An Investigation on the Spatial Arrangments and Rental Agreements Undertaken by Temporary Syrian Migrant Workers in Naba’a

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  Illegal
 cities
 final
 paper
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25-­01-­2011
 

AN
  INVESTIGATION
  ON
  THE
  SPATIAL
  ARRANGMENTS
  AND
  RENTAL
  AGREEMENTS
  UNDERTAKEN
  BY
  TEMPORARY
  SYRIAN
  MIGRANT
  WORKERS
  IN
  NABA’A
 
  INTRODUCTION
  Naba’a
 is
 a
 densely
 populated
 neighborhood
 in
 the
 eastern
 suburbs
 of
 Beirut
  that
 has
 an
 estimated
 population
 of
 12,000
 people
 (Makhoul,
 Abi
 Ghanem,
 2003).
  The
  area
  has
  witnessed
  several
  population
  movements
  throughout
  its
  history
  beginning
  with
  the
  Armenians
  who
  originally
  inhabited
  the
  area
  of
  Naba’a.
  Following
 that,
 and
 driven
 by
 economic
 forces,
 Shiite
 populations
 migrated
 to
 the
  area
 during
 the
 1950’s.
 Many
 immigrants
 were
 also
 attracted
 to
 the
 area
 due
 to
 the
  area’s
 low-­‐living
 cost
 and
 the
 area’s
 proximity
 to
 employment
 opportunities
 in
 the
  nearby
  factories.
  During
  the
  civil
  war,
  many
  residents
  left
  the
  area
  and
  in
  the
  course
  of
  these
  years,
  different
  militias
  took
  over
  the
  area
  and
  a
  huge
  wave
  of
  foreign
  refugees
  and
  foreign
  workers
  moved
  into
  it
  as
  well
  (World
  Vision,
  2000).
  Many
  of
  the
  original
  Lebanese
  tenants
  who
  had
  left
  the
  area
  in
  the
  course
  of
  the
  civil
  war
  years
  established
  themselves
  in
  other
  areas
  in
  the
  city.
  Some
  of
  these
  tenants
 did
 not
 return
 to
 Naba’a
 after
 the
 war
 ended,
 as
 they
 preferred
 to
 rent
 their
  houses.
  A
  market
  demand
  emerged
  for
  the
  transient
  population,
  particularly
  the
  foreign
 migrant
 workers
 (Fawaz,
 2003).
 It
 is
 evident
 that
 Naba’a
 has
 a
 dense
 and
  diverse
  population
  that
  is
  not
  only
  different
  in
  it
  people’s
  religious
  and
  sectarian
  affiliations,
 but
 also
 in
 its
 people’s
 nationalities.
  This
 paper
 examines
 the
 way
 Syrian
 migrant
 workers
 access
 housing
 and
  establish
 residences
 in
 the
 area
 of
 Naba’a.
 The
 paper
 also
 draws
 upon
 on
 the
  various
 forms
 of
 spatial
 and
 rental
 arrangements
 undertaken
 by
 temporary
 Syrian
  residents.
 The
 reason
 it
 is
 focused
 on
 the
 Syrian
 residents
 is
 due
 to
 the
 fact
 that
  they
 occupied
 the
 majority
 of
 the
 space
 among
 the
 non-­‐Lebanese
 individuals
 in
  Naba’a.
 Jureidini
 stated
 that
 Syrian
 workers
 formed
 the
 largest
 percent
 of
 non-­‐ Lebanese
 workers
 in
 the
 country
 where
 they
 constituted
 around
 300,000
  individuals
 (Jureidini,
 2003).
 Many
 of
 those
 perceive
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