Habitat Unit

Doctoral Candidate

Chaghaf Howayek



Room A 409
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 22588
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907

Curriculum Vitae

Chaghaf Howayek is a DFG doctoral fellow at the International Graduate Research Program "The World in the City" at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University Berlin. She holds a M.A in European Urban Studies from the Bauhaus University Weimar and a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Damascus. Between 2009 and 2010 she worked as an urban planner with the Halcrow Group in Damascus on the development of Palestinian refugee camps in Homs. Since 2012, she has volunteered with two non-profit organizations caring for Syrian women and children refugees in Turkey and Lebanon, "Project Amal w Salam" and "Tight=knit Syria". Her research interests include migration and mobility, as well as the Middle Eastern diaspora.

Chaghaf's study investigates the dynamics and forces that shape the socio-spatial environment of refugee camps in Lebanon. It analyzes the camps' complex relationships to the city along with the daily life of their residents, which lie outside common perceptions of time and space.

The case-study approach, which examines three Beirut camp formations, is employed to argue the individuality of each case, and to understand to what extent, the refugee camp functions as s a space of exception. By comparing three different conditions integration, extreme exclusion and new formation, Chaghaf position the camp as a political space that is highly formed by political variations. Through identifying the parameters that shape the camps boundaries.


since 2015
Doctoral Dissertation, International Graduate Program Berlin - New York - Toronto. Thesis: Refugee Camps in Lebanon, the making of camp cities. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Prof. Dr. Rosemary Wakeman)

2012 – 2014
Master of science, Bauhaus University, Weimar 
(Thesis) No place like a refugee camp (Zaatari refugee camp). (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt)

2004 – 2009
Bachelor of Architecture, Damascus University, Syria

Employment history+

Urban Synergies, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Community engagement in public spaces the Toronto context Thornkliff neighborhood night out

Partisan Project, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Project: design housing and retails in Toronto, involved in architecture and interior design

2010 – 2011
Halcrow Group limited, Damascus, Syria

2009 – 2010
Eagle Crest for Construction, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Project: design housing in Mississauga, involved in architecture and interior design

Research Projects+

Since 2015
Refugees and refugee camps, policies of emergency temporary solution- migration and exile

2012 – 2014
Migration and integration cases of Toronto Canada- immigration population and refugee studies


(2015) Inhabited Futures Constructed Pasts, 4th Annual Conference of the DFG International Graduate Research Program IGK Berlin - New York - Toronto The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the Nineteenth-Century to the Present, Toronto - Canada (DFG/IGK 1705).

Invited Lectures+

(2015) For Urban Disaster, Vulnerability and Displacement: Humanitarian Challenges Course. Guest lecturer at Fordham University, New York.

Grants, Awards and Fellowships+

DFG Fellow since 2015
International Graduate Program Berlin - New York – Toronto
Center for Metropolitan Studies

Other Projects+

Project Amal wa Salam taking care of refugee's children in Lebanon Turkey and Jordan

Cofounder of Tightknit Syria, empowering the women in refugee camps Turkey Woman for peace Toronto, Ontario, Canada