About Us

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MIssion and Vision

​​Mission

The University for Seniors provides adults (aged 50 and above) with educational and cultural opportunities in a sociable environment.  The program offers a variety of activities: study groups, lectures, cultural travel programs, and intergenerational activities with AUB students.

Vision

​​The University for Seniors at the American University of Beirut (AUB) is a pioneering program with and for adults(aged 50 and above).  It aims to create a new and positive face of aging in Beirut, Lebanon and the Middle East Region: one where adults (aged 50 and above) remain intellectually and socially engaged, energized to learn new things, and active contributors to their communities.​


Meet our team


Maya Abi Chahine 
Program Manager

"When I decided to join the University for Seniors I was attracted by its vision, one-of-its-kind in Lebanon and the region. Now, what strikes me the most is seeing how much this program is adding to the lives of the members, whether attending the offerings, giving lectures or being part of a committee. The seniors' testimonies and their pictures on this webpage will give you a feel of the program but you will only be able to experience its uniqueness when you join!"



Amani Zaidan
Program Coordinator​

"I first joined the University for Seniors at its early stages, where we were still discussing the feasibility of establishing a program of such spirit at AUB. The idea was amazing for me in the sense that any person, above 50, can join; anyone can lead a study group and members participate in running the program. While celebrating the treasures of their long experience, the seniors are enjoying the new technologies in an interactive sociable environment; the program has indeed positively touched and changed the lives of so many."

Message from the Founders

​​Learning for the pleasure of learning.  Isn’t it a wonderful thought to reach a stage in life where it is possible to choose to learn only for the pleasure of learning?  This is the spirit behind the University for Seniors. 
Several years ago we began to explore the idea of creating a program at AUB for older adults that would address their aspiration to stay intellectually and socially engaged. We thought of a program that would encourage everyone to share what they know and to learn new things. You may have heard of similar programs in other countries:  Universities of the Third Age, Institutes for Learning in Retirement, Elder Colleges. We studied this experience carefully, we visited similar programs in the US and tested the waters here in Beirut with group discussions and a survey of AUB alumni.  We became convinced that the idea would be warmly received here, and the University for Seniors (UfS) was born. We launched our first experimental activities in Spring 2010, and the rest, you can say, is history!

Welcome to the UfS website where you can learn more about past and planned activities.  If you are over 50 years of age, we hope you will consider joining this unique and pioneering program. Please don’t hesitate to write to us if you have questions or suggestions: ufs@aub.edu.lb

Sincerely,
Abla Sibai and Cynthia Myntti

Abla Sibai
Professor and Chair
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health
Faculty of Health Sciences 
American University of Beirut
Cynthia Myntti 
Professor of Public Health Practice
Project Leader, the Neighborhood Initiative 
Office of the President
American University of Beirut

Principles

​​​​​The uniqueness of AUB’s University for Seniors lies in its three guiding principles:

  • Peer-learning: participants share what they know and learn from each other. There are no paid teachers.  Seniors with a passion and expertise for a certain subject volunteer to facilitate a study group or give a lecture
  • Community-building:  The UfS adopts a membership concept whereby one joins a term rather than enrolls in a specific course. This reinforces the idea that one is part of the community of the University for Seniors. Social events are also organized during the terms to strengthen this principle 
  • Intergenerational connections:  Seniors are connected to the regular AUB student body. These intergenerational connections are created through multiple academic and extra-curricular activities on and off campus.