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Stress and coping: the experience of students at the American University of Beirut during the Lebanese civil war.

Editor's Note: This study is the first of two, one by Dr. Oweini and the second by Dr. Judith Harik, dealing with the American University of Beirut and its students. Dr. Harik's work will appear in the Spring 1996 edition of the Arab Studies Quarterly and will focus on student loyalty/affiliation during wartime.

Attending an institution of higher education has its share of stress and difficulties associated with the rites of passage from high school to college, and from adolescence to adulthood. Such difficulties include adjusting to a new environment, and meeting new academic, intellectual and social challenges. What would this experience be like when an institution of higher learning is in the midst of a troubled and war-torn country?

The experience of students at the American University of Beirut (AUB) was unique in terms of the dangers, anxieties and fears that they had to cope with on a daily basis, and the adjustment process that they had to engage in to fashion a normal academic and social life. These stressful circumstances stemmed from the sustained periods of terror and political and social instability that plagued Lebanon between 1975 and 1991.

However, AUB students appeared to continue their academic life and social activities in a fashion that was more "normal" than most would presume, despite the hostile and life-threatening environment. Invariably, they registered at the beginning of each semester, attended classes, took exams, dated, organized outdoor fairs, and graduated at the end of each academic year. In short, they made the best of their precarious and insecure situation and fashioned an approximation of a normal academic and social life.

What conclusions can be drawn from the experiences of AUB students? Did AUB shelter its students from the worst effects of the conflict or did the war affect the students in ways that were more subtle and more indirect than might be assumed?

This study aims at exploring the ways in which the prolonged political turmoil in Lebanon has affected the atmosphere of an elitist institution that has played a critical role in education and development in the Middle East. To that end, a chronicle of the major events that occurred on the AUB campus between 1975 and 1991 was presented, and a group of AUB alumni living in the USA were interviewed about their emotional, social, and academic lives, and the different mechanisms that they resorted to in coping with stress caused by threatening living conditions.

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The concept of coping has been examined particularly in the context of coping with combat stress and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In examining the coping patterns of American soldiers who fought in Vietnam and concentration camp survivors during the Holocaust, studies concluded that exposure to stressful events "outside the range of human experience"(1) has an adverse effect on a person's mental health, and results in a variety of immediate or delayed symptoms ranging from mild anxiety and insomnia to full blown psychoses and suicide.(2 3 4 5 6 7) Other accounts focused on the remarkable adaptive and reintegrative abilities of civilians during war trauma.(8 9 10 11) A number of psychological processes (defense mechanisms, particularly denial), personality traits and environmental variables (support systems and control over one's environment) were found to influence the nature and outcome of coping.(12 13 14 15)

The civil war that erupted in 1975 was the most devastating military conflict that Lebanon has witnessed in its modern history, and the breaking point resulting from years of tension and power struggle between the Muslim and the Christian communities who represent the two major religious groups in Lebanon. From its outset, the Lebanese civil war was an endless series of destruction, bloodshed and divisiveness that led to the segregation of the population along denominational lines and political affiliations. This, in turn, created a tragic decline in all cultural and educational values, and ultimately to the collapse of the economy's productive capacity.

Once a prosperous country where people celebrated the amalgamation of Arab and Western cultures, and enjoyed freedom of expression, a high level of education, arts and entertainment, Lebanon seemed to have lost it all. The government collapsed, and armed militias and warlords prevailed, each in his own fief: killing, random shelling, looting, kidnapping, car bombings, forced occupations, and displacements were commonplace. Additionally, the continuous rationing of electricity, water and fuel, hiding in shelters, coexisting day by day with the fear and anxiety of the unforeseen, became a way of life. All sectors of the economy suffered and most religious, social, and cultural institutions were rendered dysfunctional.

Today the war is over, at least as far as the armed conflict is concerned. With a death toll exceeding 100,000 people and physical damage upwards of $50 billion,(16) the devastating effect of the Lebanese war is undisputed. However, with respect to the toll that the ongoing strife has taken on mental health in Lebanon, opinions are divided and studies inconclusive. By and large, reports from various periods of the civil conflict maintain that, although Lebanon experienced widespread poverty, social unrest, rising inflation and a rapid depreciation of the currency, most Lebanese people seemed to have survived the harshness of the war relatively unaffected.(17 18 19 20 21 22)

Khalaf(23) examined the sociological outcomes of the war, and noted the prevailing state of demoralization and humiliation of Lebanese civilians, decadence of social and public values, proclivity for violence, compromise of patriotic values, embracement of territoriality and self-interest, reconfiguration of social classes, and prevalence of a culture of dishonesty and profiteering.

In 1984, Pattison noticed a cultural pattern in the Lebanese civilians that was destined to become a hallmark of Lebanon throughout the war. After surviving nine years marred by endless military offensives, militia rule, a divided capital, an Israeli invasion, a paralyzed economy, and haunted by the specter of militiamen, snipers and car bombs, Lebanese people were remarkably well adjusted and maintained an insouciant attitude vis-a-vis the war. He wrote:

I fully expected to find a war-devastated population, with obvious evidence of war trauma. Much to my surprise, this was not the case. The Lebanese population, both Christian and Moslem, were relieved, cheerful, energetic, enthusiastic, basically rebuilding their country. It was like a country of buzzing worker bees. I did not find obvious cases of psychic traumatization, and only with difficulty did I unearth indications of indirect effects of the war on psychological well-being.(24)

In his memoirs as war correspondent to the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem, Friedman(25) was perplexed by the ability of the Lebanese to endure the ongoing hardships of the war. He identified five interrelated coping patterns of the Lebanese: (1) developing emotional shields, (2) rationalizing dangerous events using probability and inferences, (3) perceiving the environment selectively, (4) maintaining a sense of detachment vis-a-vis the war; and finally, (5) channeling energy into productive activity.

Studies on war and mental health in Lebanon warned against the possibility of delayed stress reaction, and an increase in substance abuse and violent behavior in the aftermath of the civil war.(26 27 28)

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

AUB is a private, non-sectarian, independent university similar in administration and programs to American universities, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs with English as the language of instruction. AUB was founded as the Syrian Protestant College in 1866 by Daniel Bliss. As the first institution of higher education built in Lebanon, it was the culmination of a long tradition of Western influence on education in the Middle East. In 1920, the current name was adopted. AUB is governed by a board of trustees, residing in New York City, and chartered since 1863 by the State of New York.

