American University of Beirut

About Us


    MIssion and Vision


    The University for Seniors aims to be a late life learning program providing older adults with the space that offers intellectually enriching experiences and promotes mental and physical well-being and social inclusion. Our activities are designed through a holistic approach attentive to physical, mental and social wellbeing.


    ​​The University for Seniors at the American University of Beirut (AUB) ​aspires to be a flagship for promoting healthy ageing, advocating for the rights of older persons and portraying a positive image of ageing. 


    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 joined the University for Seniors back in 2009, where with the co-founders of the UfS conducted the feasibility study of establishing a program of such spirit at AUB. The concept was intriguing in the sense that any person, above 50, can join; anyone can lead a study group and members participate in running the program. Today, while celebrating the treasures of their long experience, UfS members are learning in an interactive and sociable environment while also engaging in research and policy writing initiatives. The program has indeed positively touched and changed the lives of so many."

    Yara Yazbek
    Program Assistant​​

    "During the last year of my undergraduate studies, I was invited to one of the events the University for Seniors was hosting. Not only was I amazed by the interactive spirit and positive vibes that was widespread among the members and the team, but I was also drawn to the sense of belonging and kindness. As a psychology graduate, I like to take a closer look at mental health. At the University for Seniors, I am glad that mental health is being talked about and supported. It provides us and the members a chance to pay attention to our mental health and care for one another! "

    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:

    Abla Sibai and Cynthia Myntti

    Abla Sibai
    UfS co-Founder
    Department of Epidemiology and Population Health
    Faculty of Health Sciences 
    American University of Beirut
    Cynthia Myntti 
    UfS co-Founder
    Professor of Public Health Practice
    Founding Director, the Neighborhood Initiative 
    Office of the President
    American University of Beirut


    ​​​​​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.

    Contact Us

    For various questions, please try contacting us via social media first!
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    Copyright and Disclaimer

    Written permission is needed to copy or disseminate all or part of the materials on the AUB website.
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    Title IX, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Discriminatory Harassment

    AUB is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment to all members of its community.
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