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
Joseph H. Saleh says it was selfishness that drove him to photograph old Lebanese houses. But any visitor to his recent photo exhibit in West Hall would have been struck by Saleh's idealistic desire to defend beauty, preserve Lebanese heritage, and promote cultural dialogue.
Entitled “The Fading Poetry of Old Lebanese Houses,” the exhibit was organized by the Office of Information and Public Relations and the Department of Photography, and ran from September 30 to October 9. With about 25 photos of old Lebanese houses on display, the exhibit also featured a narrative by Saleh that provoked the spectators into appreciating the beauty of the architecture and asking themselves if it should be preserved or allowed to disappear in the concrete jungle of development.
What made the exhibit more compelling is that Saleh is not a photographer. He is an astronautics and aeronautics scientist. And it was not his desire to construct a perfect missile that sent him on a tour of the country to learn about architecture. Rather, he had the dream to build a perfect home, and he set out on a personal tour to study and better understand the elements of Lebanese architecture.
While doing so, he noticed the “fading poetry” of the Lebanese houses and decided to share his concerns with other people. At first, he displayed his photos at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he works as executive director of the Ford-MIT alliance, a research and education alliance between the university and Ford Motor Company. After receiving strong, positive feedback, he decided to display his photos at AUB and approached the Office of Information and Public Relations about arranging an exhibit on campus.
Asked about his dream house, Saleh said: “It's still maturing in my head. But I have been driving around, from north to south, looking for a piece of land to call home.”
“Easy slopes and the sea in sight, with pine or olive trees for companions” is how he described the location for his home in his narrative.