Our Neighborhood



New faculty on a visit to a heritage house
with Dr. Mona Hallak

Ras Beirut, our neighborhood, is known for its diversity and vitality, two characteristics that the AUB Neighborhood Initiative aims to promote and protect through innovative outreach activities and interdisciplinary research.​

In Ras Beirut, contradictions reign supreme. Behind the modern luxurious towers, we can still walk in hidden alleys and discover beautiful villagelike areas with old houses and wild gardens.

Next to the security guards at the entrance of a new building, we can still find people who will invite you - even a total stranger - to join them for a cup of coffee and a game of backgammon.
The deafening noise of the electricity generators, the horrible traffic, and the eternally honking cars are offset by birdsong.

Fragrant jasmine, orange blossom and bougainvillea bloom in the scattered gardens, often belonging to heritage buildings threatened by demolition due to real estate speculation. Alongside supermarket chains, we can still find family businesses established by great grandfathers in shops that bear witness to times gone by. In Ras Beirut, we can come across unforgettable characters and unexpected stories that make our neighborhood a very special place.​

Love Thy Neighbor is a popular phrase that still reverberates in the alleyways of Ras Beirut despite its rapid urbanization and ongoing gentrification. You will always find people who will receive you with a smile and go out of their way to help you. Ahlan wa sahlan!

In January 2018, AUB became a tobacco-free campus. Green was the color of the campaign and thus the green color of our booklet. Cigarette recycling bins were installed near all campus gates to help keep our sidewalks clean, contribute to the recycling of waste in the city, and help protect the environment from the toxic chemicals in the cigarette butts that sadly end up in our sea.

The list in this booklet, with the online map, is our way to help you navigate the neighborhood, get to know its hidden gems, and discover its beautiful heritage.​

Mona El Hallak, Director of the AUB Neighborhood Initiative

Updated August 2018

Cl​ick here for the full list and her​e​​ ​for the map.​