Library Enriched with Book Donation from Japan

Nippon Foundation donates books spanning Japanese art, culture, literature, politics and more.

By Raissa Batakji

Dr. Basmaji welcoming Ambassador Yamaguchi in the presence of VP for Student Development and Enrollment Management Elise Salem, Dean of the School of Architecture and Design Elie Haddad, and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Constantine Daher.
LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra in conversation with Ambassador Yamaguchi.
Dr. Jabbra with Ambassador Yamaguchi, Provost George E. Nasr and Dr. Haddad at the reception.

Over 60 new books just landed at the Riyad Nassar Library (RNL) on LAU’s Beirut campus, thanks to a generous donation by the Nippon Foundation. From politics and literature to culture, art, history and economics, the books cover a wide variety of topics and were donated as part of the 100 Books for Understanding Contemporary Japan project.

The collection was put on display at the library on March 4 for a special reception to celebrate the donation, and to honor the Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon Matahiro Yamaguchi.

LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra offered a brief overview of the social innovation mission on which Nippon Foundation was established. “The thinking had been ahead of its time [back in 1962], when the idea that all components of a given society would work together for everyone to feel supported,” Dr. Jabbra declared, adding that he is personally fascinated by Japanese society and culture, and that he looks forward to reading more about it.

The donation, realized on the initiative of Assistant Professor Marwan Basmaji at the School of Architecture and Design, was much appreciated by RNL Director of Collection Management Houeida Kammourié Charara, who was also the Master of Ceremony at the event. “This book collection is truly a great addition to LAU Libraries,” she said, addressing Nippon Foundation representatives and the ambassador.

University Librarian Cendrella Habre agreed. “This book donation presents well-selected profiles of Japanese culture in diverse topics, which will help our readers understand the people of Japan vividly,” said Habre, who expressed hope to take the cooperation between LAU and the Nippon Foundation further.

In turn, Ambassador Yamaguchi commended the effort made by the university and “its dedication to acquire the books,” and hoped that the collection will help students and the community advance their understanding of Japan, and further strengthen the ties between the two countries.