(Photo courtesy of Hiba Bou Akar)
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The war ruins in Beirut's suburbs, the country's unfinished buildings and highways, its limited green spaces -- in looking to explain why such spaces pockmark Lebanon, many people point to a lack of urban planning.Bou Akar says that over years of field and archival research, she has found Lebanon's various "political-religious organizations" -- mainly Hezbollah, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Future Movement and the Maronite Church -- are major players in the real estate sector, and often fight over land. The reason for this, Bou Akar argues, were power struggles between the Druze PSP and Hezbollah-affiliated real estate developers.The two other examples Bou Akar's book expands on are also taken from the southern suburbs' outermost regions.
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