"From Daniel to John"


AUB: In 1866, a man named Daniel Bliss and a group of men and women established a college in Beirut, then a part of Ottoman ruled Syria. He was an American Protestant missionary from New England. He named it "The Syrian Protestant College". Today that college is The American University of Beirut (AUB).

This film was made in 2003 by Carol Mansour, and was shown for the first time in March 2003 on the campus of the American University of Beirut at a vigil for peace staged on the very eve of the invasion of Iraq. That it was shown in that place at that time for that purpose brought immediacy and relevance to its messages. The Film, however, was originally conceived as a tribute to the students and doctors of AUB who had founded a clinic, The Volunteer Outreach clinic (VOC), in the refugee camp known as Shatila on the outskirts of Beirut. The clinic provided primary physical assessment, free medications and laboratory tests and partial refunding for some diagnostic procedures, as well as fully refunded referrals to the Out Patient Department at The American University of Beirut Medical Center. By extending all that AUB medicine has to offer to those whom the world has forgotten, VOC fulfilled the mission AUB: That they may have life, and have it more abundantly.

The BELL: On March 13, 1874, Daniel Bliss, the Founder, wrote in his memoirs, “We accomplished the risky task of hoisting the bell to the College tower. The students pulled well at the rope and the faculty were summoned to join them to hear the bell rung for the first time at 5 PM.”

Since that evening, the bell sounded every hour for 117 years, until, on the eve of the 125 anniversary of the founding of AUB, the haters of prophets struck at the dream of Bliss and his friends, and brought his tower down. Twenty years before those towers were struck in New York, an American tower was brought down in Beirut. Nobody asked who did it. Nobody asked why. A janitor who was sleeping inside was killed. It was 3:15 am in Beirut. 

College Hall was rebuilt and AUB still receives men and women of all races, colors, religions, and national origins.


This film is an early Gift of John.