The new Hayat Salam-Liebich student lounge in the Irany Oxy engineering complex (IOEC) was inaugurated in an official ceremony attended by President Fadlo R. Khouri, Interim Dean Alan Shihadeh, ScD, Salam-Liebich’s husband and donor Andre Liebich, PhD, Mrs. Lama Salam, wife of HE Prime Minister Tamam Salam, and Salam-Liebich’s friends and colleagues. The ceremony was held in the new lounge in IOEC on Thursday, September 8, at 11 am. The lounge was made available through the generous donations of Andre Liebich, in the memory of his late wife Hayat.
The generous donations of Liebich have also contributed to the establishment of the Hayat Salam-Liebich Travel Award in Islamic Architecture. This unique award will provide Islamic Architecture students at AUB the opportunity to conduct their research abroad.
Dr Shihadeh extended a warm welcome to the attendees on this special occasion, all while thanking Liebich for his generous donation. In his speech, Dr. Shihadeh celebrated the life of Salam-Liebich as an excellent educator and scholar.
”It is not often that we have the opportunity to name a space or a program to honor a fellow academic,” said Shihadeh,“Thus this is a particularly special occasion for those of us who have dedicated our lives to the work of learning.”.
President Khuri celebrated the connection Salam-Liebich shared with AUB:“I am inspired by the fact that this is a generational connection, I think Hayat grew up as a child of AUB but always came back and got Andre attached to it,” he said.
Salam-Liebich wrote the famous book “The Architecture of the Mameluke City of Tripoli,” in which she sheds light on the Mamluk history in the city by thoroughly analyzing the architecture of what remains of the buildings.
Dr. Khuri took the opportunity to highlight the Tripolitan heritage that, in his view, “has been badly underrepresented on campus.” Liebich in his turn highlighted the affection and attachment Ms. Salam-Liebich had to AUB, among all the other institutions where she studied and worked. “AUB was also a personal love for Hayat,” said Liebich, “Every time we came to Beirut she was keen to take a walk on the AUB campus, declaring that is the most beautiful place in Beirut,” he added.
The lounge is not the first of Salam-Liebich’s undertakings to AUB: Salam-Liebich initiated the successful bench campaign, and was a member of the President’s Club. She obtained a BA in Sociology at AUB in 1963 and completed the requirements for an MA in Art Education also at the AUB.
According to her husband, Salam-Liebich cheered the fact that AUB has maintained its level of education and its non-sectarian status throughout the hardships faced by Lebanon and the region. If she was to address students at AUB at the moment, she would invite them “to cherish the jewel that AUB is in a very turbulent Middle East.”