Dean Ken Weidner had a strong personality and a vision for the future.
He maintained a close relationship with his students and often attended
their leisure parties. He also led the FEA team in its annual confrontation
in football with Arts and Sciences. He took his own decisions without
listening to others and was always very decisive. In 1961, a failed fourth-year
student stabbed Dean Weidner in the back with a knife because he had failed
and the dean had refused to give in to pressure.
At that time, students met in Assembly Hall (it was called the Chapel
then) three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) at 9:30am
to listen to hymns accompanied by Salvador Arnita at the organ. Once every
ten days or so, President Stephen Penrose would deliver a speech on some
academic, social, or humanitarian topic.Noted speakers from the Lebanese
and Arab communites.were invited in addition to noted AUB professors to
talk on current issues.
Penrose was an eloquent speaker who mesmerized his audience. He died in
his prime at the age of 53 at home in Marquand House in late 1954. Everyone
on campus grieved for him. In the evening, his body was placed in Assembly
Hall so people could pass by and pay their respects. The next morning,
thousands of students gathered at the University and insisted on carrying
his coffin to the end of Bliss Street where an ambulance was waiting to
take the coffin to the Anglo-American Cemetery. Many cars took part in
the funeral procession. It was one of the largest funerals ever seen in
Dr. Constantin Zurayk was named vice president after Penrose died. I was
among the graduates who received diplomas from him in 1955. I got a B.A
in Economics. The Department of Economics was then headed by John Harbell.
Other faculty members included Albert Badr, Paul Khlat, Youssef Sayegh,
Talha Al-Yafi, Asaad Nasr, Nabeel Saadeh, Saeeb Jaroudi and Hikmat Nabulsi.
At the time the University included the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy
(it was closed in 1965), Engineering, Agriculture, Arts and Sciences,
and Business. It also included a number of distinguished Arab and American
faculty members with expertise in a wide range of specialties. There were
3,500 students from Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and some
Gulf countries in addition to students from Africa who were financially
supported by the Point Four Program, which was a US government program
to aid developing countries.
Memories of Students
I have many fond memories from my student days especially involving students
in the Departments ]of Economics and Business Administration. Among the
people I remember are the twins Nadim and Samir Khalaf, George Medawwar,
Safa Janudi, Ibrahim Melhem, Louay Jabi, Riyad Tabbara, Riyad Yusuf Salameh,
Raja Matar, Abdul Hamid Fakhoury, Usama Afifi, Suheil Nasser, Peter Karam,
Salah Dabbagh, Roy Karaoglan, Ameen Dana, Saeed Barraj,Nazih Bsat and
Ghazi and Farouk Jabr. Outside the Economics Department there was Abbas
Khalaf (former minister) and the most famous student at AUB in the early
to mid 1950s, Abdelazim Quaraman. He became part of AUB's history. There
is a funny story about him. Abdelazim, nicknamed Azzoum, enrolled in AUB's
in 1941 from Haifa first at I.C and graduated from AUB in 1955 with a
BA in political science. He should have graduated in 1950, but he kept
changing his major. During the graduation ceremony, he arrived in an open
top car, standing to greet the students who had gathered for the ceremony.
When his name was called, everyone stood up and applauded. This prompted
the late Prime Minister Saeb Salam, under whose patronage the ceremony
was being held, to ask Dr. Constantin Zurayk if "Azzoum" was
the most distinguished student at AUB.
After the ceremony, a huge group of students walked with him to Faysal
Restaurant where the owner Farid Faysal prepared a special dish, which
he called the "Azzoum Split." The next day, Azzoum received
a telegram from his former classmate, the Jordanian Minister of Economy
Hamad El-Farhan. It said: "We were surprised and stunned by the news
of your success. Please confirm by asking Registrar Farid Fuleihan."
Ironically, after graduation, Abdul Azim got better job offers at higher
salaries than his colleagues. He ended up in Saudi Arabia where he worked
as a public relations officer at the US Air Force Base in Dhahran.He passed
away three years ago in Amman.
There was also a bright student named Riyad Rida Irani, who graduated
early in 1953 when he was only 19 years old. He later became a distinguished
chemical scientist and was eventually named president of Occidental Company.
