This article examines the student protests of the early 1950s and the late 1960s to early 1970s at the American University of Beirut (AUB) to investigate how the students used the political ideologies dominant in each era to redefine the parameters of the campus arena. In the 1950s, under the rubric of Arab nationalism, students saw Arab solidarity as the key to overturning repression in all its forms, including those perpetrated by the AUB administration. Starting in 1968, students believed the Palestinian fedayeen represented a spirit that would catalyze a wholesale revolution against the continuing failures of the Arab governments and the AUB administration. A study of students at AUB in the twentieth century not only highlights shifting student-university relations but also opens a window onto changing political ideas in the Arab world in this same period.

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