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American University of Beirut closing due to riots

MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
I'm trying not to freak out. The riots in Lebanon have been going on for a few days now. AUB has been closed for three school days. My son is supposed to graduate in December. He's taking four classes, all of which are electives. Not sure that anyone can give me any advice, but I thought I would share here! I'm going to call the NYC office of AUB tomorrow and see what they say (I'm expecting, "We are monitoring the situation and will keep you posted...").
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Replies to: American University of Beirut closing due to riots

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78559 replies695 threads Senior Member
  • SJ2727SJ2727 1951 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Ugh, I’m so sorry @MaineLonghorn . Hope it gets resolved soon. Probably little consolation but I have experience elsewhere of universities being closed due to protest action/riots, if it’s just a few days or so it’s usually quite easy for them to make up the work. Hopefully it turns out like this for your son and more importantly, I hope he stays safe.
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  • happy1happy1 22948 replies2261 threads Senior Member
    I'm so sorry to hear this. Keep us posted.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34480 replies382 threads Senior Member
    My understanding is that alll schools were ordered closed. It may be a precaution, but could also be a political maneuver.

    I think you can ask the US office how close to present protests the U actually is. We had a situation where news was tough, but the particular U was away from the hot spots and somewhat isolated. Best to you. And your son.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    We visited Beirut summer before last, so I have a pretty good idea of where the protests are - not far from the University.

    My son has relocated to Damour, a town about 15 miles from Beirut. It's the location of the refugee camp that he works in several days a week. He can stay with a friend who is a full time aid worker. He said he's safe. He's withdrawn a lot of cash and bought a bunch of food. He's more worried about the refugees and friends than himself. He's getting donations from American friends and church members to purchase food to give away if things get worse.

    He has written the registrar's office to see what they say about his graduating if the situation doesn't improve. He's taking only four classes, and they are all electives. He finished all the requirements in his major.

    I think the tough thing for me is that he's stayed pretty calm through power outages, lack of water for months (they had to pay a private company to deliver water to their apartment), no garbage pickup, problems with visa extensions, etc., etc. but now he says he's feeling overwhelmed. :( He said he's watching scenes of people burning American flags less than a mile from campus.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75183 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    @MaineLonghorn thinking of you and your son. This will get resolved one way or another.

    In 1970, every single public university in Ohio closed after the Kent State shootings. The students were awarded course credit for courses they were taking. Campuses closed at the beginning of May, about three weeks before the term ended. No finals, no papers due...nothing after the schools closed.

    One would think now that there is at least the potential to complete these courses somehow online. That sure wasn’t the case in 1970.



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  • jym626jym626 55801 replies2904 threads Senior Member
    I was also thinking finishing online might be an option if things dont quiet down and the school remains closed for a while. Hoping things calm down and everyone is safe!
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    Thanks, everyone. People have been so supportive!
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  • mom2andmom2and 2911 replies19 threads Senior Member
    So sorry MLH! I hope the situation improves and he is able to finish.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7584 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Yikes! Praying that your son stays safe.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21395 replies223 threads Senior Member
    "He said he's watching scenes of people burning American flags less than a mile from campus."

    Maybe he should come home until things get resolved.
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  • mathmommathmom 32457 replies159 threads Senior Member
    So sorry MLH! It sounds like the government is now trying to make concessions. I trust the university will figure out a way to make sure he gets a degree.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    We're in contact with the NYC office now and they are putting us in touch with the Dean of Student Life and the director of the Office of International Programs. Our son said he would be more comfortable living on campus, because it is in a safer location. So one option is for him to stay in a dorm. Another option is for him to get a flight to Cyprus and stay there for a short time. AUB said they will work with him, whatever they need to do so that he's comfortable.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    School is reopening on Wednesday. The announcement said the university will work with students who don't feel safe making it to campus. I told our son I will advocate aggressively for him - I've gotten good at that due to our ill son!
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  • momocarlymomocarly 911 replies11 threads Member
    @MaineLonghorn So sorry this is going on. We lived in Beruit in 1967 and again in 1974 - 75. At the latter time I had good friends going to AUB. They worked hard with them and other students to finish up their degrees and even got agreements with US colleges to help get it all done. Hopefully they are still as proactive as they were then. Good luck to you and your son.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    @momocarly, wow, thanks for that info! I think they will be helpful - the woman in New York City said they will be.
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  • happy1happy1 22948 replies2261 threads Senior Member
    edited October 21
    I can't provide any help but want to send all good wishes that things will work out for your son to finish school in an environment he feels safe in. Hopefully the university will keep true to its word and provide any necessary help and accommodations during this difficult time. It is a difficult situation and your son is fortunate to have you as a US based advocate.
    edited October 21
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38752 replies2126 threads Super Moderator
    edited October 21
    The Dean of Student Life just responded, after hours (Beirut is 7 hours of EDT). He told DS not to worry, that they will help. He copied the woman who takes care of housing on the email.
    edited October 21
    Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21395 replies223 threads Senior Member
    Glad the university is being so responsive and helpful. I'm sure that brings some relief.
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