He is now vice co-chairman of AUB's Board of Trustees and one of the most
renowned businessmen in the United States.
As for the bright twins Nadim and Samir Khalaf, I have so many cherished
memories of them. They were more than twins; they were brothers and friends.
They were one person. You said "Hello Nadim" and you got the
answer "I am Samir." You said "Hello Samir" and you
got the reply "I am Nadim." They always looked alike and dressed
alike and sat side-by-side in class. Even their grade average was similar.
They played all kinds of sports. Once they were running in two competing
teams in a 1,500-meter race and they insisted on finishing shoulder-to-shoulder
and the two teams were declared co-winners, despite the fact that their
friend Samir Khalidi's kept prodding Nadim, who was on his team, to try
and beat his brother. The twins only parted twice: once when Samir shifted
from economics to social studies, and then when Nadim passed away in 1995,
while he was in the prime of his life.
As for Dr. Riyad Tabbarah, Lebanon's former ambassador to Washington,
and former dean of Health Sciences, he was a top-notch comedian who imitated
teachers both in how they moved and in their style in the classroom. Additionally,
he was a restless dynamo who never could stay still in class and who constantly
cracked jokes and had something to say about every student. It is said
that he contributed many jokes that his brother Wassim Tabbarah used in
Events witnessed at the University
In 1951-55, there were many political upheavals on campus. For example,
students mounted a large demonstration in March 1954 against the Baghdad
Pact. Security forces quelled the demonstration harshly; Hassan Abou Ismail
was killed and Mustafa Nasrallah suffered injuries from which he never
recovered. As a result, the University Administration ordered Al-Urwa
al-Wuthqa Association to disband. Some students were expelled, and others
received warnings. Some of those who left AUB to pursue their education
in Egypt or the United States are Thabet Mahayni, the late Adnan Faraj,
Faysal Khadra, Ramzi Dalloul, Omar Barazi, Ghassn Barazi, martyr Bassel
Kubaisy who was assassinated by Musad in Paris in 1973 the late Sami Sanbar,
the late Makram Odeh, Saeda Husseini, Samira Abou Ghazaleh, Al-Hakam Darwaza,Omar
Fadel and others. All of them were members of Al-Urwa al-Wuthqa Association.
Cultural and Sports Activities
In the same period (1951-55), cultural and sports activities were at their
zenith at AUB. There were several active associations on campus including
Al-Urwa al-Wuthqa and the Civic Welfare League (CWL). The CWL published
a 36-page monthly magazine called "Focus for Social Affairs,"
which was edited by Tahseen Tagi and later by Michael Madonian.
Al-Urwa al-Wuthqa Association was founded in 1918 and was a focus for
cultural and political activity on campus. Between 1951 and 1954, it was
headed respectively by Abdul Fattah Jandali, late Elie Bouri, Thabet Mahayni,
and finally Maurice Tabri. The decision to disband the association was
taken after the March 1954 events, which I mention above. The association
included various political groups at the University such as the Arab Nationalists,
the Baathists,Syrian Natinalist and the Communists. Competition for the
administrative positions in the association was fierce, but they usually
went to the Arab Nsationalist Movement.
Al-Urwa al-Wuthqa Association activities included concerts and plays at
West Hall. I remember one performance by Halim Al-Roumi and Wadeeh El
Safi, another by Fairuz, and a sketch performed by the Rahbani Brothers.
Among the students who distinguished themselves as actors and comedians
were Izzeddin Sobh, Shareef Alami, Nahida Fadli Dajani, Shafeeq Hout,
Maurice Tabry, and Amal Rassam.President Cammile Chamoun anf his wife
Zalfa attended a play at West Hall named Queen of Tadmur and congratulated
students on their performance.
One of the biggest cultural events at AUB was the visit by the dean of
Arab literature Taha Hussein, who came at the invitation of Vice President
Fouad Sarrouf and Chairman of the Arabic Language Department Jibrail Jabbur
in 1955. Assembly Hall and the outside yard were filled with Arab literary
figures and AUB students who had all come to listen to Taha Hussein speak
about the future of Arab culture. A few days later, Taha Hussein took
part in a debate entitled "Who Does the Writer Write For: The Public
or the Private?" with writer Raif Khoury. Egyptian novelist Mahmoud
Taymour also came to AUB and gave a lecture in West Hall in 1954, as did
the famous Syrian poet Omar Abou-Risheh who read his famous Arabic poem
Al-Urwa al-Wuthqa also organized the first Arab book exhibition in Beirut
in 1952, under the supervision of Adeeb Qawar.