AUB started as an institution aimed at meeting the educational needs of the Protestant community, however, as the college expanded, it became secular, accepting students from all denominations, and since 1924, became coeducational in all departments.

According to its Statement of Policy, the University's general philosophy and orientation is to "share in the education of the youth of the Middle East, in the service of its peoples, and in the advancement of knowledge", and strives to realize the ideal of its motto: "That they may have life and have it more abundantly."(29)

AUB is financed by an endowment fund from the United States Agency for International Education that covers 42 percent of its budget. Tuition fees, grants and contributions from private institutions, both national and international, account for the rest of the budget.(30 31 32)

AUB's picture-postcard campus lies on 73 acres, and is made up of 82 buildings, including a medical center with a 421-bed teaching hospital. Academic programs are offered in five Faculties: (1) The Arts and Sciences which includes the Division of Education Programs; (2) Medicine; (3) Engineering and Architecture; (4) Agricultural and Food Sciences; and, (5) Health Sciences. The University awards a wide range of bachelor's and master's degrees and a very limited number of doctorates. Total annual enrollment is between 4,200 and 5,000 students, of whom more than 40 percent are women. Most of the students live with their families in Beirut. Those who come from remote areas, including international students, are accommodated in the six single-sex residence halls.

Before the war, the student body was almost equally divided between Lebanese and foreign nationals. Non-Lebanese mostly included Jordanians, Palestinians, Iranians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Americans, Canadians and Cypriots. Today, it is predominantly Lebanese. Since tuition charges are high, students come from higher socio-economic strata or receive financial assistance.(33)

Research activity at AUB is extensive, despite recent budget cuts, and is sponsored by the United States and Arab countries. Several research institutes operate under the auspices of the University, among which are the Center for Behavioral Research, the Center for English Language Teaching and Research, the Economic Research Institute, the Graduate Center for Arab and the Middle East Studies, the Science and Mathematics Education Center. In addition, AUB offers through its Extension Programs a number of continuing education programs and evening classes leading to various certificates and diplomas.

AUB's leading role and contributions to Lebanon and the Middle East are widely recognized, and cut across a rich array of professional fields and academic disciplines: medicine, nursing, engineering, agriculture, politics, business, education, and the humanities. In addition, AUB wields considerable clout in the Lebanese economy as the nation's second largest employer after Middle East Airlines. Alumni records boast graduates who occupy top positions in political cabinets and parliaments, health care organizations, financial institutions, and educational organizations. Among the renowned graduates of AUB are Sa'adoun Hamadeh, who became the President of the People's Assembly in Iraq; Fares al-Khoury, Head of State of Syria during its most critical period; Saeb Salam, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon; Abdul Hamid Sharaf, Jordan's former Prime Minister; Ismail al-Azhari, the first President of the Republic of Sudan; Adel Usseyran, a former Speaker of the House in Lebanon and an independence pioneer; Selim Hoss; a former Prime Minister of Lebanon and economist; and finally distinguished scholars such as Bayard Dodge, Philip Hitti and Constantine Zurayk.(34)

Since its inception, AUB inevitably espoused Lebanon's constant struggle and painful search for a viable political and cultural identity. Throughout its history, AUB was accused of acting in contrast to its educational mission. As such, critics likened it to a stronghold of communism and Arab terrorism, a promoter of elitist bourgeois education, and a CIA agent in the Middle East. Thus, AUB consistently had to justify its role as a foreign university cultivating strong ties with the West while servicing Lebanon and the Middle East at the same time.

AUB's role as a meeting place between East and West sometimes proved to be a clashing place between East and West which resulted not only in campus unrest but also in a sharp decline in foreign support and serious financial difficulties. In his book, A Mutual Concern, John Munro,(35) a former English professor at AUB, provided elaborate examples of how the University campus was a microcosm wherein political conflicts occurring in the Middle East were played out. Chief among these incidents was the one that occurred in October 1969, when the Lebanese army attacked some Palestinian camps in order to stifle the guerrilla movement. As a result, many Palestinian students at AUB and supporters from the left wing declared a strike, launched verbal attacks against the government, and fought with other students. Another incident took place in March 1972 in the aftermath of an Israeli raid on southern Lebanon. As a result, a brawl occurred between Palestinian students and their left-wing allies in one camp, and right-wing students in another, forcing the University to shut down for a week. A third noteworthy incident happened in May 1974 when students called a strike because of a tuition increase. This strike quickly acquired political undertones, and degenerated into violent encounters and bouts of vandalism causing considerable property damage. The extent of the crisis prompted the prime minister to intervene, and the Lebanese army was called upon to restore stability.(36)

With the advent of the Lebanese Civil war, incidents on campus were no less motivated by the events happening on the Lebanese scene but took an uglier and bloodier character, had a far-reaching effect on the operations and mission of AUB, and at times, threatened its very existence.

AUB And The Lebanese War

The Lebanese war affected AUB with varying degrees of intensity. Between 1975 and 1982, hostilities hit the campus unintentionally; the University itself did not seem to be the primary target.(37) When civil war broke out in the streets of Beirut, AUB was already preoccupied with a conflict of its own: It failed to balance the budget for the 1975-76 fiscal year, and hence was on the brink of financial disaster. The Lebanese government came to the rescue and granted AUB an $8,000,000 loan, which showed how valuable the University was to Lebanon and how its continuing operation had to be ensured.(38) In fact, during the first years of the conflict, AUB received tremendous support from the local community and the warring factions, for it was perceived as an educational institution dedicated to the service of the community at large, and thus was granted a neutral status. The University's security was entrusted to Fateh, a Palestinian group controlling West Beirut, despite the increasing belief that the United States had been antagonistic to the Palestinians and the Left, which confirmed, according to Munro,(39) the general determination to keep AUB out of the conflict.

Still, the repercussions of the war on the University during the period of 1975 to 1982 were dramatic:

Shells hit the campus on several occasions, killing one student in March 1976 and injuring several individuals.

Two deans were murdered by a former student in February 1976, but no political motives were found.

In June 1976, artillery shells hit the nurses' residence of the American University Hospital, causing shock but no casualties.

