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Centre for Urban Conflicts Research



Yasmina is an architect and final-year PhD Candidate in the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research (UCR) at the Department of Architecture. Her doctoral research looks at the spread of missionary educational institutions in nineteenth-century Lebanon, and their role in the urbanisation of Beirut. Her research is funded by a Cambridge International Scholarship (2017-20) and the Funds for Women Graduates Doctoral Grant (2020-21). Currently, Yasmina is completing her dissertation as a Scouloudi Doctoral Fellow (2020/21) at the Institute of Historical Research (London). 

Yasmina holds a B.Arch with a minor in English Literature from the American University of Beirut, and an M.Phil in Architecture and Urban Design from the Architectural Association in London. 

Prior to starting her PhD, she worked in various architecture studios including Rafael Vinoly Architects & Planners in New York, Bernard Khoury/DW5, Hala Younes/Aeta and Mariagroup Architects in Beirut. From 2013 to 2015 she was a Lecturer at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University, where she taught design studios and core history/theory modules.

At Cambridge, Yasmina supervises the ARCT Part IB History & Theory papers on Housing and Islamic Architecture, as well as Part I undergraduate dissertations. She was co-editor (with Savia Palate) of the 28th issue of Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, and the lead organiser (with Nadi Abusaada) of the symposium: 'Conflicted Narratives, Future Trajectories' (Sep 2019).

Outside the department she has served as Christ's College MCR President (2019/2020), and as MCR Academic Officer (2018/2019), convening a termly joint-SCR/MCR seminar series alongside other academic events, and serving on the College's education committee. 



  • 2020-21: IHR Scouloudi Doctoral Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research, UK
  • 2020-21: Funds for Women Graduates Doctoral Grant, UK
  • 2017-20: Cambridge International Scholarship, UK
  • 2020: Hawksmoor Essay Prize, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB)
  • 2019: Presbyterian Historical Society Research Fellowship, Philadelphia, USA
  • 2018: School of Arts & Humanities Conference Grant, University of Cambridge
  • 2018: Lady Margaret Beaufort Portrait Prize, 1st Prize, Christ's College Cambridge
  • 2018: Levy Plumb Creative Arts Research Award, Christ's College Cambridge
  • 2018: Kettle's Yard Travel Grant, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge 
  • 2017, 2018, 2019: Christ's College Research Grants, Cambridge
  • 2013: CMA-EDU AUB scholar, Chania, Greece
  • 2010: OMRANIA CSBE Award for Best Thesis Project in the Arab World, 1st Prize, Bahrain
  • 2010: CHADIRJI Award for Best Project in Architecture in Lebanon, Order of Engineers and Architects of Lebanon
  • 2010: AREEN Award for Best Thesis Project in Architecture, 1st Prize, AUB, Lebanon
  • 2010: Dean's Creative Achievement Award, AUB, Lebanon
  • 2005-2010: Dean's Honor List, Faculty of Engineering & Architecture, AUB, Lebanon


Key publications: 

Peer-Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters

El Chami, Y.,An American “Garden” in an Oriental “Desert”: The Modernity of Timber at the Syrian Protestant College’, Architectural Theory Review [Special Issue: Timber Constructed], 25.1 (forthcoming, 2021)

El Chami, Y., ‘The Place Beyond the Coast: A Spatio-Political History of Mount Lebanon’s Interior’, in The Place that Remains, ed. by Hala Younes (Milano: Skira, 2018), pp. 176-183

El Chami, Y., ‘Beirut: From City of Capital to Capital City’, Urban Flux, 45.5 (October 2015), pp. 70-79

Design Journal Articles

El Chami, Y., and Palate, S., ‘It All Starts With the Ground: Interview with Amanda Levete’, Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, 28 (2019), pp. 8-21

El Chami, Y. ‘Inhabiting Territory: Home, as Nature, as Conflict, as Capital’, Ground-Up: Journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Planning at UC Berkeley, 8 (2019), pp. 29-34

Edited Journals

El Chami, Y. and Palate, S., eds, Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, Department of Architecture: University of Cambridge, 28 (2019) 

Online Articles

El Chami, Y., ‘The Crisis of Heritage in Beirut: Conflict, Capital, and Reconstruction’, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Features (October 2020), online:

El Chami, Y., Beirut, From City of Capital to Capital City: Reconstructing a Lebanese  State Identity Within Neoliberal Economy, AA Projective Cities Publications (July 2013), online:

El Chami, Y., From Multipli-city to Corporate City in Beirut’s Central District,        AAProjective Cities Publications (April 2012), online:

PhD Candidate in Architecture
Centre for Urban Conflicts Research
Supervisor: Prof. Wendy Pullan
 Yasmina Carole El Chami