Sports activity on campus was intense. The Athletics Department was headed
by Abdul Sattar Trabulsi, champion of Lebanon and the Arab world in pistol
shooting. He was assisted by Saifeddin Sidani and Robert Paoli. The football
team included many elite players such as the late Doro Hambakides, Michel
Saad, Muteeh Abbarah, Abdallah Shaheen, Qusayy Jabiri, late Nassouh Qabbani,
Toufic Abu Zeid, Johnny Iskandar, Anis Taher, Mimi Antiba and Sameer Sanbar.
After this group graduated, the team consisted of Victor Shibr, Nassib
Abou Hamad, Ziyad Habash, Antoine Baaqleeni, Ameer (Iranian player), Talal
Hikmat, Yanal Hikmat, Waleed Asfour, Hindawi , Ramzi Haddad, Makram Rahhal,
the brothers Ramzi and Sami Alamuddin, and others. The AUB varsity team
did very well against strong Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish teams.
The AUB basketball team included Ambassador Khalil Mekkawi, engineer Varouje
Azadian, FEA Professor George Ayoub, engineer Farouq Midani, Dr. Ibrahim
Dabbous, faculty member Samir Deeb, agricultural expert Samir Badawi ,brothers
Samir Nadeem khalafa,Marwan Rashashas well as former Minister Farouq Barbeer
who was coach of the Riyadi Club team for many years. The famous Riyadi
team won Lebanon's championship for three consecutive years, with AUB
students serving as its backbone. Student Roy Karaoglan was Lebanon's
tennis champion in the 1950 competing with late Sameer Khoury for Lebanons
AUB students also excelled in track and field. Farouq Khartabeel and Abdul-Hamid
el-Fil did well in short distance races. In long distance events, Alex
Abou Jaoudeh, Rashed Ar-Rashed (he was Kuwaiti and later became Minister
of Foreign Affairs) and Michel Tawil were the stars. In the high jump,the
late Dr. Samir Shabb was Lebanon's champion. In body building, Saqr Fakhri,
Ghazi Khankan, and Raja Abou Shaqra were AUB champions. Fawwaz Najiyyeh
was the weight lifting champion; Ghazi Qaddoura, Peter Karam, and Safa
Janoudi were prominent in table tennis.In swimming and diving Dr Kamal
Bakhazi,Victor Shiber and Ali Hoss were stars.
Among the exciting sports activities held every year was the traditional
football match between Arts and Sciences and Engineering. Preparations
began on campus with attacks and counter attacks by students from both
faculties using water balloons and anything they could lay their hands
on as ammunition. Ambushes and stratagems continued until the two teams
descended to the Green Field where supporters converged in large demonstrations
with drums and clarions. Supporters of the winning team celebrated all
night and supporters of the losers went to bad early and dreamed of revenge
Among the leisure activities, one of the highlights was the Folk Dance
Festival that was held on the Green Field every May with thousands of
students and spectators in attendance.
CONSTANTIN ZURAYK AND PAUL LEONARD (1955-58)
After graduating in 1955 with a BA in economics I decided to prepare for
a master's degree. Due to my difficult financial situation as a Palestinian
student, I applied for employment as a part-time research assistant at
the Institute of Economic Research, which was headed by Dr. Albert Badr.
The institute was about to produce two studies: one on the oil sector
and its work force in Saudi Arabia; the other involved preparing industrial
statistics on Lebanon. Besides Director Albert Badr, the institute included
Paul Khlat (vice director), Hikmat Nabulsi, Simon Siksak,Dr. Churchil,
Toufiq Bawarchi, Yakub Hurani, Sami Baaqlini, Salah Sawaya, Wadad Fleihan
(aunt of the late Minister Basil Fuleihan), as well as former Minister
Elias Saba, Youssef Lahoud, Nadim Khalaf, and Yusuf Shibl. This Institute
was funded by the Ford Foundation and was active for several years.