In 1975 and 1976, classes were irregular, commencement exercises as well as summer session were canceled.

In 1976, enrollment declined to 2100, compared to 4823 students in spring of 1975. Most foreign and Arab students left the country.

An AUB branch opened in East Beirut, the Off-Campus Program (OCP), and was meant as a temporary arrangement to accommodate students living in the Christian sector of Beirut. However, OCP steadily expanded as the conflict continued to deeply divide the two sectors of the capital, thus jeopardizing the unity and integrity of AUB's administration and mission.

A severe shortage of medical staff coupled with a shortage of blood, oxygen, and medical supplies affected the operation of the Hospital, which had been transformed from a teaching hospital to a disaster and emergency center.

The University's dire financial situation was compounded by the unpaid bills of war victims. In 1976 the Hospital ran a deficit that exceeded $4,000,000.(40)

As a result, the composition of the student body drastically changed, and was almost exclusively Lebanese. Further, the ratio of Americans and Europeans to Lebanese among the faculty and administrators was also drastically altered since many foreigners left the country, thus making AUB's staff and faculty predominantly Lebanese.

The University's survival during that period in the midst of extreme financial and political difficulties was nothing short of a miracle, and was largely owed to staff, faculty, students, surrounding communities, the Lebanese and U.S. governments, the oil-producing countries, the Agency for International Development and local banks, whose efforts and financial contributions helped the University and its hospital remain operational.(41)

After 1982, violence was directed at the University itself. Although the campus remained relatively free from destruction and combat, violence took the form of kidnapping and killing, particularly of the University's American and European nationals. The targeting of foreigners began in July 1982 when President David Dodge was kidnapped on campus, and remained in captivity for more than a year.

Perhaps the most tragic of all the hostilities AUB endured during the war was the assassination of President Malcolm H. Kerr in January 1984. He was shot by two gunmen near his office. The entire AUB community was stunned by Kerr's assassination as it lost a beloved and dedicated president. President Kerr's assassination was condemned at all governmental and political levels.(42) The fundamentalist Shiite group Islamic Holy War seemed involved in the crime, having threatened that "not a single American or Frenchman will remain on this soil."(43 44 45) Subsequently, AUB became the center of a war waged by fundamentalists against U.S. citizens, since the former perceived the University as the symbol of American culture which was at odds with the Islamic Fundamentalists' views and beliefs. A series of crimes against European and American nationals ensued:

In December 1984, Peter Kilburn, the University's librarian and an American citizen, was kidnapped by the Islamic Holy War, and later shot dead.(46)

In May 1985, British-born English instructor Denis Hill was abducted, shot, and his body thrown in an empty lot. During the same month, David Jacobsen, director of the American University Hospital, was abducted near the campus. In July, Thomas Sutherland was ambushed and kidnapped near near the airport. Jacobsen and Sutherland were released in 1986 and 1992 respectively.

In February 1984, engineering professor Frank Regier (American) was abducted near the campus and released three weeks later.

Presidential aide Landry Slade ironically set a world record by being highjacked twice within 24 hours while flying out of Beirut with his son in June 1985.(47)

Abductions continued through 1986. Political science professor John Leigh Douglas, a British subject, was kidnapped in March and slain a month later. His dismembered body was found some fifteen miles away from Beirut. Subsequently, most foreign employees were compelled to evacuate AUB and return to their countries. Approximately 29 Americans and 16 other Westerners remained on campus.(48)

Violence was certainly not limited to assaults against Westerners. AUB's operation was affected and the University suffered a number of abductions and deaths of members of its Lebanese community.

In the summer of 1982, the Israeli invasion and the one hundred-day siege of Beirut made inevitable the cancellation of commencement exercises and the summer session. AUB and its hospital were transformed into a disaster center and the only "front-line battle hospital" in "beleaguered West Beirut."(49)

The responsibility for campus security shifted from the Palestinians to the Druze and the Shiite militias,(50) in the wake of their newly acquired power in West Beirut in February 1984. In 1986, Syrian forces joined them to enforce campus "security", and to keep local militias in check.

Commencement ceremonies had to be canceled once more in 1985 due to the deteriorating political situation in the country. Ardent pleas and contacts between University officials and representatives of militias and government officials succeeded in keeping the University in operation during that year. Nonetheless, classes were interrupted on several occasions for periods ranging from one hour to two weeks. Most of these interruptions were caused by military offensives between local militias that would typically paralyze the entire West Beirut sector. Accordingly, classes were suspended in February 1984 following the Shiite uprising in West Beirut, summer of 1985, and February 1986 and 1987. Other interruptions were prompted by periods of mourning or protests following the abduction of Professor Nabil Matar in May 1986, the kidnapping of Professor John Leigh Douglas in March 1986 and the assassination of Prime Minister Rashid Karami in Spring of 1987.

Protests, rallies, hour-long strikes and sit-ins in front of West Hall, the student activities center, also became a University tradition and occurred at least once a week. These strikes were often organized by students who were members of political parties represented on campus. They would frequently storm into classes, order the instructor to stop lecturing and direct the students out of the classroom, giving brief information regarding the reason and the duration of the strike.

As for violence against Lebanese AUB students, staff and faculty, the period following 1982 was replete with disheartening events that deeply grieved the community:

In August 1985, shells hit the campus killing six innocent bystanders. A student who was a former Miss Lebanon was among the injured, and remained comatose for a few weeks. Her story made headlines in local and international news.(51) Although the bodies of victims were removed immediately, the smell of decomposing flesh filled the campus for several days as a ghastly reminder of the tragedy.

In February 1985, a medical resident and an intern at the American University Hospital who were Christian were kidnapped, thus showing that even the medical community was not immune from abductions. They were released a month later.

