The first day of the graduation ceremony at AUB did not run
smoothly as several students disrupted the ceremony to protest against the
awarding of an honorary degree to former U.S. Secretary of Health Donna Shalala due to
her support of sanctions against the Iraqi people and her refusal to boycott
businessman Munib Masri, who was also awarded during the ceremony, was reproached
by one of the students especially since his grandson Hafid Masri was injured by the Israeli
army during last year’s anniversary of the Nakba in the south.
Last year, a similar campaign by students and professors at the university led to the
calling off of a ceremony where former World Bank president James Wolfensohn was
scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate.