A Farewell to Hamra by R. Joseph Hoffmann

A Farewell to Hamra

Beirut 2001: The Year in Pixels

by R. Joseph Hoffmann

I am walking up the stairs of Fisk Hall to get to my office. The steps are always stuffed with students using them as bleacher seats. There is no clear passage between tightly packed bodies in springtime embraces, elbow-to-elbow cell-phone addicts, and recovering exam-takers, plonked down in exasperation until their next class begins. The old building itself is a typically noble collegiate monstrosity of the late nineteenth century, looking out on a green oval and attended by two equally venerable structures, all named after the American missionaries who founded the Syrian Protestant College—now the American University of Beirut (AUB)—in 1 . . .