American University of Beirut

Zaki Nassif and AUB

​Honoring Zaki Nassif at the American University of Beirut

Zaki Nassif was a student at AUB from 1936 to 1941. Following his passing in 2004, a group of AUB faculty members and lovers of his art, "Muhibbu Fann Zaki Nassif fi'l Jami'al-Amirikiyya," began to look for ways in which AUB could honor the memory of Zaki and keep his art alive. Since AUB is the institution that can provide the recognition he deserves, the group has been encouraged and supported by Dr. Khalil Bitar, former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at AUB from 1997 to 2009, and Dr. Walid Gholmieh, president of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, of which Zaki Nassif was a Board Member until his death. In order to Keep Zaki's music alive, an announcement was made as to the establishment of an endowed fund to support a "Zaki Nassif Music Program" at AUB.

Arabic Version

Zaki Nassif Program for Music

The Academic Committee

Program Governance

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

Current membership

​Walid Sadek (FAAH)  ​
Wadi Jureidini (CMPS)
Nabil Nassif (Mathematics), The Chairperson
​Bilal Orfali (Arabic)
​Ali Taher (Medicine)
​​Jihad Touma (Physics)   

Mission of the Program

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 musicians and academics to the University.
  • Awarding prizes, scholarships, and fellowships to students in Zaki Nassif's name.
  • Recruiting scholars and new Faculty members in order to initiate new courses and new graduate programs in Lebanese Oriental Music at the department of Fine Arts and Arts History in AUB Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
  • Reinstating Musical studies programs and Music curricula at AUB.

Achievements of the Program

One of the first achievements of the Program was completed on January 10th, 2008, through the transfer of the composer archives to AUB Jafet Library. Such a significant milestone has been reached through cooperation between the Program, the Nassif Family, the President's Office, the AUB Office of Development, and the 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 underway

  • 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.
  • Cataloging 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.

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