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University of Balamand > News > Archive > Recognizing 23 Years of Service

Ms. Bashir and Ms. Ayoub, center, in a Library staff group photo. 

Recognizing 23 Years of Service

Nearly 150 members of the Balamand community came together on September 30, 2013, to wish Ms. Sameera Bashir a very emotional farewell on her retirement from the University after 23 years of service.

Present at the gathering held in the atrium of the Issam Fares Library were President Elie Salem – who took a break from his vacation to attend the ceremony –  VP Georges Nahas, and VP Michel Najjar, as well as deans, directors, faculty and staff members who have all relied on Ms. Bashir’s kind and professional help during the years.

In a short speech on the occasion, President Salem described his relationship with Ms. Bashir as “a love affair centered on books.”

“From 1993 on, Sameera and I dealt with books. Sameera collected books for me to read on vacation, on the plane – history books, philosophy books and theology books. Sameera introduced me to the cosmos and selected books for me to read on cosmology. Sameera broadened my mind.”

Others echoed similar sentiments. Professor Marlene Kanaan praised Ms. Bashir, for “always being current about all matters relevant to the library,” and “thus able to serve her community loyally.”

A graduate of the American University of Beirut with a BA in Political Science and Public Administration, Ms. Bashir developed a passion for Library Science while a teacher at the Beirut Evangelical School for Girls. After teaching for 10 years at that institution, she travelled to the United States from where she obtained an MA in Library and Information Science from the State University College of New York.

Prior to joining the University of Balamand in 1990, Ms. Bashir worked as a librarian at the Lebanese University in the Faculty of Information and Documentation in Beirut. While there, she told the gathering, “I heard about a university being built in North Lebanon,” and so decided to leave her job and join the University of Balamand.

“I felt I belonged here. I came back to the North, where I belong because I am from Douma and I always felt there was a special relation between my village, Douma, and the Balamand monastery. So I came here and was asked to help out in the library, and that is where I began.”

In her remarks to those gathered, Ms. Olga Ayoub, who will be taking on the position of Library director, thanked Ms. Bashir for her leadership and for making the Balamand library what it is today. “You have been and will always remain an integral member of the Balamandian community,” she told Ms. Bashir.

Sameera Bashir, who retires officially in November, will remain engaged with the Library on a part-time basis as Collection Development Librarian and, therefore, says President Salem, “she will have more time to read the books she loves in her beautiful village of Douma.”
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