The Collection of Dr. Constantine Zurayk (around 18 linear feet of archival material) includes personal and professional correspondence, addresses, lectures, notes, administrative and scholarly material related to AUB and many other academic, research, cultural and educational institutions around the Arab world (e.g. AUB, Damascus University, the Institute of Palestine Studies, Kuwait University, Khartoum University, the International Association of Universities, UNESCO, etc.) with which Dr. Zurayk was affiliated throughout his life. These valuable documents constitute a wealth of material for all those interested in the intellectual history of the region as well as in education and culture in the Arab world.
One of AUB’s history-making intellects, Dr. Constantine Zurayk is known as a scholar of broad interests spanning many disciplines with far-reaching impact on AUB, Lebanon, and the region. Credited with coining the term Nakba for the 1948 Palestinian expulsion from their land and developing ideas such as the “Arab mission”, “ARAB Nationalism” and “national philosophy,” Dr. Zurayk was a strong proponent of an intellectual reformation of Arab society, emphasizing the need for rationalism and an ethical revolution in the Arab world.
Born in Damascus, Syria on April 18, 1909, Constantine Zurayk received his primary education in Damascus, and then joined AUB, where he received a Bachelor Degree in History in 1928. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1929 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1930. He taught at AUB for around 45 years, and assumed various academic and administrative functions. He served as the President of Damascus College and was one of the founding members of the Institute of Palestine Studies. He also played important international roles as the first Counselor to the Syrian Legation of the United States in 1945, the Delegate to the UN Security Council and to the UN General Assembly in 1946, in addition to serving as President of the International Association of Universities, UNESCO, between 1965 and 1970.