American University of Beirut

AUB and Ras Beirut in 150 Years of Photographs

AUB and Ras Beirut in 150 Years of Photographs book, published by AUB Press, was launched at the Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum on December 2018. This book is the documentary companion to the public exhibition "AUB and Ras Beirut in 150 Years of Photographs" that was mounted on AUB’s Bliss Street fence, from the Main Gate to the intersection at Abdul Aziz Street in May and June 2016, as part of AUB's year-long 150th-anniversary celebrations. 

This book is a great photographic documentation of the urban and social development of Ras Beirut showing the intertwined history of AUB and its neighborhood. It clearly underlines the mission and vision of the AUB Neighborhood Initiative as it reflects Ras Beirut’s livability, vitality, and diversity throughout the past 150 years, values that we aim to celebrate, preserve and promote through interdisciplinary research, advocacy, and innovative outreach activities.

The book includes an introduction and separate sections on the seafront, the Manara neighborhood, Bliss Street, Hamra Street, views of AUB, and Ayn al-Mreisseh. 

Around 30 percent of the photographs came from AUB’s Jafet Library Archives and Special Collections Department. Other photos were collected from both public and private collections as well as institutional archives including the Arab Image Foundation, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.​

“This project would not have been possible if not for the selfless generosity of the many who contributed photographs and those who supported the process of transforming the 2016 exhibition into this beautiful book,” said Abunnasr. 

Copies are available through AUB Press and local libraries. 

The public photo exhibition recorded in sumptuous detail the development of the Beirut districts surrounding AUB’s campus since the university was founded 150 years ago.  The images captured the changing landscape, built environment, and personae of Ras Beirut and Ayn Mreiseh.  Many of the photographs included in the exhibition came from private collections and have never been exhibited in public; others were found in institutional photographic archives including the Arab Image Foundation, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the J.Paul Getty Museum and AUB’s own Department of Archives and Special Collections.   

Photo exhibition invitation
For more information:  Maria Bashshur Abunnasr, Project leader.

Pictures from the opening of the Photographic exhibition

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