AUB Libraries Online Exhibits


Lebanese Flag Day 1980.jpg

Lebanese Flag Day, 1980

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

During the 80s, the heavy toll of the war was clearly felt. People talked about two Beiruts: East and West Beirut, of two Lebanese countries divided along sectarian lines, of two identities: Arab and Phoenician, and of two flags… Here, displayed opposite Main Gate, is a banner, urging not to divide Lebanon: "On Flag Day, do not allow the Lebanese Flag to become two" it smartly states. Under this banner, facing Main Gate, AUB Students gathered on the occasion of the National Day of the Flag, and upon an invite from the Lebanese Minister of Education, held Lebanese flags and sung the Lebanese National Anthem, affirming the unity of their beloved country.

American University of Beirut. (1980). AUBulletin, v.21, no. 5, Dec. 8, 1980. Beirut: American University of Beirut.

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Portrait of Malcolm Kerr, 1972

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

Malcolm Kerr was appointed President of AUB in March 1982. Though the term was to take effect as of the first of July, President Kerr was unable to assume his duties in Beirut due to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, so he worked from the New York Office. He eventually arrived in Beirut in September. For the following year and a half Kerr worked diligently at his office in College Hall. He was murdered on January 18, 1984, close to his office.

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Main Gate closed after the assassination of President Malcolm Kerr, 1984

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Campus 1984

 A sign on the Main Gate mourns President Kerr's death, 1984.



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Campus under shells: students, faculty and staff running for shelter, 1989

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

The campus, like most of Beirut, got its share of shells and bombs: here, in 1989, some students and Faculty are seen running for shelter opposite the Main Gate.


Bliss Street, 1980s

Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries, Photo Collection

Across the Main Gate, changes were happening, too. Instead of the famous Faysal restaurant, which was the intellectual incubator of many Arab thoughts, movements and revolts throughout the Arab world, and not only Lebanon, chain restaurants and pizzerias were opening. The beginnings of Globalization, and unleashed global capitalism were starting to be felt across the Main Gate, too. Faysal closed its doors in 1984.