Amin Khalil Hajj (Former Faculty
(’61–’76) died February 6, 2004 in Kennett Square,
Pennsylvania, at the age of 84. He was born in Beirut in 1920, and
married Penny Sutton on August 3, 1954. He was an orthotist and
prosthetist, and worked in rehabilitation at the American University
Hospital from 1961 to 1976. He moved to Pennsylvania with his family
in 1976, and worked at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital until
He is survived by his wife, Penny, and their three children and
their spouses: Nadine and David Birney, Karen Hajj and Alan Becknell,
and Jamie and Lisa Hajj. Six grandchildren also survive him: Diana,
Scott, and Jamie Birney, Nigel and Francis Becknell, and Connor
Hajj. Members of his family in Lebanon include his sister-in-law,
Ruby Hajj; Naila and Nasser Safieddine; Karim and Nadim Safieddine;
Maha Ogden-Smith, Tarek and Nael Smith, and Nigel and Linda Shibild.
A memorial service was held on March 13 and another one will be
held on June 19, 2004 in the United States. Contributions may be
made in his memory to the American University of Beirut or to the
Contact and Resource Center in Beirut.
Haroutune Kalayan (BSE ’46),
who was born in 1908 in Aintab, Turkey, died on December 21, 2003,
at the age of 95. In 1915, after his older brother and father were
massacred in the Armenian genocide, he moved with his mother and
brother to Aleppo, where he attended Aleppo College. He then came
to the American University of Beirut, where he graduated with a
BS in engineering.
In 1937, he married Berjouhie Shirajian and moved with her to Cyprus,
where he taught at the Melkonian College for a few years. After
Lebanon gained its independence, he returned to Beirut and worked
at the Lebanese Department of Antiquities and also taught part-time
at AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. He is known
for his restoration of the ancient ruins in Lebanon and received
the Said Akl Award for his work.
In 1978, he went to Jordan and worked with its Department of Antiquities
until he retired in 1989. Shortly after his retirement, he moved
to the United States to live with his children. He is well known
in the archaeology community, and during his lifetime gave many
lectures in the Middle East and Europe on the ancient sites he loved
so much, among them Palmyra, Baalbeck, Anjar, Sidon, Byblos, Jerash,
His two daughters, Alice Ispentchian and Shoushan Samman; five grandchildren;
and four great-grandchildren survive him.
Garo S. Matossian (MD ’49)
passed away surrounded by family on March 11, 2004, at his son’s
home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 83. Born Garabed Setrak Matossian
in 1921 in Aintab, Cilician Armenia, he was the son of Professor
Setrak Matossian of Central Turkey College and educator Eliza Ayvazian
Matossian. The Matossians and their children were forced into permanent
exile in 1922 during the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. They
eventually settled in Aleppo, Syria.
Matossian graduated first in his class from the medical school of
the American University of Beirut, where he met his future wife,
historian Mary Allerton Kilbourne. He immigrated to the US in 1952
to continue his studies at Harvard University’s School of
He was married in 1954 and became an American citizen in 1958. After
holding medical positions in Boston and in Buffalo, New York, Matossian
joined the Yater Clinic in Washington, DC, where he remained for
28 years and served as chairman of its board. While professor of
hematology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, he received
the Vicennial Award for teaching. He also was attending physician
at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and
Sibley Memorial Hospital. Matossian was a fellow of the American
College of Physicians and resided for 40 years in Bethesda, MD.
Long active in Armenian affairs, Matossian was a steadfast supporter
of the Armenian Assembly of America (Fellow Trustee), the Armenian
General Benevolent Union, the National Association for Armenian
Studies and Research, the Armenian Library and Museum of America,
and the Armenian Numismatic Society.
He is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Lou Ann, Kristine, and
Michele Irene, and sons Viken Raffi and Mark Garo.
Philip Najjar (BA ’41, MA
’54) died on May 25, 2003, at the age of 84. Born on November
27, 1918, in Bichmezzine, Koura, he had been a Beirut resident
since 1936. After earning a BA in economics, he started teaching
at International College (IC). He later earned an MA in education
and continued teaching at IC until he retired in 1986, after 45
years of service.
Najjar taught English in the English and French sections of IC,
and was later appointed master of the sections. While at IC, he
also taught at AUB’s Department of Education for several
years. Najjar was a co-founder of the Scouts of Lebanon, and served
as the organization’s main adviser for many years. He was
also a founder and adviser to the Junior Red Cross at IC. In 1969,
he cofounded Al Manar School in Hazmieh, and remained its co-owner
and one of its teachers for several years.
Admired and respected by students and faculty alike, Philip Najjar
was passionately intense about his work. His zeal and dedication
to teaching and education inspired generations of students. Surviving
Najjar are his wife, Angele, and their two children, both of whom
are AUB graduates:
Dr. Karim Najjar (MD ’80) and Sami Najjar (BSE ’77).
Yousef Shirawi (BS ’50) trustee
emeritus, passed away on February 3, 2004, at the age of 77. One
of the Middle East’s outstanding public servants and intellectuals,
he was the first Bahraini to attend AUB.
Born in Muharraq in 1927, the second of the principal islands
in the Bahrain archipelago, he was the son of a noted Arabic scholar.
A large, ebullient man, always laughing, he was the first British
Council student to be awarded a scholarship to study in England.
After graduating from AUB, he went on to pursue further studies
at Glasgow University.
Shirawi held a string of government positions in Bahrain throughout
the 1950s and 1960s, among them appointments as director of oil
affairs, director of development, secretary of the administrative
council, and assistant director of education. In 1971 he became
Minister of Development and Engineering Services (later renamed
the Ministry of Development and Industry), a position he held
until June 1995. He also served as acting Cabinet Affairs Minister
for several years in the mid-1980s.
Shirawi is credited with having helped pioneer civil aviation
in Bahrain and in 1970 was appointed a director of Gulf Aviation,
which later grew into Gulf Air. Another career milestone was the
building of the King Fahad Causeway, linking Bahrain and Saudi
Arabia. He received many honors, and was appointed KBE after the
state visit of the queen of England to Bahrain. In his leisure
time, he enjoyed playing chess and was one of the founding members
of the Bahrain Chess Federation.
Shirawi, who was elected to AUB’s Board of Trustees in 1973
and remained active throughout his tenure, became Trustee Emeritus
in 1992. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Mai al Arrayed, and their