The Research Committee plays an essential role in supporting and guiding research activities at ALBA. It assists the Research Department in its mission by proposing the best actions to promote high-quality research.

Furthermore, the Research Committee is involved in rigorously evaluating research project proposals submitted for the University research scholarships, ensuring the relevance and quality of the selected projects.

The Research Committee also exercises diligent oversight over the issues of ALBA's scientific research journal, ensuring the quality of publications and their adherence to academic standards.

Additionally, the Research Committee actively participates in the selection processes for key positions within the Centre for Research and Creation (CRC), voting for the appointment of the CRC Director as well as the Research and Creation Directors for the CRC's Research and Creation Workshops (ARC). The Committee plays an important role in managing research and creation funding at the CRC, and that’s by approving funding sources for innovative projects. Finally, the research committee also oversees and approves the publications of the CRC, ensuring the quality and validity of the conducted research. Additionally, it also approves the partnerships of the CRC, thus strengthening collaboration with other institutions and research professionals.

Through its active involvement, the Research Committee contributes to strengthening ALBA's position as a leading research institution, fostering an environment conducive to scientific and creative excellence.



-       Gregory Buchakjian, PhD   Email:
-       Danielle Davie, PhD   Email:
-       Gaby Issa-El-Khoury, PhD   Email:
-       May El Koussa, PhD   Email:
-       Ricardo Mbarkho, PhD (Director)   Email:
-       Lamia Nassif, PhD   Email:


  Gregory Buchakjian

Transdisciplinary artist and art historian, Gregory Buchakjian is an Associate Professor and the Director of the School of Visual Arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA, University of Balamand).

Grounded in archive, archaeology, and narrative, his approach takes shape in his doctoral thesis at the Sorbonne, titled "Abandoned Dwellings of Beirut: Wars and Transformations of Urban Space: 1860-2015" (2016), the book "Abandoned Dwellings, a History of Beirut" (Beirut, Kaph Books, 2018), and the exhibitions "Abandoned Dwellings, Display of Systems" (Beirut, Sursock Museum, 2018) and "Abandoned Dwellings of Beirut" (Brussels, Villa Empain, 2019).

He contributed to the first Lebanese pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2018). In 2020, he identified and highlighted two paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi damaged in the Beirut port explosion.

He has been involved in numerous juries and committees, including the evaluation of art schools in France for the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES) in 2023.


  Danielle Davie

Danielle Davie is a filmmaker, anthropologist-filmmaker, and Director of the School of Film and Audiovisual Production at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA, University of Balamand).

After pursuing studies in anthropology, she earned a Ph.D. in Anthropological and Documentary Cinema in 2010 in France (thesis title: "The Dwelling of a Bedouin Family in Syria: A Study of Cinematic Anthropology"). During her studies, she created several anthropological films, some of which were screened at festivals. Concurrently, she developed an artistic approach and directed documentary short films.

Today, Danielle explores through her films the capacity of cinema to encompass the space from which we view the world. She collaborates on feature-length documentary and film essay projects and is a founding member of the Rawiyat-SIF collective.


  Gaby Issa-El-Khoury

Gaby Issa-El-Khoury, PhD, OLY, is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, University of Balamand.

A graduate of ALBA in architecture, Gaby Issa-El-Khoury earned his Master's in Civil Engineering from the Centre des Hautes Etudes de la Construction (C.H.E.C.), specializing in the Centre des Hautes Etudes de Béton Armé et Béton Précontraint (C.H.E.B.A.P.), in Paris, France. He conducted research on instability in a curved metal beam at The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA, and earned his Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering.

In addition to teaching structural courses, Gaby Issa-El-Khoury supervises the structural aspects of construction projects at the Master's and diploma levels.

His research interests include Steel Structures, structural elements in Steel, instability of structural members, and the application of the human body to architecture.

Gaby Issa-El-Khoury is also a passionate advocate for Lebanese athletics. As a certified coach by the International, French, and American federations, he oversees several teams, including the Lebanese army selection. He has developed a comprehensive database on Lebanese athletics and works on statistics and results of Lebanese athletes.


