AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

AUB and Social Service!


A talk delivered by Zurayk at AUB, entitled: “Mission of History Teacher in the Arabic World”, December 17, 1942.

Constantine Zurayk Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

Civic Welfare Work Relief

Despite having it established in 1926 the  Civic Welfare Service  and as the situation in Lebanon became drastic AUB administration found itself confronting a huge social and medical obligation. AUB Community Welfare was reorganized and revamped and enormous efforts were applied to organize it members on several fronts:

This winter the suffering in Beirut from unemployment and high -prices is expected to become very acute. There will be many poor people with families without food begging for work, or help, from door to door. Our individual resources to help are limited, but collectively we can do something to investigate the neediest cases and find, or create employment as the healthiest form of relief. For this purpose the Uni­versity welfare Committee (succeeding the Civic Welfare League during wartime) is exploring the following unemployment relief projects. Some examples under development are:

a) Unskilled labor to work on a public playground and two University sport fields

b) Women to wash, spin and knit wool for garments, blankets or rugs

c) Men and boys to raise garden produce for their hungry families on unused University land and any other plots that may be offered

d) Distributing pairs of rabbits to be raised at home for food

e) Hiring unemployed teachers among the Alaxandretta refugees to gather unschooled children into schools of various sects

f) Other schemes which are being explored

Sundry Reports and Minutes, 1919-1947, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB



Anatomy Room, ca. 1930s

Tamir Nassar albums, e-historical Collection, Saab Medical Library, AUB

Medical Relief Work

The Welfare Medical Subcommittee under Dr. Berberian's direction has enlisted medical students and doctors to volunteer their services and is well under way towards their goal this year of giving some twenty thousand typhoid inoculations to Arab and Armenian refugees and poor school children in the city. They are also starting a campaign against eye diseases, following the successful experience of the Palestine government, in getting school teachers to administer eye drops every morning before admitting pupils to the class­room, as prescribed by the doctors examinations of all the children. Under Miss Cardwells supervision, a small fund for medicines for the most helpless of the out-patients is needed, where investigation proves the cases to be destitute and too sick to be referred to the work relief projects.

Sundry Reports and Minutes, 1919-1947, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

لجنة اليتيم العربي في جامعة بيروت الأميركية.jpg

لجنة اليتيم العربي في جامعة بيروت الأميركية

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB


Orphans and refugees

 During the troubles in Palestine some ten thousand children became orphans. The A.U.B. adopted two of them to be educated until they became self-supporting apprentices. The Orphans and Refugees Subcommittee with Mr. Mirhij in charge is eagerly hoping that-the res­ponse of the students and community will be generous enough to continue this support

Sundry Reports and Minutes, 1919-1947, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

لجنة الاسعاف العام في الجامعة الاميركية، آذار 1942.jpg

لجنة الاسعاف العام في الجامعة الاميركية، آذار 1942

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

City and Village welfare

 In addition to these three Relief Subcommittees, the City Welfare and Village "Welfare work continues. The students who volunteer for City Welfare work under Miss Jurdaks leadership are conducting the Night School for working boys at our Community Center below the Elementary School playground with its classes, reading and games rooms, playground activities, and center for the Y.W.C.A. Mother's Club" and other civic enterprises. Because of the war the six village welfare camps, projected for last summer near Aleppo, Berj Safita, Damascus, and in the Bukaa, Transjordan and Palestine were all cancelled, and the possi­bility of camps to .guide students to use their vacations in constructive; national service next summer is uncertain, Nevertheless some students took Shahla primers for adults with them and ran informal daily vacation schools in at least a dozen communities. The first rural Coopera­tive Society in this country founded by the A.U.B., at Abadiah, has flourished splendidly and is asking us to organize every month an edu­cational evening with talks on health "and some other village problems. Arbor Day calls for students to cooperate in tree planting. Study groups and. talks to make citizens more intelligent on rural problems are being planned, by Mrs. Zurayk, who heads the Village Welfare Service sub-committee.

Sundry Reports and Minutes, 1919-1947, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

Ph_AUB_1931-1940_1-53i - Copy.jpg

AUB Laboratory, ca. 1931

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

AUB and "Social Medicine"

In the Near East Association Report of 1940-41, the following article, entitled "Social Medicine int he Near East" stated the following:

"The Near East Foundation and the American University of Beirut are conducting a joint health center in a peasant village of Lebanon. The University also supports a model health center at Beirut, to teach mothers how to care for their children and avoid disease. Some years ago, a graduate of the medical school at Beirut arranged to give professional care to a group of villages in North Lebanon. Each family paid a small fee, in return for which he gave the women instruction in preventive medicine and cared for any patients who were ill. Recently another graduate has started a similar experiment in Beirut. He signs a medical insurance contract with anybody who wishes to employ his services.


Spears Mobile Clinics Map-S28C-115061907490.jpg

Spears Mobile Clinics Map

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

The Spears Mobile Clinics

World War II thrust AUB again into the domain of relief work. By 1941, the AUB campus has become a refuge for Free French and British troops. The AUB medical staff provided anti-malarial training to the foreign forces, and supported the work of the Red Cross and the Spears Medical Clinics. The latter were set up by Lady Spears and eventually became a permanent clinic in Chtaura headed by a pediatrician from AUB, with childhood immunization programs run by AUB graduate doctors. The AUB pharmacy and laboratories provided technical back-up to this outreach work."

Beyond the Walls: The American University of Beirut Engaged its Communities. Cynthia Myntti, Rami Zurayk & Mounir Mabsout: p 13-14