Aggression against the medical community all but stopped in the subsequent months. In December of the same year, two physicians were kidnapped and released for no apparent reason, thus driving the medical faculty and staff to march in protest to the Government House.(52 53)

Hostilities reached their peak in July 1986 when a shuttle bus carrying AUB personnel and students to East Beirut was ambushed by armed individuals near the Green Line separating both sectors of the capital. As a result, four passengers were killed, and three injured, leaving the campus in shock and mourning for several days. Among the victims were a medical student, two AUB students and a staff member. A year earlier, a popular driver, Hajj Omar, had been martyred by a sniper's bullet while driving the same bus.(54)

Even the Medical Center building was not spared: In November 1987, a bomb explosion caused a massacre - seven were killed and 31 injured, generating nationwide condemnation, fear and anger.(55) Furthermore, abductions did not spare several Lebanese students, professors, and staff. For example, in December 1985, library and Medical Center employees were reported missing. A few days later, a medical student and a physician were abducted then released. Also, the Director of Publications was declared missing for several weeks.(56)

As for the University's financial difficulties, AUB continued to operate at a loss. At the end of 1985, it "ran approximately $15 million in the red."(57) The budget problem continued to grow as it became increasingly difficult to raise funds in the United States because the targeting of Americans had smeared the image of AUB abroad. Luckily, the combined support of hundreds of alumni, affiliates, trustees and volunteers throughout the world enabled AUB to raise as much as $6 million a year.(58)

As hostilities intensified on- and off-campus and the Lebanese pound sharply depreciated, many faculty members took leaves of absence and accepted short-term contracts abroad, which led to a shortage of professors particularly in the School of Engineering and the Biology department. The shortage of faculty forced the administration to hire instructors and graduate assistants with no teaching experience or adequate credentials, to close down several departments such as Psychology and Statistics, and to freeze most graduate programs.

The deteriorating quality of teaching coupled with the admission of a number of unqualified students with political connections and the special treatment that many students were receiving due to their militia affiliations, contributed to a perceived decline in academic standards.(59) Anderson et al(60) reported that many professors complained that "they [had] been visited in the night by students demanding better grades. [Other professors had] been told to turn a blind eye toward cheating on exams."(61)

The Office of Tests and Measurements later disputed the claim that AUB's standards were declining. Based on comparisons of previous and current entrance examination scores, the Office concluded that there was no evidence of decline in English standards and that performance of incoming students on the English Entrance Examination was not inferior to that of prewar students.(62)

The period after 1987 till the end of the Lebanese conflict in 1991 brought more hostilities to the University. This time, the campus was hit hard and the resulting damage and destruction were extensive. During Aoun's "Liberation War", more than 82 shells landed on campus on 14 March 1989, killing one employee, injuring another, and causing one million dollars in physical damage. Classes had to be suspended for seven months, except for the Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine.(63)

Ironically, just as the war had ended, when the campus was returning to life and numerous reconstruction projects were in progress, AUB received one of its most traumatic blows: A bomb went off in College Hall in November 1991, reducing the old building and its famous clock tower to rubble. Lebanon and the AUB community were devastated by the incident since College Hall was AUB's oldest building, the symbol of the University, and a landmark of Ras Beirut. While there were no human casualties in the bombing, all administrative offices housed in the building, including the President's and the Registrar's were completely destroyed, and damage was estimated in the millions of dollars. However, the sentimental and historical loss of College Hall were beyond estimation.

Student Life

Despite all that AUB endured during the sixteen years of war, the number of new students began to grow, even doubling in 1985, a fact which reflected "a preference for AUB's reputation and its style of education" over other universities in Lebanon.(64)

Every semester, several student activities continued to take place. Judging from their frequency and breadth, one may think that the campus was little affected by the hostilities occurring just a few blocks outside the main gate. Extracurricular activities included music, social, cultural, and sports events. A case in point, in 1985, a year marred by abductions, assassinations, and shelling, more than fifty student events were organized, including organ and piano recitals, a Christmas show, book exhibits, pop concerts, plays, an Easter musical, an outdoor fair, variety shows, public lectures, a Spring Festival with a fashion show and the election of Miss AUB, and the much ballyhooed annual soccer game between Arts and Sciences and Engineering students.(65)

AUB's student activities certainly offered an incongruous image with the violence taking place off-campus. When crimes against Western nationals peaked in 1985, AUB's tennis courts were being equipped with an all-weather surface. And just when AUB was beset by the kidnapping of Professor Nabil Mattar, students insisted on holding their annual Spring Festival and electing Miss AUB for 1986. Finally, as hostilities ravaged the Medical Center that same year, the Alumni Club's fall tennis tournament was in progress across the street, and the soccer, volleyball, basketball and other teams were hard at work training for their annual encounters.(66 67) These activities attest to the visceral belief embraced by students and administration that AUB should survive and life should go on no matter what happened. In fact, the determination to survive brought about several drastic courses of action that had positive repercussions on AUB. One of these actions was the creation of a new administrative post, the Deputy President, in Spring 1987 held by a Lebanese, Dr. Ibrahim Salti. In this new interim capacity, Dr. Salti assumed the duties of the American president (then President Frederic Herter) whose presence in Lebanon was no longer safe. Another measure was to improve academic standards by making the admission process more selective, reducing the admission rate to a mere 10 percent of the entire pool of applicants.(68)

THE FUTURE OF AUB

With the end of the military conflict in Lebanon, AUB geared up for rebirth and prepared its agenda for development, fund raising and the improvement of its programs.

As soon as security conditions permitted, the Board of Trustees called a meeting in October 1990 and unanimously voted to terminate the Off-Campus Program (OCP) in East Beirut. This measure was welcomed by the community at large as a sign of reunification of long-separated faculties and student bodies and the end of fourteen years of "sectarian division." The majority of OCP students were absorbed by the main campus, bringing "life and vitality", though many of them were visiting it for the first time.(69)

Furthermore, commencement exercises in August 1990 were returned to the Green Field after a decade of holding them in Assembly Hall, the University chapel. Graduates from all parts of Lebanon attended the ceremony "side by side, in unity and brotherhood."(70) This step showed the reunification of AUB and the determination of the entire community to join efforts to make the future of the University secure.

Vice President Abdul Hamid Hallab affirmed that:

AUB may have lost a little of its shine over the past few years, but we have not abandoned our standards. We are still graduating students who hold their own in graduate programs at Harvard and Berkeley. Our academic survival and our excellence are miracles, and they are miracles that we must fight to keep alive.(71)

In concluding remarks, former President Herter assured the skeptics that despite all their disagreements and problems, the Lebanese attached a tremendous value to education and "still consider AUB their number-one priority."(72)

THE STUDY

A structured interview was given to a group of Lebanese AUB alumni who attended the college between 1975 and 1990.(73) The group consisted of 10 males (Akram, Ahmad, Hani, Henri, Khaled, Mazen, Moustafa, Osama, Wael, Ziad) and 10 females (Brigitte, Hanine, Joumana, Kawkab, Layla, Mona, Rana, Rima, Syrine, Zeina) ranging in age from 22 to 43, from various religious backgrounds (Sunnis, Shiites, Maronites, and Greek Orthodox).

