Delays in Rebuilding Benghazi: The Case of the al-Sabry Neighbourhood

Introduction

The eastern Libyan city of Benghazi—the second largest in the country—has seen 30 percent of the city destroyed: a consequence of the 2011 revolution and the conflict of 2014-2017. This destruction occurred in strategically-important areas of Benghazi, including the city’s main business and administrative center, as well as surrounding areas such as the al-Sabry and Sidi Ikhribish neighbourhoods. Essential infrastructure and public services in Benghazi have similarly been hit hard, which has led to major disruptions in daily life.

Some residential neighbourhoods in Benghazi were also damaged during the conflict. These included the Bouatni and al-Leithy neighbourhoods in the eastern part of the city, and 40 percent of al-Hawary and Benina neighbourhoods, where the Benina International Airport is located, as well as the so-called Chinese buildings. Most of the houses in these neighbourhoods are in ruins, the streets are full of rubble, and their former inhabitants have fled. This destruction is not limited to residential units, but also includes other aspects of the city’s architectural heritage such as the Ikhribish Lighthouse, al-Manar Palace, and Souq al-Hout. These buildings were an important part of the city’s identity.

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