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E-Historical Collection: Asfouriyeh

This Guide houses Saab Medical Library (SML) e-Historical Values Collection. This Collection is growing year by year...


ANNUAL REPORTS 1898 - 1960

The Lebanon Hospital for the Insane

Theophilus Waldmeier and his staff at Asfouriyeh ca. 1907


The Lebanon Hospital for the Insane (later Lebanon Hospital for Mental Diseases, finally the Lebanon Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders) was started by Theophilus Waldmeier in 1898 at Asfouriyeh in the foothills of Mount Lebanon just east of Beirut. This collection of annual reports and appeals from the Saab Medical Library of the American University of Beirut covers most of its years of operation. 

An overview of the reports

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Appeal 1897
"I had no idea of the large number of lunatics who are in Syria, but, when I began to study their deplorable condition, I found that there are more of these unfortunate sufferers than I ever anticipated. The governor of the District of El Metn told me that he found 20 insane in his district alone, who are bound hand and foot in iron chains, and as the Lebanon is divided into seven districts, we may count about 140 of these, not including the milder cases. In the rest of Syria and other places in the Orient, where there is no proper accommodation for them, the only refuges ... " More...


Vol 1 1898
"A woman from Brumana became insane in consequence of a severe illness. Her relations having no other resource, went to a Maronite Priest, and asked him to come and cast the demon out of her. The old priest, whom Mr Waldmeier knew very well, came, and began to perform the exorcism in his priestly dress, carrying the censor and the big silver cross in his hands; these were the visible weapons which he would fight against the invisible Demons that possessed the poor woman. ..." More...