The interview was divided into eight parts and consisted of a variety of open-ended and forced choice questions investigating the following:

* biographical information

* intensity and frequency of exposure to war events and attitudes toward the Lebanese conflict

* emotional reaction and the coping mechanisms during stressful conditions

* academic life

* social life on- and off-campus

* social and moral support systems

* evaluation of the subjects' overall experience at AUB and perceptions of effects that the war had on their present lives

* suggestions and recommendations for improving AUB

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The interviews revealed that the group consisted of financially comfortable and sheltered individuals whose parents were college educated and/or held influential positions. Henri noted the following:

I come from a background that was privileged. My parents did everything to shelter me away from the war. They could provide me with education, food, love, affection. All these details are important in wartime. I'm not representative of those who suffered. I was extremely lucky.

Belonging to the upper middle echelon of Lebanon assured students comfortable lifestyles and homes in safer neighborhoods of Beirut, and more importantly, equipped them with the necessary tools to maneuver with facility within the system and to overcome war-related nuisances. These prerogatives ranged from owning a generator that supplies power in their households and multiple phone lines to relying on their fathers' political clout to rescue them should they encounter any difficulties with the unruly militias roaming the streets of West Beirut.

Fifteen interviewees reported exposure to at least one life-threatening incident on- and off-campus during their college years. The rest reported being exposed to situations fraught with danger such as sitting in the corridor while shells were pounding their neighborhoods, but did not feel their lives were on the line. Examples of life-threatening events included bombs exploding in the vicinity of their classrooms or apartments, sniper bullets flying over their heads, bomb shrapnel missing them by a few inches, being caught in the crossfire, being kidnapped at gun point, and being beaten up by militiamen.

By and large, the group's direct exposure to the war trauma was sparse, which prevented long-term stress reaction. This is attributed to two major determinants:

(1) The Lebanese war was of a "high lethality, low intensity" nature,(74) and the intermittent, albeit lengthy pattern that it developed allowed civilians ample time to regain sanity, refuel energy, renew hopes, and resume various activities, thereby mollifying the morbid effects of earlier violent episodes.

(2) The AUB campus was a pleasant environment with tight security which provided students with a safe haven and a semblance of order in the midst of the chaos of Beirut.

The interviewees had favorable, albeit not always consistent, academic records. Disruptions caused by the war were largely viewed as matters of perception and one's ability to withstand pressure and to function under extreme conditions. Sporadic problems with academic performance were attributed to lack of motivation, concentration difficulties, and frustration with the lingering war, faculty and staff who were inaccessible, rigid or insensitive to their needs, and the reportedly declining academic standards of AUB. Three subjects vehemently criticized exams and grading system as unjustifiably harsh, and not reflective of the student's grasp of the materials and the student's academic abilities. With the exception of Ahmad whose academic career was reportedly marred by conflicts with a number of professors, the interviewees had favorable perceptions of their programs and faculty. More often than not, the group was forced to study under less than optimal conditions largely caused by frequent power outages or curfews. Rana, for example, in her first medical school year, held a candle in one hand, a skull in the other, and followed the explanation from her anatomy textbook. While at times (once a semester on the average) being forced to study in shelters or corridors due to sudden exchanges of heavy artillery in adjacent neighborhoods, and occasionally benefiting from a postponed exam or an extended summer break, most of the group felt that the war did not otherwise interfere with their academic pursuits. One third of the group perceived their academic life as "literally undisturbed by the war". If academic achievement is any indication of the student's adjustment, suffice it to say that the entire group graduated from AUB and went on for advanced academic training in medicine and various disciplines in Lebanon and the U.S.

Socially, the interviewees regularly participated in extracurricular activities. They watched movies at the Cine Club, attended classical music concerts at the college chapel, played sports, went to parties, organized variety shows, or just hung out with friends in West Hall, the student center. While most of the group criticized social activities on campus as uneven, poorly organized, insufficiently budgeted, and heavily politicized, they were grateful for the availability of these activities in an environment that otherwise offered little else to do. The purest and most enduring legacy of their AUB experience was the close friendships that the group cultivated with fellow students and colleagues.

The active social life of AUB helped keep the morale of most students relatively high. Despite scattered intervals of sadness, even mourning, which peaked with the multitude of tragedies in the summer of 1985, AUB students seemed to be concerned with nothing less than "guys trying to impress girls and girls trying to impress guys", even going to great lengths in dressing very nicely, "having, fun, laughing, singing while other people are getting killed just a few feet away." From one interviewee's vantage point, the morale at AUB was even "more relaxed than any other campus in the world".

Throughout their college years, the group enjoyed strong support networks of friends and family, deeply valued their nuclear and extended families, sought strength and comfort in religion though not practicing their faith consistently, and some experienced a stronger belief in the existence of God and a renewed interest in religious worship.

Social and moral support cannot be underestimated during extreme condition. There is a consensus that strong social networks play a critical role as a stress-buffering variable, particularly in reaction to war stress.(75) In addition, kinship, a critical feature of the Arab culture, is an unwavering source of emotional support, help, and advice in periods of hardship, and provides a sense of identity, belonging, acceptance and solidarity.(76)(77) Furthermore, if one subscribes to the notion that faith in Arab culture empowers its constituents and nurtures attitudes of fatalism whereby one accepts hardship without challenging their existence and that one does not possess free will over destiny,(78)(79) it follows that religious faith may have had a positive effect on coping, in that it provided a sense of confidence, assurance, and serenity vis-a-vis negative events, and made adjustment to the war relatively smooth.

Fifteen members of the group remembered harboring feelings of sadness, at times bordering on "depression" vis-a-vis the war, attributed to the deterioration of several aspects of life in Lebanon. The latter included inflation, brain drain, death of innocent civilians, abuse and injury of friends and colleagues, kidnapping of faculty, tentativeness of plans, precarious existence, and, finally, limited social opportunities which forced the group into frequent sequestration.

