December 2005, Vol. 7 No. 2
Appointment of Dr. Ghassan Hamadeh
Prominent Arab-American Rights Activist Lectures on Islamophobia
Appointment of Dr. Thurayya Arayssi
Business School Lecture on Corporate Governance
Women’s League Meeting
Professor Samir Makdisi to Serve Again on Global Network Board
Human Resources Developments
University Senate Meeting of June 22
September Senate Notes
New Mission Statement
Dean Daghir Steps Down from Deanship
Recently Published: Comparing Media from Around the World
John Rhoder Leaves AUB
Prominent Saudi Businessman Receives AUB Distinguished Alumnus Award
Fading Poetry of Old Lebanese Houses: Art Project by Joe Saleh
Tips for Saving the Planet
Art Club Celebrates Art Day
Jafet Library Displays the Earliest Photographs of AUB Campus
You walk by him every day, and he probably greets you with a friendly and inquiring smile. Yet though he has been a member of the campus community since the 1970s, you probably don’t know his name.
Meet the University’s newspaper man. His name is Ahmed Dakroub, the man who sits at the top of the Post Office steps next to his display of newspapers and magazines and beneath the oleander tree–his only shield from the elements of nature.
Ahmed, 45, inherited his trade from his father Khattab, who set up shop on campus in 1950. Since then, every day for almost half a century, first the father then the son have been delivering newspapers to regular campus customers, among them AUB’s successive presidents and provosts. “I have been delivering An-Nahar and The Daily Star to the president’s residence for as long as I can remember,” he said.
As Ahmed was describing his work day to me, economics Professor Samir Makdisi approached the newspaper stand. Without a word, Ahmed handed him a copy of that day’s Ad-Diyar–the professor’s preferred read. “I know each regular customer’s favorite paper or magazine,” said Ahmed, who has over 150 customers on campus, the majority them regulars.
Knowing the favorite publications of his customers is not the only thing that Ahmed knows. He is often privy to the heated conversations on politics or religion that students have on the cafeteria steps. “The most beautiful thing about these arguments is that the students never leave angry with each other,” he said. “If you hear them arguing, you would think they were going to kill each other. But they always part on good terms.”
He can also tell you which newspaper has the most difficult crossword puzzle and how the buying patterns of the campus community have changed since the war. “People used to buy a lot of cultural and scientific magazines,” he said. “Now, entertainment magazines are what they want most.”
Asked what he looks forward to most of all every day, Ahmed said: “Saying ’hello’ to people as they pass by.” So, next time you pass by this man surrounded by newspapers and magazines and maybe poring over a crossword puzzle, be sure to say: “Hello, Ahmed.”