Spring 2006 Vol. IV, No. 3
From the Editors
Journeys Past and Present
News reports this winter of French students taking to the
streets to protest new employment laws bring to mind the long tradition
of student protests at AUB. It reminds us that studentsa countrys
educated youthare often catalysts for change. Although activism
may not seem to play such a key role for todays younger generations,
it can still be seen as a rite of passage for students in their life journeys.
And that rite is alive and well at AUB.
It seemed fitting, therefore, that the historical section of this spring
issue be dedicated to the history of activism at AUB. We feature stories
about the sit-in of 1971 and the student takeover of College Hall, which
is still very much alive in many peoples memories, as well as the
1954 protest against the Baghdad Pact, and the demonstrations that erupted
in 1967 to protest the 1947 UN partition of Palestine. We also take a
look at the role that activism plays in the lives of todays AUB
In Journeys Past and Present, we wanted to look not only at how AUB has
developed over the years, but also talk to our alumni and learn about
how their own journeys have evolved. Lena Kelekian (BS 81) opened
her studio to us and described how, as a first-year student, she wanted
to be a mineralogist. Today, as an artist and iconographerwho has
a strong background in scienceshe is bringing new vibrancy to Byzantine
techniques. Nina Jidejian (BA 61, MA 65) is a historian, archaeologist,
and author whose life is defined by an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
Lokman Meho (BA 91, MA 96) simply wanted to share his own
very personal story of how AUB had changed his life.
You may be surprised to learn that much of the change that has taken place
on campus is not the result of bulldozers and new buildings. In Nature
in the Design, we discover that AUB has undergone quite a transformation
since it was purchased by Daniel Blissand that evolution continues
with a 21st-century approach to landscaping and eco-management. AUB, which
has a long tradition of involvement in the arts, hasnt had an art
department in nearly 30 yearsso we welcomed the opportunity to write
about the new Department of Fine Arts and Art History in The Finer
Things in Life. Not only is AUB examining Lebanons past through
its archaeological sites (read about Tell el-Burak and Tell Kazel in Uncovering
the History of Lebanon), it is also preserving the past for future
generations in a newly renovated museum.
We ourselves are constantly learning about AUB, its alumni, Beirut, and
Lebanon, and it is a pleasure to keep our readers updated as well. We
hope that you enjoy the magazine. We welcome your ideas and feedback.
Ada H. Porter and Ibrahim Khoury