Nawal Mekdashi Naamani, a beloved member of the AUB Libraries’ family for 43 years, passed away on November 30th, 2014 in Beirut. She was 70 years old. Nawal joined the AUB University Libraries as a bibliographer in 1965 and went on to serve in a variety of capacities at various Library departments including Serials, Reference Services, Circulation, as well as in the Engineering and Architecture Library. Ms. Naamani was appointed as Head of Circulation Department in 1979. During her time at the AUB Libraries, Nawal trained, supervised and inspired many staff members and student assistants. Ms. Naamani retired in July 2008. Ever since her retirement, she has been missed by staff members and grateful patrons and researchers who GOT used to her friendly presence, and who often described her as a “miracle-worker” and as an “inimitable librarian”.
Nawal graduated from the Beirut College for Women (now Lebanese American University) in 1965, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Teaching Diploma. She later pursued a Master’s degree in Library Science from the London University School of Librarianship and Archives in 1970.
“I was very lucky to have had her as a supervisor and mentor for eight years as a student assistant in Jafet Library. She was a true inspiration. She made me love this profession and played a big role in encouraging me to go to the U.S. and pursue my studies in Library Science. I learned a lot from her. She was such a devoted member of the University Libraries. She will be missed dearly.” said Dr. Lokman Meho, University Librarian.
The staff at the University Libraries expressed great grief when they learned about her passing away, remembering the passion she had for her work. Many recalled how she used to always be the first to come and the last to leave the office; how she would call her staff in the weekends to check on them; how she would never shy away from doing the work herself, be it boosting a staff member’s morale, or pushing a trolley full of books, or shelving a big pile of books. She, along with several UL staff members, held on to the AUB Libraries during the Lebanese civil war and survived the College Hall Explosion. She was there to bring Jafet back up on its feet, even if it meant she needed to sweep away the dust and stay at the office for long hours. The phrase “she was a very sweet lady” came up whenever a staff member was informed about her passing away.
Nawal Mekdashi Naamani was married to Nabil Naamani and is survived by her husband and two daughters, Engineer Nada Naamani and Dr. Nadine Naamani Maarouf, as well as by her two granddaughters.
May her soul rest in peace . . .