Being exposed to a car bomb was found by the group as the single most stressful and anxiety-provoking aspect of living in Lebanon because it was indiscriminate and unpredictable. Five interviewees reported becoming paranoid on the streets at some point because of the increased frequency of car bombs, prompting some to refrain from leaning against cars for fear the cars might be rigged to explode. Shelling, particularly at a close range, was reported the second leading cause of anxiety in the group. While Osama found shelling "interesting" because "it would not hit me" and Kawkab welcomed it as "happy news" especially before exams, Mona would sleep the entire night pressing her hands against her ears till they were swollen, and Ziad would find himself "dizzy with panic."

Lack of utilities, especially constant rationing of electricity and water and inept phone communications, were deemed as a source of frustration and inconvenience which eventually became banal and part of daily life.

The predominant feeling of the group was one of helplessness vis-a-vis the conflict, because the latter was "dragging and dragging" and "there is nothing you could do" and that "you're a little younger element of the population that is being victimized". However, the group still managed to keep its hopes high because "the war was ever changing from one place to another, one group to another which gives you . . . dynamism", because the "conflict would not last forever", or merely because of some interviewees' assurance of going to the United States after graduation.

The group engaged in relatively similar coping strategies and possessed personality traits that contributed to adaptation to war stress. Foremost of these coping strategies were denial, rationalization, and intellectualization which are emotion-focused coping responses that shield the individual from anxiety and palliate the effect of stress. The group reported having suppressed anxiety on numerous stressful occasions, particularly in the form of denial, to be able to perform a specific task or to carry on normally with lives. Literature suggests that denial is commonly used in the coping process particularly at the outset of a major stressor, and is considered an adaptive coping response. The reluctance of Moustafa to leave his room in the dormitory when shelling intensified, to avoid the discomfort of the shelter, and the obligation of Rima to complete floor rounds and attend to the needs of those patients whose rooms were exposed to snipers' bullets must have involved a refusal to reckon with the impending danger and a numbness of emotional reaction despite having a clear sense of what was happening. It is expected, however, that denial decreases with time as individuals became better equipped to deal emotionally with the experience and plan their activities and behaviors accordingly.(80) Although many subjects believed they used denial consistently during their AUB years, it is unlikely that any of the interviewees insulated themselves from the war in Lebanon for a long period of time. If denial existed, it must have been situational, short-lived, and infrequent.

On the other hand, rationalization is a defense mechanism the group frequently used in perilous situations. The rationalization process that AUB students continuously engaged in is similar to the rationalization patterns described by Friedman: playing "mind games", and perceiving the environment selectively. Hani's calculating odds of being injured or hit by random bullets is very indicative of how simple mind games can be a driving force to keep anxiety in check without removing the danger that causes it. Moustafa, Zeina and Rana attended medical classes assiduously when the college was shut down and Beirut was on fire. They blocked out the reality of the war and overcame their fears, rationalizing that they had no control over their environment. They selectively viewed those aspects of the environment where they exercised some power: finishing their program. Rationalization was used in concert with another defense mechanism, namely, intellectualization. Hanine blocked her feelings of hurt and anger when her boyfriend was severely injured as a result of a "stupid skirmish" at a checkpoint. By intellectualizing the incident, i.e., removing her feelings from the anxiety-provoking event, she was able to view her boyfriend's subsequent disability with a surprising degree of detachment so that her academic pursuit and fulfillment of her goals would not be compromised.

Eighteen interviewees summed up their overall AUB experience in positive terms ("good", "normal", "enriching", "valuable") and superlatives ("would do it again", "loved it", "despite everything, great!"). They reported having received a good education, "loved the challenge", "met interesting people", made great friends, and "achieved their goals". On the other hand, two alumni viewed their experience as less than rewarding. "It wasn't negative, it was a moderate experience tinted by severe moments of negativity. . . desperation, self-loathing, self-doubt, seeking a way out", reflected one student. The second person's experience seems rather devastating: "I finished with the highest grades in high school, I entered [AUB] with such a blast, and everything was completely shattered: they managed to kill everything in me. Both interviewees blamed the "culture", "people's attitude", "the whole system!".

The group's perceptions of long-term effects of the AUB experience on their lives were multifaceted, and combined both negative and positive attributes.

For the most part, the effects of the AUB experience were favorable, and encompassed the following gains: Learning to be more patient, tolerant, and understanding; working more diligently, keeping abreast of political events; becoming more sensitive to issues of human rights; coping more successfully with stress, becoming empowered, more mature, and more in touch with one's emotions, and finally becoming high achievers both academically and professionally. As for the negative effects, the group reported becoming more intense, experiencing concentration difficulties, and harboring feelings of anger and frustration brought forth by the injustices and devastation of the war. One female described herself as having emerged from the war emotionally deficient, and was convinced that her intellectual and social development did not follow parallel or equal courses due to her limited social and affective experiences. Ziad's experience left him "scathed and marked". Upon graduation, he questioned his intellectual abilities, education and knowledge because he had been constantly "consumed by small worries and large pains." Two alumni felt that the war had no impact on their lives. Osama emphasized that "I was never bothered by the war. I did not know anything other than the war, it was always like that . . . . I'm indifferent to the war!" Moustafa's position was that "We had bad times and a lot of war situations we had to cope with, but I think after graduation there is no major terrible memory that we kept from the war: I don't have a friend who was killed or myself being injured."

The interviewees possessed certain personality traits that facilitated their adaptation and coping with prolonged hostilities. By virtue of being college students, interviewees possessed a certain intellectual level which enabled them to engage in sophisticated mental activities such as generating creative solutions to problems, tolerating the complex task of decision-making, and maintaining a high level of functioning.

Personality traits were found to influence behavior and adaptation during extreme conditions. Males and females in the group reported similar personality traits, namely, being cool-tempered, sociable, optimistic, resilient, in control, adaptable, patient, unwavering, forgetful, resourceful, indifferent, and humorous. These traits played a key role in helping them withstand stress with minor repercussion on their mental health, consistent with studies that found a correlation between such personality variables as optimism, resilience, keeping busy and adaptive coping.(81)(82)(83)(84)(85) The group's personality traits reflect to a certain extent some of the cultural aspects of the Arab character and the societal expectations to conform. Being brave and tough in the face of grief and strain, being resilient, patient, in control and tolerating as much stress and pain as possible are integral aspects of the experience of the Lebanese people who are accustomed to hardships brought forth by persecution, repeated invasions and prolonged occupations. The interviewees, particularly the males, frequently described the pressures imposed on them by family and peers to act according to certain prescribed cultural patterns: "toughen things up", "do the man thing" for fear of being labeled "weak" or "not in control."

