Inside the Gate
  Views from Campus
Campaign Update
Architecture Matters
A Modern Marvel on the Green Oval
Architecture for the People
Architecture Matters
Back to the Books
Alumni Profile
Maingate Connections
Alumni Happenings
Class Notes
AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
From the President
From the Editors
Letters to the Editors
Campaign Update
President John Waterbury's Opening Ceremony Remarks, Oct. 1, 2007
Journalism Training Program
FHS Announces $1-million Ford Endowment
Collaboration with MD Anderson
An Invitation to Laughter
Medicine Class of 1982: Reunion in North America

Fall 2007 Vol. VI, No. 1

Class Notes


Farid Haddad
(BA ’41, MD ’48) Dr. Haddad recently moved to California from Arizona. He is in the process of publishing his Annotated and Illustrated Bibliography which indexes the more than 1,800 articles and books he has written. He has published 1,400 articles and 64 books in 73 journals in 28 countries and was recently elected to the WAAAUB Alumni Council.


Ryad Azhari
(BA ’50, MA ’52) In May 2007, Ryad Azhari celebrated the golden jubilee of his marriage to Mirjana Mitrovic in Lattakia, Syria, where he lives with his wife and runs a shipping agency with his daughters. He recently retired after serving as honorary consul of the Netherlands for 30 years; his daughter Yasmina was nominated to assume his consular functions at Lattakia and Tartous. He can be contacted either by e-mail (r.azhari[at] or fax at 963 41 360102.

Theodore D. Youssef
(BA ’58) writes: “I have been working in insurance since I graduated in 1958. I left Lebanon in November 1977 to join Consolidated Contractors Co. in Athens- Greece, as head of insurance. I am still living and working in Greece as an insurance consultant. I would like to get in touch with a few very old friends from AUB including Zaki Ghosheh, Souheil Ella, Husein Hamameh, Adel Barbir, Farid Salameh, and Burhan Baradie. My email is tyoussef[at]”


Evangelos F.
(BA ’62) In October 2006, Dr. Coufoudakis retired as rector emeritus of Intercollege in Nicosia, Cyprus. In December 2006, he published his new book, Cyprus —A Contemporary Problem in Historical Perspective, Minneapolis: Minnesota, Mediterranean and East European Monographs, 2006. He can be contacted at MMA98[at]

Nizar Nuwayhid
(MD ’66), an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) has joined Emerson Hospital in Westford, Massachusetts.

Massoud Jalili (MS ’67) After leaving AUB, Massoud Jalili lived in Tehran (1967- 79), Paris (1980-85), Copenhagen (1986-88), Paris (1989), Brussels (1989-03), Tokyo (2003-07), and is now in Mauritius. He can be contacted at mjalili[at]

Kameel Hawa
(BA ’68) won the Type Director’s Club (TDC) TDC2 2007 Type Design Competition for designing the Arabic typeface Midan in 2005. Kameel Hawa, director of Almohtaraf Assaudi (, explains that Midan is a modern Arabic typeface and is part of the Linotype type foundry. It can be purchased from their website:

May Rihani
(BA ’68) writes: “This fall, I gave a course in Salzburg, Austria at the Salzburg Seminar, a presentation at the World Bank, and a presentation at the Conference Board. The course in Salzburg was entitled “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Women in Politics and Business.” Then I made a presentation on the importance of investing in girls’ education at the World Bank’s Global Symposium in Washington DC. The World

Bank’s Human Development Network and its Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network convened a symposium entitled “Education: A Critical Path to Gender Equality and Empowerment.” The second presentation was at the Business and Education Conference, which was organized by the Conference Board. The panel was entitled “New Dynamics in Post Primary Education: Lessons from Practice.”


