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Abstract

In the Interwar period, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) became a major humanitarian actor in the Middle East, through its support to the New York-based Near East Relief (after 1930, Near East Foundation). Their main local partner was the American University of Beirut (AUB), the cooperation with which it had antecedents before 1914. Thanks to RF fundings, the AUB was able to develop ample medical services, partly with a view to providing medical assistance to the refugee populations of the region. By the early 1930s, a RF correspondent came to complain that his institution had picked up the AUB as a partner specifically because it did not see in it a missionary association, but that the university was proving to be just that—a donation-hungry organization. This case may help us understand why it was difficult for funding organizations, even Christian-minded ones such as the RF, to see in missionary organisations actors whose practices should be imitated and emulated. Financial dependency and donor-oriented techniques, such as exhibiting patients or arguing for extra funding in the name of the needs of the sick, were part of their PR arsenal and tended to shape their behaviour. To what extent did AUB display, in its relationship with the RF, such a pattern, or follow other professionalized models of philanthropical operation?

Open Access
In: Christian Missions and Humanitarianism in The Middle East, 1850-1950

Abstract

In the Interwar period, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) became a major humanitarian actor in the Middle East, through its support to the New York-based Near East Relief (after 1930, Near East Foundation). Their main local partner was the American University of Beirut (AUB), the cooperation with which it had antecedents before 1914. Thanks to RF fundings, the AUB was able to develop ample medical services, partly with a view to providing medical assistance to the refugee populations of the region. By the early 1930s, a RF correspondent came to complain that his institution had picked up the AUB as a partner specifically because it did not see in it a missionary association, but that the university was proving to be just that—a donation-hungry organization. This case may help us understand why it was difficult for funding organizations, even Christian-minded ones such as the RF, to see in missionary organisations actors whose practices should be imitated and emulated. Financial dependency and donor-oriented techniques, such as exhibiting patients or arguing for extra funding in the name of the needs of the sick, were part of their PR arsenal and tended to shape their behaviour. To what extent did AUB display, in its relationship with the RF, such a pattern, or follow other professionalized models of philanthropical operation?

Open Access
In: Christian Missions and Humanitarianism in The Middle East, 1850-1950
In: Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940
In: New Faith in Ancient Lands
In: Social Sciences and Missions
In: Social Sciences and Missions
In: Missions and Preaching