Refugee’s Camps in Lebanon

From April 14 to May 23, 2020, in the wake of global lock-down,
Alice Mogabgab Galleries – Beirut & Brussels present the first online exhibition
Houda Kassatly
Refugee’s Camps in Lebanon, the Unsustainable Precarity
100 Photographs.

Arabic version (PDF) French version (PDF) English version (PDF)

Visit the exhibition with Dalal Al-Bizri, Lebanese writer and researcher.

Video with views from the exhibition narrated by Dalal Al-Bizri (Arabic)

Dalal Al-Bizri is a Lebanese researcher and writer. She specialized in contemporary Islamic movement and authored several studies on women’s issues. She lectured in political sociology at Lebanese University for many years. She contributed as a columnist in ‘Al Hayat’, then ‘Nawafith’, then ‘Al Modon’ and today at ‘Al Araby Al Jadeed’.
She authored many books in Arabic:
دنيا الدين و الدولة، دار النهار، بيروت، 1994، غرامشي في الديوانية، دار الجديد، بيروت، 1995، اخوات الظل و اليقين، دار النهار، بيروت، 1995، السياسة اقوى من الحداثة، دارميريت، القاهرة، 2003، مصر ضد مصر، دار الساقي، بيروت، 2008، مصر التي في خاطري، دار الساقي، 2011، سنوات السعادة الثورية. دار التنوير،2015، المرأة في العمل الاجتماعي، بالاشتراك مع عزة بيضون، دار الجديد، بيروت، 1998، دفاتر الحرب الأهلية 1975-1990، المركز العربي للدراسات والبحوث السياسية. قطر، 2017.
She is also an author in English and French: L’ombre et son double. Centre d’étude et de recherche sur le Moyen-Orient contemporain, Cermoc, Beyrouth, Liban, 1995, Islamistes, Parlementaires et Libanais, Cermoc, Beyrouth, Liban, 1999.

Dr. Nasser Yassin & Alice Mogabgab in a talk show with
Reine Bou Moussa at AnNahar TV (in Arabic)

Nasser Yassin is the Interim Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, and Associate Professor of Policy and Planning at the Health Management and Policy Department at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He co-chairs the AUB4Refugees Initiative that aims to bring together and build synergy among faculty and departments in AUB responding to the Syrian refugee crisis. He holds a PhD from University College London (UCL), an MSc from London School of Economics (LSE), and an MSc and BSc from the AUB. His research and practice interests are in development planning and policymaking in fragile and transition states. He researches and works on policy and social innovation especially in areas of refugee, youth and health policies and programs. His current work looks at how civil society actors, community groups, and informal networks can influence policies and programs in the Arab world. He is also leading a research project on understanding the informal adaptive mechanisms among refugees and their host communities in the Middle East. He is author of more than 40 internationally published peer-reviewed articles and books. His work on Syrian refugee crisis has been featured in many media channels including Al-Jazeera, BBC, The Economist and Deutsche Welle – among others.

100 photographs by Houda Kassatly

Cycle 1: Architecture & Landscapes

A brotherhood in misery, a destiny welded in precariousness, a complicity to thwart the implacable verdict of the world’s gods. This is now the inexorable bond that, day after day, closes the ranks of the Lebanese with those of their imposed hosts: the grandsons of the Palestine refugees and the children of the Syria migrants.
Three peoples who constitute the soul of the Levant. Three sensibilities rich in history, exchanges, know-how and traditions. But also three tragically misgoverned fates.
Violence, which continues to pour into their countries, has finally destroyed what was, for a brief moment in history, a century ago, a project for the future, a homeland.
Here, they are trapped in issues that go far beyond their resources, victims of the blindness and criminal machinations of their elites.
The same precariousness, the same misery begins to direct them towards the great fraternity of the damned of the Earth, far beyond the populist gesticulations and racist barking of their leaders.
Tetanized and lonely in their double confinement imposed by the Covid 19 and by the complete bankruptcy of their country, the Lebanese people now takes another look at their hosts. It is this look that Houda Kassatly saw and captured as a pioneer, and that she offers through her photographs in this exhibition on the abjectly ferociousness of poverty and the sublime beauty of childhood innocence, on the horizon closed to life in its simplest expression and hope for a bright future.

Alice Mogabgab Karam.

Cycle 2: Everyday Life

Refugee’s Camps in Lebanon, the Unsustainable Precarity, 100 photographs by Houda Kassatly is the first online exhibition of the Alice Mogabgab Gallery. Originally planned in Beirut premises, it will take place from April 14 to May 23, 2020 on the website and will feature a set of hundred photographs taken by the artist between 2012 and 2019 in various camps in Lebanon.
Through landscapes, interior scenes, still lifes and portraits, the exhibition tackles the major themes of life inside the camps: architecture, daily life, identity & signity, the uncertain future… Houda Kassatly denounces the infamous, questions consciences while magnifying humanity.

Cycle 3: Dignity / Identity

Houda Kassatly, born in Beirut in 1960, graduated with a DEA in Philosophy from the University of Paris I Pantheon – Sorbonne in 1984. In 1987, she completed a doctoral thesis in Ethnology and Comparative Sociology at the University of Paris X – Nanterre. In 1986, back in her hometown, her professional life was devoted to research and photography; she was an international expert on the European MEDINA project, a researcher attached to the University of Balamand and the Interdisciplinary Memory Research Unit at Saint-Joseph University, as well as an associate researcher at the CERMOC (Centre d’Etudes sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain). For ten years, she was responsible for the Information-Communication, Capitalization and now the culture program of ‘arcenciel’, an association working for sustainable development.
Her training in ethnology sharpens her eye on social traditions, architectural heritage, environment and day to day life. This training goes hand in hand with photography, which she has been practicing and perfecting since her teens, making her the first female artist-photographer in Lebanon. In 1987, the photo library (phototèque) of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris acquired a hundred of her photographs. In 1992 the Institut du Monde Arabe hosted her first personal exhibition. Since then, Houda Kassatly’s photos have been regularly exhibited in galleries and art centers in Beirut and Europe.

Cycle 4: Tomorrow

About the artist

During 2020, Alice Mogabgab Gallery will be showing 5 exhibitions of Houda Kassatly :
• January 30 – March 21: Dalieh the Threatened Shore.
• April 14 – May 23: Refugee’s Camps in Lebanon, the Unsustainable Precarity.
• June 9 – July 25: Tripoli of the Orient; Plural City.
• September 15 – October 31: Sacred Trees, Sacrificed Trees. (Cancelled after the Beirut Blast)
• November 10 – December 26: Beirut the Iconography of an Absence. (Cancelled after the Beirut Blast)

Because the Gallery perceives its commitment towards its audience as an act of faith, the faith in the power of art and the power of artist to change our world view, the faith in the courage of women and men in facing injustice, the faith in enlighted breakthroughs, it will join during the year 2020, that of Greater Lebanon centenary, to all Lebanese who fight daily for their present, their future and that of their children. A future that is only possible in the rebirth of Greater Lebanon, our homeland, for a new century of freedom, justice and dignity, and because the creative power of the artist will always triumph over the destructive forces of evil.


AlGhad TV
Vogue Arabia
The Arab Weekly
Le Commerce du Levant