Habitat Unit

Doctoral Candidate

Ayham Dalal

Ayham Dalal


Room A 409
T + 49 – 30 – 314 –  75605/422588
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907

Curriculum Vitae

Ayham Dalal has been a PhD student at Habitat Unit since October 2015. He studied architectural engineering in Al-Baath University in Syria. In 2014 Ayham obtained his master degree in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) from Stuttgart University and Ain Shams University (Cairo) with honorary degree. His master thesis is titled: 'Camp Cities between Planning and Practice: Mapping the Urbanisation of Zaatari Camp'.

Before joining the Habitat Unit, Ayham has been working as a research and teaching assistance at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and before that, as an architect and urban planner in Syria and Jordan. He has been engaged with several initiatives, conferences and workshops related to urban topics and the refugee crisis in Europe and the MENA region. Ayham has published in peer-to-peer journals and magazines like Migration Letters, Trialog, Idafat (The Arab Journal of Sociology). His research interests in regard to urban space are social justice, migration, informality, resistance, resilience, and the politics of identity.

His doctoral research looks into the potentials and conflicts rising from the urbanisation of the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, focusing on the relationships between urbanity and exile, humanitarian aid and local development and the role of socio-culture. For that, Ayham has been awarded a DAAD scholarship through the LfS programme (Leadership for Syria).



Since 2015
Doctoral Dissertation, TU Berlin
(Working Title) Between Humanitarian and Socio-Cultural Order: Understanding the Conflicts and Potentials Emerging from Refugee Camps Urbanisation. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz).

2012 - 2014
Master of Science in Integrated Urbanisma and Sustainable Design (M. Sc.), Stuttgart University and Aim Shams University,
(Thesis) Camp Cities between Planning and Practice: Mapping the Urbanisation of Zaatari Camp. (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Nina Gribat, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Salheen, Dr. Yehya Serag, M. Arch. Omar Aziz Hallaj).

2005 - 2011
Bachelor in Architectural Engineering (BA), Al-Bath University, Syria
(Thesis) Planning and Designing the Campus of Tartous University in Syria.

Employment history+

Since 2016
Teaching Assistant
Habitat Unit, TU Berlin

Since 2015
Doctoral Candidate
Habitat Unit, TU Berlin

Research and Teaching Assistant
Urban Planning Studio, GUtech Oman 

2011 – 2012
Ai-Jidar Architects, Jordan

Architect and Urban Planner
PRP|Architects International

TRUST Group, Damaskus, Syria

2007 – 2010
Jalal Msaddi Studio, Homs, Syria

Dar Al Ershad, Homs, Syria


Other articles and publications

(2016) Responding to the Refugees, 'Design' Design Crisis, XXI, 2016.

(2016) Zaatari, Stadt Aspekte, Vol. 4, p. 10-13.

(2015) Between Space and Politics: The Problematization of Governance in Zaatari Camp in Northern Jordan, Idafat Journal (Arab Journal of Sociology), Vol. 31/32, p. 118-133. [Text in Arabic].

(2015) A Socio-Economic Perspective on the Urbanisation of Zaatari Camp in Jordan, Migration Letters, Vol. 12, No. 3, p. 263-278.

(2015) The Emergence of Habitat in Zaatari Camp in Jordan: Between Humanitarian and Socio-Cultural Order, Trialog, Vol. 112/113, p. 43-58.

(2014) The Emergence of Habitat in Zaatari Camp: Between Humanitarian and Socio-Cultural Order, IUSD Journal, Cairo, Ain Shams University.

Dalal, A. et al (2013) Negotiating the Future: Observations and Visions of Urban Phenomena in Djerba, IUSD Publications, Cairo, Ain Shams University.


Conference papers

(2016) Tracing the Urbanization of Syrian Refugee Camps in Jordan, Royal Geographical Society & IBG Annual Conference 2016, London.

(2015) The Phantom of Camps: Beyond the Political (Im-) Possibility of Zaatari Camp in Jordan, International Conference for Critical Geography ICCG, Ramallah.

Invited Lectures+

(2016) Jordan: Refuge of Camps and Informal Cities, W3 – Werkstatt für Internationale Politik und Kultur, Hamburg.

(2016) Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Potentials, Challenges, and the Right to the Urban, International Community and Refugees Conference, Amnesty International & Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Istanbul.

(2016) Reflections on Displacement and Urbanism: The Case of Zaatari Camp, Urban Seminar Series, Zentrum Moderne Orient (ZMO), Berlin.

(2016) Beyond Camp-Cities: Learning from the Urbanization of the Syrian Refugee Camp 'Zaatari' in Jordan, Urban Talk Series 011, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin.

(2015) On the Urbanisation of Zaatari Camp in Jordan, UPAD Lecture Series 07, Muscat.

Grants, Awards and Fellowships+

Since 2015
DAAD Scholarship
Leadership for Syria

Antipode Magazine Award (free waiver) for the International Conference for Critical Geography in Ramallah.

DAAD Scholaship. BMZ Ankerlandprogramm
Scholarship for Master Program in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD)

Third Prize in Sham Spiritual Oasis
International Competition for architectural concepts, Syria. 

Professional and Academic Affiliations+

Since 2016:
Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO Amman) - LAJEH Project

Since 2014
Member in Freunde der Altstadt von Aleppo e.V. Stuttgart, Germany

Since 2011
Full membership in the Jordanian Engineers Association (JEA)

Since 2011
Associate membership in the Jordan Green Buildings Council (Jordan GBC)