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

Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival

Professor Eden Naby

The Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) sponsored a lecture on June 7, in which Eden Naby of Columbia University discussed three culturally related topics: Assyrians, Aramaic, and cultural preservation. Naby's field of interest is the cultural history of modern Central Asia, in which she holds a PhD from Columbia.

Naby, who was on her second visit to Beirut, had given lectures on the same topics in many Asian and European countries. In her talk, she pointed out that Aramaic is the "oldest continuously spoken and written language in the Middle East." She distributed a chart she had compiled consisting of Aramaic language materials, and explained that Aramaic was spoken by Jews and by the followers of John the Baptist, but then was gradually replaced by Hebrew and Arabic. This is why Aramaic is a disappearing language; it is no longer considered to be a living language among Jews and is mostly spoken by indigenous Christians of the Middle East. Naby also talked about Syriac, another ancient language, which is only spoken in religious circles and taught in church schools. She referred to Syriac as "a lost liturgical language."

After giving an overview of the history of these ancient languages, Naby described some of the preservation techniques that are being used to keep them alive. These techniques address the problems caused by wars and include solutions provided by schools, churches, and other institutions. According to Naby, Aramaic is the "heritage language of the Middle East and is a contributor to world heritage, whether Christian or Muslim." She added that it is a pity such historical languages are not taught in countries in the Middle East, but are taught in universities in the United States. "There can be things the Middle East can do to promote the Aramaic culture," she said.

Naby ended her lecture by dubbing Aramaic "the international orphan"-a "stateless language" that needs to receive support from international institutions like UNESCO.