Middle East Center presents Beirut 1983: 40 Year Memorial to Janet Lee Stevens
3340 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Join us for a special event as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the passing of Janet Lee Stevens, a remarkable individual who dedicated her life to bridging cultures and fostering understanding in the Arab world.
Janet Lee Stevens, a doctoral student of Arabic literature in the Department of Oriental Studies (now the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations), left an indelible mark on all who knew her. She embraced the Arabic language and culture passionately, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to promoting tolerance. She advocated for compassion in human affairs and the acceptance of diverse ideas in intellectual discourse, often risking her personal safety to mitigate the challenges she encountered.
Tragically, on April 18, 1983, Janet lost her life while interviewing US embassy staff about the use of American aid in Lebanon during the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut. In her memory and spirit, her family, professors, fellow graduate students, and numerous friends established an award. This award is bestowed annually upon two outstanding students in Arabic and Islamic Studies who exemplify Janet's commitment to improving relations with and understanding of the Arab world.
During this event, we will reflect on Janet's extraordinary life, the complex backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, and the enduring legacy she has left behind. Through the remarkable accomplishments and research of the graduate students benefiting from her award, Janet's vision of fostering harmony and tolerance between cultures lives on.
Join us in honoring Janet Lee Stevens' memory and celebrating four decades of her inspirational legacy. Together, we will continue her mission of building bridges and promoting cross-cultural understanding.