AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

Evelyne Bustros Collection (1878 - 2012)

This Evelyne Bustrus collection (approximately 2.4 linear feet of archival material) includes some of Mrs.  Bustros' correspondence, photographs, press clippings, ledger accounting books, some published material, as well as other ephemera (posters, restaurant menus signed by various notable political figures of Mandate Lebanon, etc.). Many of the documents give a glimpse onto the life and activities of a feminist from an upper bourgeois background, as well as onto the lifestyle of the notable Bustros family during the formation of the Lebanese state; some documents highlight the political scene and women’s activism during Mandate Lebanon. The collection, which was donated to the AUB Archives in February 2014 by the Bustros family, is a treasure trove for scholars interested in the history of Modern Lebanon, its economic and social history, as well as in women and gender studies.

 Mrs. Evelyne Bustros was born in Beirut in 1878 to Gerios Tueni and Katbé Sursock. She studied at the prestigious Collège Notre Dame de Nazareth Achrafiyeh school and attended some painting classes in Paris in 1899, where she also attended the Exposition Universelle held in the French capital. In 1904, she married Gabriel Bustros and moved to Egypt during WWI. Between 1919 and 1930, Mrs. Bustros lived in Paris and only visited Lebanon for summer vacations in the mountains. During this period, she published «La main d'Allah» by Bossard (Paris 1926) and «Fredons» (Beirut 1929) in which she stressed inter-religious dialogue and Islamic-Christian rapprochement. In 1930, Mrs. Bustrus moved back to Lebanon where she launched in 1931 a number of socio-cultural initiatives, including the establishment of «Syriban» and the organization of the first «Salon de Peinture Libanaise». She was elected president and founding member of several societies including «Women Renaissance» Association, 1934; "Société des Gens de Lettres" (Literature People Society); the Lebanese Pen Club, 1945; and the «Lebanese Arab Women Union», 1942-1945. She was granted the Lebanese gold medal of Merit in 1971, and a public garden in Ramlet el Baida was named after her.