Opening of The Museum at Beirut Arab University

01 November 2022


Earlier today, Judge Mohammad Wissam Al-Murtada, Minister of Culture, inaugurated the opening event of The Museum at Beirut Arab University, which is officially listed in the list of national museums as per the minister’s speech. The event was held in the presence of BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi, members of the Board of Trustees, as well as a crowd of political, diplomatic and educational representatives.

The Museum contains some 200 rare books and manuscripts, and the collections entail civilizations that have existed throughout history, particularly the Pharaonic-Egyptian civilization, Assyrian civilization, Phoenician civilization, Byzantine civilization, Persian civilization, Roman civilization, Babylonian civilization, Aramaic civilization, Arab & Islamic civilization, and Ottoman civilization.

These rare collections date back to the eighth century AD until the nineteenth century, noting that the rare books and manuscripts are unique copies that are not available elsewhere.

In celebration of the opening, Minister Al-Murtada delivered a speech, highlighting the importance of the role of universities as research centres as dynamic drivers in the development and evolution of knowledge.

In his speech, Minister Al-Murtada discussed the need for an Arab Union, pointing to the importance of Arab League Summit in Algeria. He said, "As we are gathering here today at the opening of this museum at the Beirut Arab University, Arab leaders are meeting with at the Arab League summit, endorsing the mere hope of reunion. Our hope for this summit is that Arab leaders can work hard on developing synergies among one another, successfully bringing Arab countries together in union. This reunion between Arabs will prove of great interest in culture, education and university research and will vastly impact the youth of these countries.”

Minister Al-Murtada continued, “Beirut Arab University is not just a university, and its museum is not only a display of historical ornaments but also an essential reminder of how this university shapes the future of education and culture. If museums are created to honor the past, universities are created to build the future. "

Minister Al-Murtada praised in his speech Beirut Arab University, saying, “BAU is an ambassador of education and knowledge enriching brain forces in the land of Cedars all the way from the Nile River. Today, the establishment of The Museum reminds us of Egypt’s richness lying in its history and culture and spread from the Valley of the Kings to the Delta, from Alexandria to Cairo, and from Sinai to the Upper Nile.”

In his speech, Minister Al-Murtada shed light on the importance of an educational development plan, where he said, “I make use of this occasion to emphasize that some Arab countries lack educational justice, because of many circumstances. Educational justice is a term that means securing the means of knowledge, especially modern ones, for every individual in Arab terretories. This requires national action through an inclusive educational and cultural development plan, which all our states should collaborate in writing, approving, funding and implementing. Will that take place in the near future? It is worth noting that the abundance of schools, institutes and universities alone does not secure such justice, unless accompanied by developing curricula and a deep understanding of the university's role as a research centre primarily, not only as a teaching centre, as well as of the role of education in the preparation of brains not only distribution of certificates.”

Concluding his speech, Minister Al-Murtada congratulated BAU for the opening of its museum, which he described as a cultural bridge between the past and the future.

In his speech, BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi, thanked Minister Al-Murtada for supporting this initiative, highlighting the university’s cultural and pioneering role in society. He said, “For the establishment of this museum, we complied and restored scarce manuscripts and books according to special heritage standards. These manuscripts are attributed to 17 civilizations and will be displayed alternately with respective electronic copies to allow researchers and students to discover their contents."

The ceremony host, Ms. Rima Chehab, mentioned that after long anticipation and delay due to the health and economic crises in the past years, the university’s museum of rare books and ancient manuscripts is finally ready for display, highlighting the fundamental role of the President in the founding of this historical and cultural project.

After the opening, Professor El-Adawi presented the university honorary shield to Minister Al-Murtada as a token of appreciation. At the end, attendees toured around The Museum.