American University of Beirut



The Program aims to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Zaki Nassif and seeks to foster excellence in the teaching of music by contributing to its advancement through a variety of activities that include:

  • Organizing competitions, concerts, conferences, and seminars.
  • Inviting professional performers and scholars to present their work at the University.
  • Awarding fellowships, scholarships and prizes to students in Zaki Nassif 's name to contribute in promoting musical excellence in performance and research.
  • Recruiting scholars and new faculty members in order to initiate new courses and new graduate programs in Lebanese and Oriental Music at AUB's department of Fine Arts and Arts History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
  • Instating music education at AUB. ​


One of the first achievements of the Program has been completed on January 10th 2008, through the transfer of the composer archives to AUB Jafet Library . Such significant milestone has been reached through cooperation between the Program, the Nassif Family, the Presidents Office, AUB Office of Development and Jafet Library. The hard work and dedication of Miss Gisele Hebbo, Masters in Musicology, has also been capital. These combined efforts have resulted in the signature of a deed of gift document by which the Family grants, assigns and transfers to AUB for the purpose of the Program all legal title and intellectual property rights.

Projects under way

  • Publication of scholarly editions of Zaki Nassifs extant contributions to the music of the Middle East that will include scores, song texts, recordings, and his writing and correspondence.
  • Cataloguing the archival material at AUB according to international library standards.
  • Transfer, documentation, and conservation of the aforementioned materials into electronic form.
  • Establishment of a framework for the legal protection of the composers rights as transferred to the American University of Beirut. 

Actions being planned

Eleven years after Zakis passing, active plans are under way to revive degree-granting Programs in the department of FAAH. The scope of these Programs will be new in Lebanon and Middle East with a main objective of initiating new graduate Programs and activate Research in the field of Lebanese-Oriental Music. Within a period of two years starting from January 1 2009, a Graduate and Research Center in Musicology should emerge at AUB. For that purpose, recruitment of scholars and artists who will be able to teach courses, carry out research and put together Curricula and Research Programs intended to bring out new generations of Musicians and Musicologists versed in Excellence in creation and performance of Lebanese Oriental Music in particular and Middle Eastern Music in general.

The Academic Committee

Program Governance

The Program is placed in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is managed by an academic committee whose members are AUB Faculty appointed by the Dean of the Faculty.

Current membership

Maher Jarrar (CVSP) 
Wadi Jureidini (CMPS)
David Kurani (Fine Arts Arts History)   
Paul Meers (Fine Arts and Arts History)            
Nabil Nassif (Mathematics) , Chairperson
Ramzi Sabra (Medicine)

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