in the News – June 2005 A FairuzOnline.com Exclusive!!
Beirut, Lebanon – For the first time ever, an honorary doctorate
degree was bestowed to honor the voice and contributions of a singer.
On June 25, 2005 the American University of Beirut awarded honorary
doctoral degrees to five prominent men and women from the Middle
East, including Fairuz, whose angelic voice has united a people
despite war, strife, and artificial borders.
In the crowded Assembly Hall, dignitaries, journalists, university
personnel, and fans gathered to witness the honorary graduation
ceremony. The applause grew loudest as Fairuz and the other honorees
walked the red carpet to the stage, while many in attendance chanted
“Fairuz, Fairuz!”. AUB President, Mr. John Waterbury,
introduced the honorees in order of the Latin alphabet noting all
of their distinguished accomplishments: “AUB stands for, indeed
strives to enshrine, the values and virtues of integrity and honesty
in all undertakings, recognition and rewards based on performance
and conduct and nothing else, critical thinking and a questioning
attitude, academic freedom, and education that respects the extraordinary
legacy of human creativity. In awarding honorary doctorates, the
AUB seeks individuals who embody those values and who have achieved
international status and recognition because of them. The five individuals
we honor today do more than exemplify these values; they have lived
them throughout their professional lives. AUB is proud to grant
them its Doctorate in Humane Letters.”
Mr. Waterbury introduced Fairuz in a speech including a history
of the singer, and concluded with: “Ya Fairuz, hibbaynaki
fi saif, hibbaynaki fi shiti. Rah nhabbik da’iman.”
In accepting her honorary degree, Fairuz chose a prepared statement
delivered by Business School Dean George Najjar:
"We meet today to honor singing. Singing is the language of
praying, adoration and love, the melody of togetherness and call
of the right. I am honored that singing is celebrated in my person.
I take this honor as being addressed to the cultures I celebrated,
to the Lebanese and Arab public that surrounded me with their love.
And I consider this degree equally addressed to the one who taught
me and escorted me in my journey."
The American University of Beirut (AUB) has been awarding honorary
degrees since 1890. Among the recipients of these degrees are: Founder
Daniel Bliss, United Nations negotiator Lakhdar al-Ibrahimi, businessman
Carlos Ghosn, novelist Amin Maalouf, professor Edward Said, journalists
Helen Thomas and Peter Jennings, cellist YoYo Ma and mathematician
Click here to read John Waterbury’s full
speech on Fairuz.
tuned to FairuzOnline.com
for the latest news, updates, concert dates, and more.