Charles A. Petersen
(MA ’70) Charles Petersen received his master’s degree in Middle Eastern history from AUB. He currently resides in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches high school social studies. While working with the Laramie Plains Museum, Petersen published a picture history book on Laramie from 1868 to the present. He can be reached at oldmanmtns[at]

Mark Chippindall
(BA ’71) writes: “I work in real estate investments and development as a chartered surveyor based in the UK. My work in the last ten years has taken me to many of the Gulf States, which I continue to visit periodically. I have met up with some contemporaries from AUB in Kuwait and I would be delighted to hear from anyone, anywhere in the world who was at AUB 1968-71 and who knew me. I graduated from AUB in 1971 with a bachelor of arts in political science. Please do contact me by e-mail at g.m.c[at]”

Ramez Dimechkie
(BA ’72) has recently taken up his new post as Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany. He served as chief of Protocol at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1998, and later worked as chief of protocol at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers under Prime Ministers Salim Hoss and Omar Karame. He rejoined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2005 when he was reappointed by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora as chief of protocol and speechwriter. He remained in that position until he moved to Berlin in July 2007. Ramez Dimechkie is the son of Ambassador Nadim Dimechkie (AUB ’55). His daughters, Hala (MA ’98) and Mayssa (BA ’95) are AUB alumni. Hala is the communications coordinator for the Faculty of Health Sciences. Ramez Dimechkie’s brother, Riad, is now the director of the EMBA program at the Olayan School of Business.

Hagop Bessos
(BS ’73, MS ’76) works for the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service as head of Immunohaematology Research and Development. He is based in Edinburgh and was recently admitted to the Royal College of Pathologists based on his published research papers. Dr. Bessos can be reached at bessos[at]

Loutfi Echhade
(BBA ’73), senior audit partner at Ernst & Young, was elected as a member of the firm’s Global and North Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa (NEMIA) Advisory Councils. He was also elected as a member of the Institute of Management Advisory Council (IMA) to the International Federation of Accountants. He is married with four children. His son Basil graduated from AUB in 2007; his daughter Dena is currently a junior.

Salam Fayyad
(BS ’75) the new Palestinian prime minister, is a former official at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank who has been widely praised for his efforts to bring greater transparency to Palestinian finances. Fayyad served as finance minister from 2002-05 and then again in the short-lived Palestinian unity government formed in March. Fayyad was introduced as “a professional and dedicated person” who combines “a great commitment to the Palestinian people with an integrity and a professionalism that is much needed,” before a speech at Washington’s respected Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, DC, in 2002. He is married and has three children.

Walid Atef Chammah
(BBA ’76, AUB Trustee) was recently promoted to the position of chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley International. Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John J. Mack commented, “Walid will help us build upon the growth of our institutional businesses, strengthen regional authority outside the US and sharpen our focus on global clients.” Before joining Morgan Stanley, Chammah was a managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, responsible for US taxable fixed income capital markets and structured finance groups. He was previously senior vice president with Blyth Eastman PaineWebber, responsible for liability management swaps.


As’ad Abu Khalil
(BA ’81, MA ’83) was a commentator at the first annual Houston Palestine Film Festival this spring. After coming to the United States in 1983, Khalil received his PhD from Georgetown University and went on to teach at various universities in the United States. He also served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News. He is now a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley. The festival has been described as bringing an honest and independent view of Palestine and its diaspora’s society, culture, and political travails through the art of film.

Nabila Abla Madhun
(BS ’83) graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in urban studies administration with magna cum laude honors.

Iffat Saadeh
(BA ’84) has been living and working in the Gulf for the last 18 years. She left Lebanon in 1989 to work at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi Women’s College. There she met another AUB graduate, Hani Itani (BArch ’88). They married in 1990 and moved to Dubai where she continued to work with the colleges in Dubai Women’s College until 2001. In 2002 she moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband and two boys: Wissam (16) and Rami (13). They lived in Riyadh city for four years where Saadeh worked at Kingdom Schools. Last year the family moved again to Al Khobar. This year she joined the faculty of Prince Mohammad University as an English instructor. She welcomes any contact from AUBites and can be reached at iffatsaadeh[at]

Amin Al-Cheikh
(BArch ’88) writes: “After my graduation in 1988, I stayed in Lebanon and worked with Khatib & Alami C.E.C. Due to the war, I moved to Greece in 1989 and started working with a Greek contracting company which is mainly involved with tourist complex developments. In 1992 I became a freelance architect, involved in the design and supervision of residential houses and buildings.