University activity peaked in 1958 with the student elections for the
chairmanship of the Arts and Sciences committee. The competition was very
close between Salah Dabbagh and Fawwaz Najiyyeh and ended with Salah's
victory. A year later, the late Abdul Hamid Sharaf (Jordan's prime minister
who passed away in 1980) competed against Issam Naaman, former minister
and former member of parliament.
Around this time (October 1956) the tripartite attack on Egypt took place,
which led to demonstrations both on and off campus and to protest marches
to the British and French Embassies. But, classes resumed a few days later.
Dr. Consantin Zurayk was still vice president at this time. In early 1957,
President Paul Leonard arrived to take office as president. He spoke at
Commencement that year.
In early July 1957, I graduated with a master's degree in economics with
my friend the late Dr. Nadim Khalaf. This is the end of my recollections
of AUB as a student. I went to work in Saudi Arabia in the Ministry of
Finances and National Economy. In 1966, I returned to AUB to give a lecture
in West Hall about the confrontation between the Keynesian and Monetarist
Schools. The second phase of my AUB recollections, this time as a faculty
member, started in 1971.
SAMUEL KIRKWOOD (1965-76)
I joined the School of Business in 1971. It was headed by Dr. Nimr Eid
and included Dr. Emil Ghattas, Dr. Nabil Shaath, Dr. Edward Armali, Dr.
Sandra Richard, Dr. Ayman Midani, and Mr. Aziz Marmoura. Dr. Ashour, ex-
head of the faculty who presided after Sheikh Saeed Himadeh retired traveled
to Kuwait to work on consultation for the Kuwaiti Fund for Development.
It is widely known that during the time that Sheikh Said Hamadeh was head
of the faculty, it graduated many students who went on to excel in their
fields. Sheikh Hamadeh was assisted by renowned professors such as Issam
Ashour, Moussa Husseini, Burhan Dajani, Salim Hoss, and others.
The AUB president at the time was Dr. Samuel Kirkwood, a gynecologist,
who was assisted by Deans Terry Prothro (Arts and Sciences) and Raymond
Ghosn (FEA) and Dean of Students Robert Njeimi. During his term, the new
AUB hospital was built (considered the most important health facility
in the Middle East) and Nicely Hall was completed.
Two major developments took place during President Kirkwood's term. There
was the long strike of 1974, which students staged to protest tuition
increases. The students occupied all university buildings for 21 days
and were evicted by Lebanese Army commandos upon the request of the university
administration. The second event was the assassination of FEA Dean Raymond
Ghosn and Dean of Students Robert Njeimi by a student who had been expelled.
Dean Ghosn was killed in front of FEA at 10 in the morning, and Dean Njeimy
was killed 15 minutes later. The assassin then headed to College Hall
to kill President Kirkwood but was unable to reach his office. Meanwhile
news of the attack had spread and security forces in the building surrounded
the killer. Negotiations were directed by Dr. Najib Abu Haidar who was
an AUH doctor and former minister. The killer surrendered and was taken
to court and imprisoned.
In the early 1970s, much of the academic and cultural activity reflected
the deteriorating political situation in the country. When the Lebanese
war broke out in 1975, academic life stumbled and we tried to finish the
academic year quickly so that graduating students would not lose a year.
Among the painful memories of that period is the death of business administration
student Pierre Zeina who travelled to campus to learn that he had won
the Penrose Award and then was murdered on the way back home during a
sectarian abduction incident along Beirut's Green Line.
In 1974, Dr. Elie Salem became dean of Arts and Sciences and remained
in that post until the Israeli invasion of 1982. He was appointed minister
of foreign affairs by President Amin Gemayel. He was succeeded as dean
by Dr. Lutfi Diab, who remained the dean until his retirement in 1997.
MALCOLM KERR (1981-84)
I left AUB in early July 1975 and joined Dar Al Handassa, (Shair &
Co. consultants), which was owned by Dr. Kamal Shair. I stopped teaching
for six years.
In 1981, Dr. Malcolm Kerr arrived to take up the post of president of
AUB. We had been close friends when we were together at the University
of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) when I was a PhD student (1961-63)
and President of Arab students Cluband and he was an assistant professor
of political science and an advisor to Arab students at the university.