The group's personality traits also reflected the sense of warmth, ebullience, acceptance, and hope prevalent in the Lebanese character, as captured by Pattison:

[The Lebanese] are emotive and expressive-both men and women. They have intense feelings expressed openly and directly. . . . They enjoy life as it is given in the moment, and scheme to survive.(86)

Perhaps these cultural variables, coupled with the relative security that the AUB campus provided, had an impact on the ebullient and cheerful morale that was reported by most interviewees.

Just as certain personality traits foster effective adaptation to extreme conditions, other traits are detrimental to the individual and produce maladaptive coping. Being emotional indecisive, angry, withdrawing, and nervous were cited as factors that interfered with adaptive coping. However, it is clear that those negative traits were offset by the more positive, more adaptive personality characteristics that most of the group possessed. Hence, most alumni were not crippled by their vulnerabilities, and the latter trait did not cause adverse effects on their mental health, their social life or academic pursuit. The fact that the war left only interviewee, Ziad, "emotionally scathed" appears to be caused by certain character predispositions. He was reportedly sensitive, artistic, in constant need of perfectionism and in a relentless search for aesthetics. Such traits predisposed him to be more vulnerable than the rest of the group to the brutality of the war and the ugliness that it had spawned. The extent to which the war psychologically scarred him is worth investigating in a more scientifically rigorous fashion, but the nature and scope of this study does not lend itself to such an analysis. However, it is worth noting that, just like the rest of the group, he was capable academically, participated vehemently and passionately in extracurricular activities, socialized frequently, completed his studies within the prescribed time limit, and pursued graduate work with dedication and success. Such positive realities argue more convincingly for a normal, adjusted life rather than for maladaptive coping and psychological impairment. As for Ahmad, his devastating overall scathing experience was not akin to his vulnerability to the war, but rather, was prompted by the unsupportive academic environment where his skills, interests, and strengths were neither appreciated nor fully applied. His resulting discouragement and low self-esteem is a condition often encountered by students when there is no adequate fit with their environment.(87)(88)

The interviewees' recommendations for AUB focused on three main themes: (1) need for on-campus counseling services whereby "you can turn to someone you can trust" and "to tell you how to relieve stress after one week of shelling", or to have discussion groups about personal of vocational problems; (2) faculty training and effective academic advisement, in the hope of closing the gap between faculty and students, to help faculty become more sensitive to students" needs, to improve their communication skills, and be more accessible to students; and, (3) improving quality of education by increasing academic resources particularly computer centers, improving campus facilities, giving more recognition to campus activities, diversifying faculty and course offerings, inviting more guest speakers, designing courses that cater to the needs of postwar Lebanese society, reducing bureaucracy, and modernizing equipment. Students who had been on-campus most recently reported a marked improvement in many services such as the creation of a counseling center, the increase in the faculty pool, the upgrading of the computer system, and the noticeable change in the quality of education and students.

In summary, this study was based on the premise that students at the American University of Beirut were able to successfully cope with the Lebanese civil war and fashion a relatively normal college life. In learning of the experiences of students during war conditions, a chronicle encapsulating the main events that took place on the AUB campus during the war was presented. Further, a sample of AUB alumni were interviewed about their exposure to war events, their emotional, academic, and social lives and support networks. Results showed that the group consisted of sheltered individuals, from financially comfortable and educated families, who described their AUB years with positive terms and perceived their college experience as comparable to any college experience in a more stable environment. Perceptions of normalcy were attributed to a number of variables which favorably affected the group's coping mechanisms. They included: the intermittent nature of the war, campus safety, socio-economic status, reliance on adaptive defense mechanisms particularly denial and rationalization, war preparedness, and the mitigating role of family, community and religion.

The study has limitations inherent in the subjectivity of the questions and verbal probes of the investigator, in the group's responses which necessitated extensive recall of past experiences subject to conditioning by passage of time and exposure to American culture, and finally, in the potentially unrepresentative nature of the sample and its relatively small sample. The latter may constrain the generalizability of findings, and calls for further research on AUB students from different social strata and academic histories.

NOTES

1. Terence M. Keane, "Defining Traumatic Stress: Some Comments on the Current Terminological Confusion", Behavior Therapy, Vol. 15, 1985, p. 420.

2. Ronit Kishon Barash, Factors Associated with Two Facets of Altruism in Vietnam-war Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1995.

3. Joel E. Dimsdale, "Coping - Every Man's War," American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. 32, #3, 1978, pp. 402-413.

4. Peter M. Hayman, Rita Sommers-Flanagan, and John P. Parsons, "Aftermath of Violence: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among Vietnam Veterans," Journal of Counseling and Development, Vol. 65, (March 1987), pp. 363-365.

5. Richard G. Heimberg, "What Makes Traumatic Stress Traumatic," Behavior Therapy, Vol. 16, 1985, pp. 417-428.

6. Richard A. Kulka, W.E. Schlenger, J. A. Fairbank, Richard L. Hough, B.K. Jordan, C.R. Marmar, and D.S. Weiss, Trauma and the Vietnam War Generation, New York: Brunner/Mazel Inc., 1990.

7. Chester B. Scrignar, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Legal Issues, New York: Praguer, 1984.

8. Rachman, S.J. (1990), Fear and Courage, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1990.

9. Philip A. Saigh, "Pre- and Post-invasion Anxiety in Lebanon," Behavior Therapy, Vol. 15, 1984, pp. 185-190.

10. Ibid., "Adolescent Anxiety Following Varying Degrees of War Stress in Lebanon," Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Vol. 14, 1985, pp. 210-215.

11. Ibid., "Anxiety, Depression, and Assertion Across Alternating Intervals of Stress," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 97, no. 3, 1988, pp. 338-341.

12. Mordecai Kaffman, "Kibbutz Civilian Population Under War Stress," British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 130, 1977, pp. 489-94.

