Beirut-based Architectural Firm Wins Design Competition for Engineering Complex at AUB  
Trustee Philip Khoury Named MIT Associate Provost  
AUB and UAE Center Sign Agreement to Offer EMBA Program to Emirate Institutions  
Fourth AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology  
New Faculty: Hussein Shahidi  
New Faculty: Kirsten Scheid  
New Faculty: Tima al Jamil  
Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day  
Staff Profile: Ghaleb Halimi  
Fifth Annual FEA Student Conference Held  
Engineering Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Achievements  
Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB  
Construction Update  
Renovated AUB Archaeological Museum Inaugurated  
Renovated Pediatrics Clinic Opened  
Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality  
Tenth Annual AUB Job Fair Largest Since Its Inception  
Letters from a New Campus by Daniel Bliss  
Winners of the Coca-Cola 'Make Every Word Count' Essay Competition Announced  
AUBMC Research Group Awarded NIH Grant  
Science Students Reveal Bonds Between Chemistry and Art  
Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements  
Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television  
Science, Math, and Technology Fair Promotes Environmental Thinking  
School Fair 2006: Prospective AUB Students Visit Campus  
Situation of the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon  
Remembering the Writer, Khalil Takieddine  
Promotions 2005-2006  
Piano Recital by Arnimée Choukassizian  
Lecture on Space Exploration by World Expert  
Teleconferencing Brings Students Together Across Continents  
"Something Is Happening": Fairuz and Ziad Al Rahbani  
Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival  
Lecture on the History and Origins of American Islamicism  
Business School and Arts and Sciences Team Wins Soccer Championship Match by Narrow Margin  
  Red Cross Club Celebrates its 26th Anniversary at AUB
  History of the American University of Beirut: A New CASAR Course
  First Stereo-photography Exhibit at AUB  
  Photo Exhibition by President John Waterbury  
  The Cats of Renée Deek: End-of-Year Theater Workshop Performance  
  Film on Euthanasia-A True Story  
  Part Two of the CVSP Forum  
  Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said  
  Mozart and Schumann Celebrated at Assembly Hall  
  Austrian Chamber Music Duo Performs at AUB  
  Mathematician Alain Connes Visits AUB  
  Rima Khcheich Concert Plays to Sold-out Crowds at Assembly Hall
  Women's Auxiliary  
  33rd Annual Folk Dance Festival Hosts 20 Performing Schools  
June 2006 Vol. 7 No. 8

Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality

The AUB Women's Rights Club (WRC) concluded its activities this year with a two-day conference on gender and sexuality in Lebanon and the Arab world. The first day of the conference, May 17, featured a panel discussion in West Hall, which marked the International Day Against Homophobia. Guest speakers Iman Al Ghafari, assistant professor of English at Tishreen University in Syria, and Jared McCormick, a master's candidate at the AUB Center of American and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES), focused on the issue of gay rights in relation to women's rights and lesbians' rights.

In discussing the situation of gay men and women in Lebanon and the Arab world, references were made to Joseph Massad's essay, "Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World," and to Urvashi Vaid's "Divided We Stand," from his book Virtual Equality. Finally, as an example of sexism and racism, the panel cited the murder of Sakia Gunn, a fifteen-year-old African-American lesbian whose untimely death passed almost unnoticed, as compared to the attention given to the equally brutal murder of Mathew Shepard, a white college-educated American gay male. This was to highlight how little attention is given to abused homosexuals who are both non-white and female.

The second day of the conference featured a lecture given by the women's rights activist, Rasha Moumneh. Her lecture, entitled "Women's Rights, Homosexual Rights, and the Law," was sponsored in collaboration with Helem, the Lebanese non-governmental organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights. Moumneh reiterated several of the themes discussed the previous day; namely, the precedence taken in the struggle for gay men's rights over that for lesbians' rights. She referred to this new kind of discrimination as "the birth of gay fascism" and referred to the double discrimination Lebanese lesbians face in their exchanges with mainstream women's rights NGOs in Lebanon. Helem's managing director, George Kazzi, responded that the women's supposed lack of involvement with Helem is not contingent on gender issues or power dynamics, but rather on the lack of public visibility of the women themselves.

Moumneh stressed that all axes of oppression, both homo and heterosexual, are interconnected and thus need to be holistically dissolved by the community as a whole. She said that in igniting discourse about homosexuality in the wider public sphere of Lebanon and, by extension, the Arab world, a great deal more work and activism is still needed. Moumneh concluded with a discussion of a variety of gay-related issues of concern in Lebanon, among them support of the international community, the effects of globalization on gay culture, homophobia and identity politics, and the changing attitudes of people toward the homosexual community.