Welcome to the website of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut where you will find the information you need whether you are considering a career in public health or health sciences or simply interested in learning more about our programs, research, and outreach activities.
In its global report in 2006 on Human Resources for Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of deficiencies in the number and quality of health professionals in the developing world and of the brain drain from developing countries to the industrialized, economically more developed world. The report also noted the migration of health professionals from rural to urban areas and in the Arab region to the rich oil-producing countries.
Access to health services and education has improved in our region and many Arab countries have recently reported acceptable to good health indicators. Nonetheless, this region suffers from multiple divides: the rich and the poor divide (the haves and have-nots) within and among Arab countries, the social and cultural divide, and the political divide. Our region also suffers from more than its fair share of war, conflict, and instability. We are therefore in real need of well-trained professionals in public health and would greatly benefit from the production and dissemination of new knowledge and scientific evidence to guide policy decisions on healthcare issues.
FHS, established in 1954 as the first school of public health in the Arab world, is committed to excellence in instruction and research and to an active outreach and practice program. Our Graduate Public Health Program (master of public health and master of science in epidemiology, population health, and environmental health) is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in the United States.
Our research activities, which cover a wide range of current health issues in Lebanon and the region, are mostly community-based and participatory ensuring a close connection between the production of knowledge and intervention and policy change. Our students, working alongside their professors, are actively involved in faculty-wide or student-initiated community-based projects on a voluntary basis or as part of their practical training and course projects.
Our faculty believes that the key to greater success and continuous growth and long-term impact is not to compartmentalize our programs into the three primary functions of instruction, research, and outreach/practice but rather to look at it as a whole, as a unified living organism. I like to think of this faculty as a tree. Trees are living organisms. When we talk about them, we consider fertile soils, irrigation, and nutrients. We think of seeds as they grow and blossom into leaves, and fruits. This requires care, cooperation, and cultivation, and is affected by external elements. Visualizing our faculty this way forces us to do away with the artificial division between instruction, research, and outreach. The seed is our commitment to health as a basic human right and our understanding of our role as educators and researchers in health; the soil is that healthy space and environment that allows this seed to grow and produce fruits, which are our students, graduates, and research output. The tree is the result. But the tree is only useful for those surrounding it if they can share its fruit and enjoy its shade. I believe this to be the “passion and spirit” of FHS.
Iman Nuwayhid, MD, DrPH
Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, AUB