Spring 2006 Vol. IV, No. 3
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MainGate welcomes contributions from alumni reflecting on their AUB experiences,
as well as stories about their lives after AUB. Submissions may be sent
Here Lokman I. Meho (BA 91, MA 96) recounts how an interest
in Kurdish history, and a lot of encouragement, took him from Jafet Library
to Indiana University.
I thought I would share how AUB changed my life.
My grandparents moved to Lebanon from very poor villages in Northern Kurdistan
in the 1920s and 1930s. They never sent my parents to school. Luckily,
my parents did not do the same to their eight childrentwo brothers
and six sisters. We all went to school. Because they were very poor, however,
they could only send us to public schools, which, at the time (mid-1970s
through the 1980s), were marred with problems ranging from lack of teachers
and resources to control by militia groups. After high school, I was fortunate
to receive a full scholarship from the Hariri Foundation to attend AUB.
I earned a bachelors degree in political science in 1991. While
working as a freelance bibliographer in the following year, I applied
for the masters program in political science at AUB and was offered
a full graduate assistantship by the department. I completed the masters
degree in December 1995.
I have been interested in reading history, geography, and biographical
books since I was a teenager. My interest in libraries and research started
when I attended AUB, especially after reading a comment in a book that
said that there is not much written about the Kurds. I wanted to find
out for myself if this was true or not. So, while taking English courses
in preparation for AUB, I applied for a job at Jafet Library to develop
my research skills. I started working in Jafet from the very first day
of schoolI think it was September 29, 1986.
My work in Jafet and the education I received at AUB were turning points
in my life and career, providing me with exceptional opportunities, experience,
skills, and knowledge in retrieving, filtering, and organizing information.
Recognizing the significance and value of access to information in research,
I decided to compile and publish as many annotated bibliographies on the
Kurds and Kurdistan as possible. To date, I have published three, each
of which contains annotations to over 800 books and articles. I also published
two books on the Arab world.
While completing my masters, the reference librarians at Jafet encouraged
me to pursue a masters degree in Library Science in the United States.
My family couldnt afford it, and when all else failed, my father
sold his car and used all his savings to send me to school in the US.
It was not an easy decision to make or agree with. I eventually decided
to attend North Carolina Central University (NCCU) because of its affordability
and locationthe Research Triangle Park.
NCCU faculty members encouraged me to pursue a doctoral degree at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). A few weeks after I
applied, I was offered an admission with a full scholarship. In November
2001, I successfully defended my dissertation and received my PhD degree.
After three years at the School of Information Science and Policy as an
assistant professor, I joined the School of