13. Zev Harel, Boaz Kahana, and Eva Kahana, "Psychological Well-Being Among Holocaust Survivors and Immigrants in Israel," Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 1, no. 4, 1988, pp. 413-429.

14. Stevan E. Hobfoll, Perry London, and Emda Orr, "Mastery, Intimacy, and Stress Resistance During War," Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 16, (July 1988), pp. 317-331.

15. John J. Sigal, M. Weinfelf, and W.W. Eaton, "Stability of Coping Style 33 Years After Prolonged Exposure to Extreme Stress," Acta Psychiatra Scandinavia, Vol. 71, 1985, pp. 559-566.

16. Hassan H. Krayem, "The Civil War and the Structural Crisis of the Lebanese System," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1989.

17. Lydia Georgi, "Aftershock," Mane'h, Vols. 14, no. 20, 1983, pp. 34-41.

18. S. Nasr, Racy, J., and Flaherty, J. A. (1983), "Psychiatric Effects of the Civil War in Lebanon," The Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa, Vol. 8., no. 4, 1983, pp. 208-212.

19. E. Mansell Pattison, "War and Mental Health in Lebanon," Journal of Operational Psychiatry, Vol. 15, 1984, pp. 31-38.

20. Saigh, 1984

21. Ibid., 1985

22. Ibid., 1988

23. Samir Khalaf, Lebanon's Predicament, New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

24. Pattison, p. 35

25. Thomas L. Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1989.

26. Georgi.

27. The Impact of War on the Mental Health of the Lebanese, A Report, with Recommendations, from the Symposium, by Dr. Gorge Murr, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Labban, Dr. Antranig Manugian, Dr. Alexander Abdennur, Dr. Richard Day, and Prof. Laila Farhoold, Beirut, 1 December 1983.

28. Nasr et al.

29. American University of Beirut, Catalogue, American University of Beirut, 1990, p. 10.

30. Ibid.

31. The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education, "Republic of Lebanon", by Munir A. Bashshur, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1977, pp. 2459-2468.

32. World Education Encyclopedia, "Lebanon," by Samir A. Jarrar, Jamileh F. Mikati, and Byron G. Massialas,New York: Facts of File Publications, 1988, pp. 778-796.

33. Ibid.

34. Ghassan Tueni, "The University and Lebanon's Mission in the Area," Al-Kulliyah, (Spring-Summer 1987), p. 8.

35. Munro, J.M., A Mutual Concern: The Story of the American University of Beirut, Delmar: Gravan Books, 1977.

36. Ibid.

37. Harry Anderson, Richard Beeston, Cynthia R., Pigott, and Karen Springen, "An Oasis Under Fire," Newsweek On Campus, (December 1985), pp. 6-14.

38. Munro.

39. Ibid.

40. Hanna.

41. Ibid.

42. Anderson et al.

43. AUB Bulletin, Vol. XXVI, #6,1984.

44. Anderson et al.

45. Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, New York: Atheneum, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.

46. Anderson et al.

47. Ibid.

48. AUB Bulletin, Vol. XXVIII, #8, 1986.

49. Raja N. Khuri, "The Summer of 82: One Hundred Days of Siege," Al-Kulliyah, (Spring 1986), p. 11. (Available from the American University of Beirut, 350 Third Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10022).

50. Anderson et al.

51. AUB Bulletin, Vol. XXVII, #14, 1985.

52. Ibid.

53. Ibid., Vol. XXVII, #2, 1985.

54. Ibid., Vol. XXVII, #14, 1985.

55. Ibid., Vol. XXX, #2, 1987

56. Ibid., Vol. XXVII, #14, 1985.

57. Anderson et al., p. 9

58. AUB Bulletin, 1985-1987.

59. Ibid., Vol. XXVII, #13, 1985.

60. Anderson et al.

61. Anderson et al, p. 9

62. AUB Bulletin, Spring 1986.

63. Ibid., Vol. XXXI, #6, 1989.

64. Ibid., Vol. XXIX, #2, 1986.

65. Ibid., Vol. XXIX, #2-6, 1986

66. Ibid., Vol. XXVII, #13, 1985.

67. Ibid., Vol. XXIX, #6, 1986

68. Ibid., Vol. XXXI, #1, 1988.

69. Ibid., Vol. XXXII, #2, 1990, pp. 2-3.

70. Ibid.

71. Ibid., Vol. XXX, #5, 1988, p. 13.

72. Huda M. H. Bibi, "A Proposed Pilot Program for Personal, Academic, Career Student Counseling In Higher Educational Institutions of the Middle East", Ed.D. dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University., 1990, p. 87.

73. For a more detailed profile of the interviewees and questionnaire, see Ahmad A. Oweini, "Understanding Students' Coping Mechanisms in Response to Prolonged Hostilities: The Case of Students at the American University of Beirut in the Lebanese War, 1975-1991", Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1994.

74. Pattison, p. 35.

75. Zahava Solomon, Mario Mikulincer, Stevan E. Hobfoll, "Effect of Social Support and Battle Intensity on Loneliness and Breakdown During Combat," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 51, #6, 1986, pp. 1269-1276.

76. Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.

77. Mahmoud Abdullah Saleh, "Cultural Perspectives: Implications for Counseling in the Arab World," School Psychology International, Vol. 7, 1986, pp. 71-75.

78. John Moracco, "Some Correlates of the Arab Character," Psychology, A Quarterly Journal of Human Behavior, Vol. 20, #3/4, 1987, pp. 47-54.

79. Patai

80. Janoff-Bulman, R., & Timdo, C. "Coping with Traumatic Events: The Role of Denial in Light of People's Assumptive Worlds," eds. C.R. Snyder and C.E. Ford, Coping With Negative Life Events, New York: Plenum Press, 1987.

81. Dimsdale.

82. Hobfoll et al.

83. Kaffman.

84. Rachman

85. Sigal et al.

86. Pattison, p. 32.

87. Christine Dunker-Schetter, and Marci Lobel "Stress Among Students," eds. H.L. Pruett and V.B. Brown, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1990.

88. Terence J. Tracy, and Patrick Sherry, "College Student Distress as a Function of Person-Environment Fit," Journal of College Student Personnel, (September 1984), pp. 436-442.

Ahmad Oweini is a student advisor in the Office of Doctoral Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Baruch College, City University of New York.
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