For more than a decade Athens was a candidate for the Olympic Games. During this time a big architectural and structural campaign was launched to improve general infrastructure, transportation facilities, sports complexes and tourism development. It provided opportunities for many architects, engineers, and contractors.

I personally worked for the contractors who constructed the Athens Metro Lines 2 & 3. My office contributed to the execution designs of most of the underground stations of this project. Recently I won the execution design and supervision contract of the two new extensions of the Athens Metro, which means that we will be responsible for 17 out of 25 stations constructed in Greece. Along with the Metro, my office is preparing execution designs for school renovations and industrial buildings in Greece.

I also must mention the support of my lovely wife Chrystelle, to whom I’ve been married for 11 years. I believe frankly that our architecture studies at AUB were comprehensive enough to enable us to adapt easily to jobs and advance ourselves anyplace in the world.


Hussein Sabra
(CCE ’91) lives in Beirut and works at SWORD Group ( as a technical director for the Lebanon branch. He has three children and would like to hear from his friends in CCE ’91. He can be reached at husseinsabra[at]

Zeina Mansou Soueidan
(BS ’92) received her AUB degree in nutrition and dietetics, married Bassem Soueidan, and went on to earn her MS and RD credentials at Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She currently serves as a secretary of the executive committee of the Washington, DC chapter of AANA with Ghada Rihani (president), Hoda Khoury (vice president), Nada Mufarrij (treasurer), and Siwar Jaafar, Asma idriss, and Hanan Zurayk as members at large. She can be reached at zeinas[at]

Zahi Haidar
(BS ’93, MD ’97) has recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He is a neonatologist with Neonatology Associates, Ltd. His email is zahi_haidar[at]

Michel Sawaya
(BS ’93, BBA ’97) and Corine Sakr (BBA ’94) have been blessed with the birth of their second baby girl, Karen. The couple has one daughter, Celine (three years old), who started at International College in September ’07. The Sawaya family is living in Lebanon where Michel works at Citibank and Corine works at Standard Chartered Bank.

Zaher Abu Ayash

(BArch ’94) writes: “I am currently in London working at Foster + Partners. I am an associate partner and I work on Middle East projects. I’ve been in London for eight years following my master of science in building and urban design at University College London.”

Karim Diab
(BS ’95, MD ’99) is moving to Phoenix, Arizona this fall. He is a pediatric cardiologist and has joined the Eller Congenital Heart Center of St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center.

Mariam Eid
(BS ’95, MD ’99) has joined St. John’s Clinic-Lebanon-OB/ GYN. Eid finished her residency at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia. She is board certified by the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates and is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Ahmad Elesber
(BS ’95, MD ’99) an interventional cardiologist, has joined the medical staff of King’s Daughters Medical Center and the physicians at SV Cardiology in Kentucky. In 2003 Elesber completed his residency and two fellowships at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Cardiology and recently completed the 2007 Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography, which determines special competence in the field of diagnostic cardiac ultrasound.

Bernard Sagharian
(BS ’95, MD ’99) just moved to Phoenix, Arizona from Beirut and is doing his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. His email is bernard_05[at]

Mazen Itani
(MD ’96) recently joined the Newton Memorial Hospital in Newton, New Jersey. Itani is board certified in general and vascular surgery, is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society, a fellow of the American College of Surgery, and a member of the American College of Phlebotomy. Itani practiced vascular surgery at the West Palm Beach, VA hospital in Florida for three years before moving to New Jersey. He and his wife Nadia have a son, Samir (3), and a daughter, Donya (1½).