  May El Koussa

May El Koussa is an Assistant Professor at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA, University of Balamand), where she was appointed Director of Studies in 2021, and then Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in 2023. After pursuing a practical path in experimental cinema and video art with a BFA in Visual and Performing Arts from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon, she entered the field of research in "Film Studies" through her studies at the University of Paris 1 – Panthéon, Sorbonne. In 2013, she earned a Ph.D. in "Arts and Art Sciences," with a focus on "Cinema and Audiovisual" from the same university. In 2014, she began her teaching experience at ALBA and contributed to the development of the School of Cinema and Audiovisual Production curriculum by offering innovative courses in the field of Film Studies. She teaches courses in Cinema and Methodology of Research in various schools within the Academy, alongside her engagement in other universities in Lebanon. She also served as the Coordinator for the Film History and Film Analysis courses from 2018 to 2021.

As a researcher, she has been an associate member of the ACTE Institute (Arts, Creation, Theory, Aesthetics) – Paris 1, Panthéon – Sorbonne since 2009. Her book entitled 'Through the Dynamics of Tears in Cinema – Sirk, Kieslowski, Bergman' was published in 2023 by L'Harmattan in the 'Champs Visuels' collection, where she further develops ideas from her thesis regarding tears in cinema through an aesthetic and interdisciplinary approach. Her articles are published in peer-reviewed international journals and appear as book chapters of internationally renowned collective works. Her research focuses on European, Mediterranean, and Lebanese cinemas, as well as issues related to erasure, tears in cinema, and more recently, the role of philosophy (primarily the concepts of Michel Foucault and Maurice Merleau-Ponty) in film analysis.


  Ricardo Mbarkho

Ricardo Mbarkho is an artist, Assistant Professor, and Head of the Research Department at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA, University of Balamand).

In his work, he explores and theorizes the aesthetic, economic, political, and social conditions and measures of an art that breaks free from the idea of the artwork, the audience, and the context; an art without a material or immaterial object, even post-immaterial. In an ideal type, one is engaged in a research-creation of art without art.

Holding a PhD from the Sorbonne Paris Nord University in France, his thesis focuses on the transformations of cultural industries into creative industries, with a particular emphasis on the in-depth study of media arts. He is also a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture at the Lebanese University in Beirut, the Higher School of Cinematographic Studies in Paris, as well as the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, after pursuing studies in new media arts at the School of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.


  Lamia Nassif

Lamia Nassif is an architect, researcher, and educator. In her various roles, she prioritizes a multidisciplinary approach aimed at reconnecting architectural practice with different aspects of social reality: economic, political, and cultural. These concerns formed the foundation of her doctoral thesis in Art of Building and Urbanism at the LaCambre-Horta Faculty of Architecture, Free University of Brussels. The thesis, titled "When Architecture Becomes Advertising: Analysis of Capitalism Through its Landscapes. Lebanon: A Case Study," explores the relationship between iconic architecture produced within the framework of globalization and the local context.

She introduces the concept of "architecture-advertising" to conceptualize the growing interdependence between the commercial objectives of these real estate operations and their socio-cultural effects. These effects are characteristic of advertising, where there is a predominance of image over reality, aligning with a broader logic of commodification of architectural form.


Representative of ALBA (Koura Campus) for the Research Committee

-       Rabih Machaalany, PhD   Email:


  Rabih Machaalany

Rabih Machaalany is an art historian and critic, consultant, archaeologist, and designer. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA - Koura Campus, University of Balamand). He earned his PhD from the University of Paris IV – Sorbonne in 2006, focusing on "Religious Architecture in Lebanon in the 19th and 20th centuries."

With two master's degrees, one centered on occidentalism in Lebanese art in France, and the other on impressionism in Lebanese art in both France and Lebanon, Rabih Machaalany possesses a diverse academic background. He has been actively involved in various associations, starting with his membership in ARTEMED in Paris in 2003. He has served as a jury member for the Cabriolet Film Festival in Lebanon and has organized numerous art exhibitions.

He has been a keynote speaker at events such as "Lebanon, Land of Phoenicia, Land of Cultures and Civilizations" at the Casino du Liban in 2009. Additionally, he has contributed to various projects in Doha, Qatar, and Beirut, Lebanon, showcasing his expertise as a designer. Beyond academia, he serves as a consultant for private groups both in Lebanon and abroad.



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