International and Comparative Librarianship

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Obituary of Dr. George N. Atiyeh

Dr. George Atiyeh's books at Amazon.


Dr. and Mrs. George Atiyeh at the 1999 Awards Ceremony:

The African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) of the Library of Congress mourns the death of Dr. George Atiyeh who passed away on April 21st, 2008, at the Virginian Nursing Home in suburban Fairfax County, VA. Until 1995, and for almost three decades, he headed AMED's Near East Section, retiring from the Library when he became incapacitated by a stroke. His wife Daisy took care of him at home assisted by their three children. Throughout those years, AMED staff visited him regularly, and on occasions Daisy wheeled him to his beloved Library to visit with friends and former staff.

"George" as he was known to all in the Library of Congress, was born in Amyun, Lebanon, in 1923. He graduated from the American University in Beirut in 1950 with an M.A. in history, and in 1954 received a doctorate in the history of philosophy from the University of Chicago. That year he was hired at the University of Puerto Rico, where he became a professor and administrator, and later met his wife Daisy. He joined the Library of Congress in 1967, and became head of the Near East section, helping make its collections world renowned by acquiring rare materials, and ensuring that all current publications from the region were purchased for the Library. He organized major conferences, bringing the best scholars on the region to participate, and producing books based on their presentations including The Book in the Islamic World, in 1995, which he edited. He also wrote widely on Arab philosophy, Christian-Muslim relations, and Arab intellectual history.

Atiyeh played an important role serving on various boards including on a Department of State Commission on U.S.- Egyptian relations, and on a White House advisory committee on Islamic Affairs. He also served on the board of The Middle East Journal, the Arab-American Affairs Council, and the international board of al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation in London. A lifelong member of the Middle East Studies Association, he was also a founding member of the Middle East Librarian Association (MELA).

A funeral service was held at Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, on Monday April 28, that was attended by many Library of Congress staff, friends and family. Survivors include his wife Daisy Roper, his three children Nicholas, Rose Marie, and Lancelot, his three sisters Jamal, Eugenie and Najla, and four brothers, Naim, Atiyeh, Maurice, and Michel, and two grandchildren.

Mary-Jane Deeb, Ph.D.Chief, African and Middle Eastern DivisionLibrary of Congress

email: mdee@loc.govphone: 202-707-1221 fax: 202-252-3180

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Mary-Jane Deeb said...

Thank you very much. It is beautifully done, and I really appreciate your putting up George Atiyeh's obituary.

Mary-Jane Deeb

2:58 PM  

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