Souraya Karami
(BArch ’96) writes: “Unfortunately I am not working in architecture anymore (or maybe I should say fortunately!) I am still in the design field, as a shoe designer. I have started my own label, Esska, and am based in London. The website is”

Dina Daher Al-Challe
(BA ’98) writes: “I’m working currently as a French teacher and I’m married to a biomedical engineer, Walid Al-Challe. I have two beautiful daughters Zoya (3½) and Layane (1½). I can be reached at dinad_ alchalle[at]”

Maria Assi
(BGD ’99) writes that after graduation she did freelance work in graphic design for a couple of years before founding her own design company in 2001 called Go Graphic sarl, located in Beirut. In 2007, she’s still running Go Graphic as manager and creative director. She has a team of five people working for her on a full-time basis. They develop corporate identities, publications, and packaging for various markets in Lebanon, the Gulf, and Africa.


Souheila (Fakhoury) El Kurjie
(BA ’00) writes: “I have been married since 2000 and am now Souheila El Kurjie. I have two children, Leila (3½) and Tarek (6 months). I’m living in Santa Barbara and have almost completed my master’s degree in mass communications. I’m now the official on-line distributor of Lebanese Patchi chocolates at We have already been featured in Santa Barbara. Restaurant chefs and owners have been requesting the chocolates for their tastings too!”

Dany Khoury
(BArch ’00) has been living in Australia since October 2004. He writes: “I was working with a local company until July of last year when I joined a local architect to create a new company called Design Cubicle Pty Ltd. So far, we have been involved in more than 20 projects that vary from designs for single houses to multi-unit residential buildings to commercial and leisure facilities. Currently we have four employees and a senior consultant plus my business partner and me. We are located in Parramatta, which is a suburb of Sydney. Our website is”

Wael Hattar
(BGD ’01) writes: “I had a show last year at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for a day and have had some short films in festivals and on-line galleries.” His email is hattarboy[at]

Tracy Nasr
(BArch ’03) writes: “For some people architecture is simply the art of building. But today architecture has many bifurcations. Since I graduated, I have worked as a consultant, as a client representative, and as a project manager.

After graduation, I initially wanted to explore creative design. The Architecture Department at AUB oriented us more towards conceptual design and architectural creativity, so most graduates took that route. I ended up working with KEO International Consultants in Kuwait, one of the biggest architecture and engineering firms headquartered in Kuwait City.

Following that I worked with R&K International Consultants in Lebanon, handling some competition projects and designing for projects in Saudi Arabia. My next move was to Dubai in 2005 with my husband and child, the best place to be if you’re in the construction industry. I worked for a year and a half as a client representative for one of the big Emirati developers, Al-Ghurair City, developing residential buildings and malls.

Currently, I have deviated from that towards project management of large developments. I am working with the company EDARA as a project manager on The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Limestone House in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center). I’m handling the architecture and interior packages and I am also managing our consultants, interior designer, and contractor. It is a challenging project and a wonderful experience to see the project under construction, to deal with day-to-day issues, and particularly to be concerned about the building’s quality, cost, and time frame.”

Georges Akkaoui
(BS ’03, MBA ’07) left Beirut for Cyprus where he is a global project manager in Integration Group, an employee owned consultancy firm focusing on bringing accountability in marketing and communications. Georges focuses on a number of multinational Fortune 500 clients and contributes to the on-going process-improvements and automation of the various functions in the Integration Group. He can be reached at: gakaoui[at]

Tammam Yamout
(BGD ’04) has started his own firm, Penguin Cube ( He writes: “Our process of product creation, development, manufacturing, and distribution allows us to use eco-friendly and sustainable ingredients and materials. Design has made its mark on all aspects of a product’s lifeline. Our principle is to develop simple, well-designed products for sustainable living at affordable prices.”

Marie-Joe J. Raidy
(BGD ’05) is currently a shareholder and the creative director of Raidy Printing Group’s Design House, based in Beirut and Dubai. She also teaches graphic design methodologies and print production at Université Saint Joseph in Beirut. Her visual work has been exhibited at the International Museum of Women in San Francisco, Studio 4-11 in Belfast, the ADG, Xanadu, the Art Lounge, Espace SD, Kent Explora, and Daraj El Fan in Beirut. Selected for the FORTUNE/State Department International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership, she was in Washington, DC, Stanford, Connecticut, and New York for an International Business Exchange with Pitney Bowes. She also participated in the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women's Summit in Dana Point, California in October 2007.