After his arrival at AUB, we met for the first time in 15 years. He invited
me to lunch at Marquand House and asked me to return to teaching, either
full-time or part-time if I wanted to stay at Dar Al Handassa. I began
teaching Managerial Economics in the Faculty of Business Administration.
President Kerr's objective was to unite AUB, which had split into its
original Ras Beirut campus and an annex in Achrafiyeh. He was also working
to develop a master plan for the University. Fate decided otherwise. He
was assassinated on January 18, 1984 by an individual who posed as a student
and who shot him in the head with a silencer-equipped gun as he got off
the elevator in College Hall. The killer then escaped.
Malcolm Kerr was taken to AUH but he was dead on arrival. His body was
cremated in the university morgue. Some of his ashes were buried under
the tree facing Assembly Hall and some were taken to his hometown in the
United States. With Malcolm Kerr's death, many dreams of developing AUB
were lost and the country was at war, 1984-89. Malcolm Kerr died as a
relatively young man, being only 53 years old. His father Doctor Kerr
had been professor at AUB in the 1930s and his mother was dean of Women
Students and a professor of social sciences at AUB in the 1950s. Malcolm
Kerr is remembered for his decision to open the gates of AUB to Ras Beirutis
so they could sleep in the basements of university buildings during the
Israeli shelling and for his refusal to let an Israeli officer enter campus
in uniform during the Israeli occupation of Beirut. Malcolm's son Steve
was a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and played
with Michael Jordan for three years.
After President Kerr's death, the Board of Trustees decided not to appoint
a new president until the situation cleared up. Dr. Samir Tabet was named
acting president until Calvin Plimpton was named president, a position
he would hold until 1987. During this period (1984-87), teaching at the
University was fraught with danger because of the so-called war of the
militias. There was shelling and sniping in the streets and alleyways
near campus. Travelling to and from the University was difficult for both
faculty and students because of the great risks. The "war of the
flag" between the Amal Movement and the Socialist Progressive Party
broke out at 12 noon on November 22, 1985. Many students were stranded
on campus as fighting spread to the streets adjacent to the University.
They had to stay inside until the fighting stopped. Their parents could
not call them because there were no mobile phones back then. An instructor
or student who left home and headed to the University in those days did
not know what the day would hold for him and whether or not he was going
to return safely to his family.
Despite the harsh conditions during that period, sports and cultural activity
did not stop. I still remember the concerts given by the Beirut Heritage
Band led by Salim Sahhab in Assembly Hall. Football games continued between
the university team, Nijmeh club and Ansar club , and other football teams.
The passion for life at AUB was stronger than death.
FREDERIC HERTER (1987-94)
In 1987, I joined the School of Business as a full-time assistant professor.
Dr. Emil Ghattas led the school then; the faculty consisted of Nimr Eid,
Mohsen Khalil, Aziz Marmoura, George Najjar, Tala Bssat, Khalil Qotran,
Rita Gotcharian, Lina Makarem (administrative assistant to the chairman
of the department), and Hayat Adiba.
In 1987, the security situation in Beirut and Lebanon stabilized and a
number of students from Jordan, Syria, and Kuwait joined AUB. In March
1989, however, war broke out again as fighting began between groups loyal
to General Michel Aoun and the Syrian forces. Many shells fell on campus,
one of which led to a fire in the Agricultural Labs that were partially
burned. Classes were suspended for three months. Students were not able
to graduate in June that year. In October, the administration extended
the academic year to the end of December.
The other serious event took place on November 8, 1991 when a car bomb
exploded near College Hall, facing Jafet Library. The car had entered
campus after breaking through the Sea Side Gate. The explosion was so
strong it threw the clock tower to the garden east of the library and
a major portion of the building was destroyed; amazingly, part of the
west wing remained standing. The front of Jafet Library was badly damaged.
The morning after, faculty and students gathered in great sadness to stare
at the wreckage from the explosion. Everyone had fond memories of College
Hall. It was particularly moving to see some faculty members from the
Department of History climbing on a crane to save books, papers, and research
material despite the inherent danger. The Board of Trustees decided immediately
to rebuild College Hall and repair Jafet Library. Twenty million dollars
was raised from alumni all over the world and from the US government.
