Sanjak camp is disappearing. The expanding Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud will consume the 20,000-square-meter area within the next few years, and in the process eliminate one of the last remaining Armenian refugee camps in Lebanon. Sanjak is being demolished to accommodate the growing population of Burj Hammoud and its busy shopping district.
The Burj Hammoud municipality plans to replace Sanjak with St. Jacques Plaza, a commercial and residential center.
Vasken K. Chekijian of VKC Design and Planning is the architect in charge of the project. He said that the plaza, which is the first project of its kind supported by a municipality in Lebanon, will consist of two eight-floor apartment buildings and one 10-floor apartment building. The plaza will also have a landscaped area, he added. It will also contain the first multi-storey parking garage in Lebanon, he said.
Today, a large field of rubble and a few rows of dilapidated buildings are all that is left of Sanjak camp. Streams of running water flow through narrow walkways that are cluttered with debris. Personal belongings such as sneakers and clothes lie abandoned in empty homes.