Lebanese American University


“100 years of technology”

In pictures — A rare collection of antiques from the last century are on display at LAU Beirut’s Riyad Nassar Library.

In pictures —

A rare collection of antiques revealing the progression of technology from the earliest days of the 20th century are on display at LAU Beirut’s Riyad Nassar Library.

The collection featured at the exhibition, which is titled “100 Years of Technology,” belongs to Dr. Ale Hejase, an engineer who has been teaching part time at LAU’s School of Business over the past 23 years.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-01-big.jpg“Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a passion for antiques,” Hejase says, explaining that he has precious memories attached to each item.


100-years-technology-library-exhibit-02-big.jpgHejase says the collection on display at the library is but a sample of the entire stockpile of antiques he has amassed over the years. With so many relics, Hejase is forced to keep them stored in different locations including his apartment, parents’ home, and in his village of Debeen — not always to the amusement of others.

“They all tell me to get my ‘garbage’ out of their place,” Hejase says. “Even my wife!”


100-years-technology-library-exhibit-03-big.jpgHejase purchased many of the items new, including the computer accessories, at a time when they were considered cutting-edge gadgets. He inherited others from family members, and some were given to him as presents, such as this antique Corona typewriter.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-04-big.jpgHejase’s collection includes some of the first personal computers and accessories on the market, barely recognizable when compared to today’s razor-thin laptops and flat screen monitors. On the top shelf is an Apple II computer from the late 1970s.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-05-big.jpgHejase sneaked many of the items into Lebanon in order to avoid arousing suspicion with authorities during periods of tension.

“I used to hide things to bring them in the country,” he says, smiling. “It was smuggling, but it was for the purpose of science.”

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-06-big.jpgAccording to Hejase, this was the second CD writer to have ever landed in Lebanon. He owned the first one but, to his regret, sold it years ago.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-07-big.jpgAn evolution of tape recorders. The large burgundy one uses string to record audio and contains an original interview with Douglas MacArthur, a former U.S. Army general during World War II.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-08-big.jpg Hejase’s collection of calculators.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-09-big.jpg Hejase’s classic phonographs that were early on referred to as “talking machines.”

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-10-big.jpgLarge vacuum tubes such as these were used in radios and other electronics before the introduction of the transistor.

Hejase says he hopes the exhibition will help students understand from where today’s tools developed, and look ahead to what may be coming in the future.

100-years-technology-library-exhibit-11-big.jpgAs an instructor at LAU for over two decades, Hejase says he has formed a tight kinship with the Riyad Nassar Library and its staff. “It’s always my first choice when I want to hold an event,” he says, explaining that it has become his office for research. Last July, Hejase held a ceremony at the library to launch one of his books, Kashkool Dbeen.

The exhibition will remain open on the ground floor of the library until February 28.

To view more photos of the exhibit, check this Facebook page.


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