Ghada Salame
(1997-2000) has just joined Mergers and Acquisitions at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in New York City. She can be contacted at ghada_ts[at]

Recently Honored

Ernest Barsamian
(BA ’48, MD ’52) On the day he turned 81, Dr. Barsamian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. The ceremony, which took place on Ellis Island, honored nearly 100 Americans who have made outstanding contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society. Dr. Barsamian spent most of his career as a physician at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. His many awards include a certificate of valor from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, countless commendations from the VA and the Matson Award for teaching as a surgeon at Harvard University. Dr. Barsamian has four children and ten grandchildren.

Dr. Zaven Messerlian
(BA ’59, MA ’64) was granted the St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal by the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II. The decoration was presented by Archbishop Hovnan Derderian in a tribute organized in Pasadena, California on August 17, 2007. The event was organized by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), and the Armenian Evangelical College West Coast Alumni Association, in recognition of his services to the AGBU, the Armenian community, and his role as a historian and author. The event also marked his 40th anniversary as principal of the Armenian Evangelical College in Beirut.

Bert Roughton Jr.
(former student, 1975) managing editor of the print version of the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, presented the Norman Fries Distinguished Lecture at Georgia Southern University on September 26, 2007. He discussed his experiences as a working journalist for more than three decades, and explored the role played by newspapers and other traditional media in today’s digital world. He moved to Beirut in 1974 and studied economics and comparative political systems at AUB in 1975.

Akram Rachad Miknas
(former student, 1963-66) was honored by the AUB Alumni Association of Kuwait at a large gala dinner at Le Royal Hotel in Dubai. In addition to key figures in the Alumni Association, the ceremony was attended by many ministers, MPs, and well-known figures from the political, media, social, and cultural worlds. Ramzi Alam El-Din, a member of the alumni’s Board of Directors, introduced Akram Miknas by saying: “Today, we honor an AUB alumnus, who is the president and CEO of Promoseven Holdings. This company, which started at a small office in Hamra Road in Beirut in 1968, has become today the largest advertisement and communications company in the Middle East and North Africa and ranks 52 in the world…We are proud to honor our successful and philanthropic friend, Akram Rachad Miknas.”

Mira Kaddoura
(BA ’00) won two Gold Lions for excellence in advertising at the 54th Cannes International Advertising Festival out of 25,700 entries submitted from 80 countries. She is the first Lebanese to win this prestigious award. Kaddoura received the awards for her work with the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy on a Nike commercial, entitled “I Feel Pretty,” featuring tennis champion Maria Sharapova. (The commercial can be viewed on YouTube. com.) Kaddoura graduated from AUB with distinction in Graphic Design in 2000 and then earned a master’s degree in Art Direction at VCU Adcenter in Richmond, Virginia, again with four stripe distinction. She is in her sixth year at Wieden+Kennedy, where she is a senior art director on the Nike Account.

Recently Published
Multiculturalism and Arab-American Literature By Ameen A. Rihani (BA ’65, MA ’71) Platform International Press: 2007. Ameen Rihani examines the influence of multiculturalism on literary works of bi-lingual Arab Americans by analyzing some of their most famous and successful publications such as an early 20th century Arabic newspaper issued in New York, Al Huda, and the works of “the founding father of Arab American literature,” Ameen Rihani, and many others.

I believe frankly that our architecture studies at AUB were comprehensive enough to enable us to adapt easily to jobs and advance ourselves anyplace in the world.
Amin Al-Cheikh

The Campaign for Excellence

Why do you give?

“The Muhanna Foundation recognizes AUB’s important role in the overall development of the youth in our region, which is why we introduced The Muhanna Mathematics Award of Excellence to encourage academic excellence in the fields of actuarial science, insurance and mathematics.”
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“Daniel Bliss was my great-grandfather, and my husband and I give to honor and continue the family’s commitment to the University and the region. We hope that friends and alumni will continue to support AUB in this fragile part of the world where we all long for peace.”

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This historic campaign ends Dec. 31, 2007... you can still participate!