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"Can there really be so much to say about a gate?" Kaoukab Chebaro, head of Jafet Libraries' Archives and Special Collections at the American University of Beirut, thought to herself when she was asked to curate a retrospective about the university's Main Gate building and its renovation on the occasion of the institution's 150th anniversary. There clearly was, and the fruition of the restoration was met with the unveiling of a memorial plaque Monday and an exhibition in the Malhas Common Room in West Hall which included over 140 documents, photographs and letters inspired by the university's extensive archives. The exhibition also featured personal essays, a short clip with members of the university community and a sectional model built by two architecture students. Originally designed by Edward Pearce Casey, the American architect famous for his work with the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the renovation of Main Gate was made possible by a generous donation of Karam G. Tannous Doumet, a double alumnus from AUB and the Honorary Consul for Ecuador to Lebanon. Doumet oversaw the works with his team this summer with the understanding and agreement that Main Gate would not look any different than its original design 150 years ago. Khuri spoke of AUB's founders, Main Gate's symbolic and literal significance, and the gate's implication for the community.
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