurations des relations d’aide ?

Displays of UNRWA and NGO and Najdeh saying the opening of their aid programs towards Palestinian refugies from Syria and Lebanese families in Chatila camp. 

In Hey Gharbe, children from the nawar community. 

The investigation of ground and its various positions


The double - ethnography led with the actors of the help (institutions, NGO, religious services) and of their recipients mobilizes a relational approach crossing the question of the competition of the informal sovereignties, and that of the interactions the inhabitants. In the camp of Chatila, where I stay punctually at a taken refuge Syrian family, I observe the solidarities and the conflictions of neighborhood, and the circuit of the Islamic charities frequented by the group of seven neighbours. To Hey Gharbe, it is from an experience of voluntary work made in the NGO of the studied district that I lead my observations on the copresence of the Syrian refugees with the inhabitants Dom (gypsy). To Borj Brajneh, I am social workers' team of a governmental center of development in their house calls and their exchanges with the other institutional partners (UNHCR, UNICEF, etc.). On my various sites of survey, I am particularly attentive to the ritualized temporality staging, in a position allying the local to the global, a public located action (Ramadan, international day of the earth, a day of the resistance). The ethnography of their materialities will allow me to explore the way the help circulates through a fitting of social relationships, flow of information, and international funds between the donors, the practitioners of the help and their recipients.