American Univesity of Beirut

University Library Staff Member Bassem Fleifel Completes PhD

​​​​ The University Libraries would like to congratulate Mr. Bassem Fleifel, Collection Development Assistant, on his accomplishment in completing his PhD in History. 

Fleifel’s dissertation is about “the role of the Ottoman Empire in protecting the Lebanese Eyalets and provinces 1516 – 1840” (“Eyalets” was replaced by “states” in the official English title of the dissertation). He not only chose this field because of his love for History, and namely Islamic history in the Ottoman era, but also because he believes that the Ottoman era was the subject of many false accusations since the rise of modern Arab countries, and he therefore wanted to have a part in “correcting” its image.  

When asked about his topic, Fleilfel said, “We as Lebanese- and Arabs- are still living the consequences of the fall of the Ottoman Empire to this day. It is important for us to understand that long time-period with all its pivotal events, to know how we came to be what we are now, and to use this information to build ourselves a better future. And most importantly, to reconcile ourselves.” 

The complete program was completed at the Beirut Arab University over the course of 3 years, including a few courses for a year and then 2 years of research and then authoring the dissertation. 

Fleifel found the sources and references needed for his dissertation at Jafet Library, some of which were Ottoman documents, proving to be very useful and sufficient to support his analysis. 

Talking about his decision to pursue this degree, Fleifel says “My love for Ottoman history and my desire to be among the researchers who unveil new information about our past, and the need to give this part of our history the justice it deserves, all this motivated me to pursue this degree.” 

The dissertation as a whole was a challenging task, as per Fleifel, who said that through this publication, he was ”giving [his] opinion according to [his] analysis and to facts and information which [he] gathered himself, which made [him] feel that the work should be as accurate as possible.” Adding, “There was no room for mistakes” and that throughout the process, he was working on research quality that should be worthy of reading by other researchers, some of which are experienced in the field. 

Congratulations from the entire Library team, Bassem!

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