Hala is a PhD researcher with a background in Architecture and Urban Studies. Her research investigates patterns of settlement of refugees in the city following their housing strategies and trajectories. Following the case of newly arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Brussels, she explores the role of arrival neighbourhoods, as well as support networks (mainly the ones during and after the Maximiliaan Refugee Camp in Brussels), in determining these patterns.
Her research interests extend to the understanding of informal networks and practices, and she has worked during her masters’ studies on informal public transport in Beirut and Naples, and their relation to notions of the Right to the City, appropriation, and Autogestion. She also continues to closely follow and participate in questions of urban activism and urban change in Beirut.