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02 October, 2009

Talk at the Yale Arab Alumni Conference

Sandra was an invited speaker in the Yale Arab Alumni Conference: Transnational Tides and the Furture of the Arab City, YAAA's first international conference held at the American University of Beirut on October 10-13, 2009, relevant to the transnational nature of Arab cities which, like the concept of transnationality itself, transcend established geographical, temporal, political, and academic boundaries.

The Arab experience of globalization has resulted in the refashioning of Arab cities into unique spaces hosting transnational communities. These communities are distinguished not only by their demographic diversity but also by their extraordinary mobility. And despite the fluidity of these transnational communities, they are a fixture, at least for the foreseeable future. Gesturing toward the historical dimension of these shifting patterns of migration and exchange, this conference explores how transnational leaders can use their mobility and resources to engage the new metropolitan network in the building of a sustainable, integrated regional future.

Sandra presented in the infrastructure panel a talk entitled " Recaliming Nahr Beirut" ,  discussing how transnational approaches to infrastructure has shaped the Beirut River since the Roman period, and how emerging approaches to water infrastructures accross the globe that are reclaiming obsolete infrastructure to be soft, multifunctional and integrated , can help reshape the Beirut River to address the pressing urban, ecological and social challenges of the Beirut Greater Region.

Other panelists included:  H.E. Dr. Bader Alsheraan, Minister of Electricity and Water, Kuwait
Dr. Abdel Malik Al Jaber, CEO, Zain Levant Region
Ms. Tabitha Decker, Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dubai School of Government
Dr. Saleh Jallad, Group Vice President, Consolidated Contractors Company, 
Moderated by Dr. Walid Fayad, Principal, Booz & Co.