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Historian Kamal Suleiman Salibi Dies
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 23:12

Passing away of Professor Emeritus Kamal Salibi - news from American University of Beirut

It is with great sorrow that I announce the death of the Lebanese historian, and our dear colleague and teacher, Professor Kamal Suleiman Salibi. Professor Salibi passed away on Thursday September 1, 2011. He was a Professor Emeritus at the American University of Beirut; a great historian of modern Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Bible; and a man of outstanding human qualities.

Born in Beirut in 1929, Kamal Salibi attended primary and secondary schools in Bhamdoun and Brummana, obtained a BA in History from the American University of Beirut in 1949, and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in 1953. He then worked for most of his career (1953-1998) at AUB, as a highly valued member of the Department of History and Archeology. In 1999 he was appointed Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at AUB. At different times during these years he also held visiting appointments at SOAS, Harvard University, Manchester University, Oxford University, and Smith College. From 1994 to 2003, he served as the Director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) in Amman, Jordan, and in 2004 he was appointed Honorary President for Life of RIIFS.

No words can fully express what Dr. Salibi has meant to all of us who came to know him or know his work. Within his field, and across Lebanon and the region, he was a distinguished historian and prolific author. He wrote many books on the history and historiography of Lebanon, quickly gaining a reputation as the foremost historian of Lebanon. He also wrote on Arab history, and later in his career he wrote extensively on the history of the Bible. He was a courageous critical historian, always willing to question received wisdom and even to change his own views in light of his findings. To us at AUB, he was an inspiring teacher who influenced generations of students and colleagues. We will always remember him for his intellectual integrity, passion, humility, and above all for the love and care he provided to his students and friends.

Kamal is survived by his sister Saniyyah and his brother Mounir, and many nieces and nephews. We wish them all patience in this difficult time.

Professor Salibi’s family will receive condolences on Saturday, September 3 at 10 a.m., at the National Evangelical Church, Riad El-Solh. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. on the same day.

Ahmad Dallal
American University of Beirut

Professor Salibi was a friend of many Kaftounies who studied at AUB and was also a personal friend and running partner of the administrator of this website while studying at AUB from 1971 to 1975. He is a great loss to humanity and all who knew him. He will be sorely missed!

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 23:44

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