I don’t often have to defend AUB as an institution as its reputation and history speaks for itself. However, i often have to defend the honor – my honor as a an AUBite, from remarks, smirks or right out insults. For those who don’t often mingle with the locals, here is what people really think you are like; spoiled, elitists, incredibly rich snobs that have nothing to do with reality. I won’t lie, some if it is actually true; we are not in touch with reality. Even within AUB, our fixations – i am sorry to say – are trivial. I don’t mean to judge but i am stating the reality, as individuals we are active in the community but as a whole we have boiled down to very little; parties, some trips, bake sales, parties, Outdoors, bit of tree planting and some more partying.
Back in the hay days, AUB students were active not only locally but regionally and internationally. As a Sudanese, i am proud to say that the first president of Sudan post independence, Ismail Al-Azahri, was an AUB graduate (1930). AUB was a haven were students studied and talked about revolutionary ideas, breaking norms, bringing developments but most important these students fought as a whole in what they believed in. The spirit of AUB was rooted in them and the legacy of the university they came to fulfil proudly.
So, answer me this; why are we so dead? why aren’t we moved by what is happening in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries in the region? Why are we not actively giving back to our respective communities? Being active does not mean being politicized but it means trying to bring [much needed] change in whatever way you can. We have the institutions, facilities, money and time but not the heart nor the commitment?
This is a rant but is it not a personal attack on anyone but simply a call for AUBites to really step up and stop complaining. We have it good, let us try to do with what we have and give back to our respective communities, especially during these dire times.
Out of all of the years in AUB, i am excited about Speakers Corner simple because the motto appeals to me, “You do not have the right to remain silent”. Take a seat, say something, protest about what others saying, boycott the whole even but be productive.
I am ending this post with a simple word, “Engage”.