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Olympic travel poses in front of AUB, 1964-MAry Robinson Collection.jpg

Olympic Torch passes in front of AUB Main Gate, 1964

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

A runner carries the Olympic torch in 1964, past the AUB Main Gate: during that year, the Summer Olympics was held in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 10- 24. The official Olympic torch relay during the Tokyo 1964 Olympics lasted 51 days; it involved 870 runners and covered a total of 20,065 kilometers worldwide. The routes went through Athens (Greece) by plane, Istanbul in Turkey, Beirut in Lebanon, Teheran in Iran, Lahore in Pakistan, New Delhi in India, Rangoon in Burma, Bangkok in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Manila in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taipei in the Republic of China, Okinawa in Tokyo. 

From "Friends remember Olympic torch relay in 1964" , By Rose Albano Risso,


Student Protest U.N. partition of Palestine

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

"Over seven hundred students gathered in front of West Hall last Wednesday at 10 o’clock and marched silently to the Assembly Hall in a gesture of condemnation of the U.N.’s partition of Palestine on November 27, 1947. The march, organized by the Arab Student League, culminated with speeches by Distinguished Professor Constantine Zurayk, Professor Yusuf Ibish and student, Suhail Hamam. Among those present were Dean Louis Cajoleas, Dean Robert Najemy, Dr. Eli Salem, Nabil Dajani and other members of the administration and faculty. Dr. Zurayk spoke about the recent setback experienced by the Arab countries and emphasized the fact that such events can either destroy nations or motivate them to a fresh and more positive start."

Rabah, Makram, The student movement at the American University of Beirut, p:37-38

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Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with President  Paul Leanord and his wife at AUB, 1960

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

On May 24, 1960, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, on an Indian Air Force aircraft from Istanbul. Nehru had been flying around the eastern Mediterranean over the course of a week on his way back to India from the London Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. Nehru visited AUB, and gave an impromptu speech to an overflowing room, a speech which was etched in the psyche of a generation which believed in the mission of the Non-Alignment movement, and which had been deeply politicized by all the events the 40s and 50s afforded them in the region. Here, in the opposite photo, Nehru is seen walking to Assembly Hall, on his way to give his speech, accompanied by AUB President Leonard, and his wife.

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Balfour Declaration Day observed by AUB on Bliss Street, 1968

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

The day of the Balfour Declaration is considered by many the beginning of the open and active period of Zionist efforts to colonize Palestine. Here, in the photo taken opposite Main gate on Bliss Street, AUB students observe the Balfour Declaration Day by collecting funds in aid of the Palestinian refugees, and distributing information kits about the Palestinian Predicament.

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The New Main Gate Stairs

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection


During the 1960s the Main Gate underwent renovation and the ramp was replaced by stairs. Stairs were suggested since cars had been banned to enter through Main Gate, and a solution for crowded vehicle traffic was being sought. "A new plaza with fountains, no cars, sidewalks and stairs will be the future scene inside the Main gate...." "These major alterations are being planned and carried out by the Special Construction Office of the School of Engineering due to the problem of congested pedestrian and vehicular traffic."

"Freed from vehicles the area between West hall and Chapel will be leveled down to a horizontal plaza which will be landscaped and decorated by fountains and gardens. Substitute planting will compensate for the trees cut down during the execution of the project. "By judicious planning” professor Manassah said the harm to the trees will be kept to a minimum"

 Outlook v. 17, no. 7, November 21, 1959, p:15





The Centennial Celebration of AUB's founding kicked off with the annual Convocation Ceremony; the University organized a series of lectures, symposia, congresses, exhibits and other cultural events to celebrate AUB's 100th anniversary, many of which took place in front of the Main Gate, in the plaza facing College Hall.


Main Gate and Assembly Hall, ca. 1902

Archives and Special Collections, AUB LIbraries, photo Collection