College Hall was rebuilt between 1992 and 1997 and turned out to be an
engineering and architectural masterpiece. The new building looked just
the same as the old building from the outside, but it had more space and
two new underground floors. The donors' names were engraved on the external
wall of College Hall, in recognition of their help.
At the time of the explosion Dr. Ibrahim Salti was deputy president since
Dr Herter was still outside Lebanon; chemical scientist Makhlouf Haddadin
was vice president for academic affairs and Dr. Adnan Iskandar was vice
president for public relations. Lutfi Diab continued as dean of Arts and
Sciences, Dr. Nassir Sabah was dean of FEA and Dr. Adnan Mroueh succeeded
my former classmate Raja Khoury as dean of Medicine. My friend and former
classmate Riyad Tabbarah was named dean of Health Sciences. It has to
be said that this group led AUB to a safe harbor despite the difficult
political and financial circumstances surrounding the country and AUB
In 1995, history professor Robert Haddad arrived to take up the helm but
he spent most of his time in New York. Dr. Samir Makdisdi continued as
Acting President. President Haddad stayed for only two years and quit
after a disagreement with the Board of Trustees.
JOHN WATERBURY (1997 TO THE PRESENT)
In 1997, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. John Waterbury as president
after he was selected by a special committee. He took up office in 1998.
John Waterbury is a social scientist with broad interests who has written
extensively about the Middle East and the Arab World, particularly Egypt.
He is fluent in both written and spoken Arabic. After he took office he
selected Dr. Peter Heath as provost to be responsible for academic affairs.
Dr. Heath has a PhD from Harvard and is a specialist in the civilisation
and languages of the Middle East.
Dr. Waterbury devoted his time to drafting a master plan for the University
to define AUB's objective and a strategy for the next 20 years and raised
the necessary money for the master plan. Also in 1997, Dr. Khalil Bitar,
a renowned physicist became dean of Arts and Sciences.
The first construction project at AUB was the Hostler Student Center,
which costs 11.7 million dollars. The money was donated by Ambassador
Charles Hostler who lived in Lebanon and loved the country. The Center
for American Studies And Research (CASAR) was also established with funding
by Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal. Two years earlier, the renovation of West
Hall was completed with the addition of state-of-the-art acoustic equipment.
In 2000, the School of Business was established as an independent faculty;
Dr. George Najjar was appointed its first dean in August of that year.
The faculty was inaugurated in a ceremony where the late Prime Minister
Rafic B. Hariri, President Waterbury, and the new dean spoke. Dean Najjar
started to expand the faculty by adding four new fields of specialization:
Money, Marketing, Administration, and Information Technology. There are
currently more than 1,200 students, including 180 who are in the MBA program.
In 2003, the faculty was renamed for Saudi business leader Suliman Olayan,
whose family donated 20 million dollars to develop the faculty and build
a new center for it on the lower campus, facing the Corniche. The groundbreaking
for the new building took place in June 2005.
Among my fond memories from this period is the riveting evening with the
great poet Nizar Qabbani in Assembly Hall after his return from London
after a long absence. Thousands of students and members of the general
public, along with university administrators came to listen to his new
poems. The second memorable evening was the ceremony on December 4, 2004
to honor Zaki Nassif who was a music student at the University in the
late 1930s. Walid Gholmiyeh and the Conservatoire played that evening.
I also have memories of working as a full-time associate professor with
Dean George Najjar and others such as Associate Dean Said Fakhani, Nimr
Eid, Ibrahim Othman, Khalil Hindi, Tony Feghali, Youssef Sidani, Assem
Safieddin, Ahmad Ismail, Mahdi Matar, Hanin Abdallah, Rita Gotcharian,
and other esteemed professors. There are now 37 full-time professors at
the School of Business.
I would describe Dean George Najjar as a jovial and witty man who has
particular skills at public relations. He is a man who was until quite
recently burdened with responsibilities because he was also in charge
of AUB's Regional External Programs (REP) and kept it going under the
most difficult conditions. Said Fakhani has relentless energy and is extremely
patient with faculty and students. He is always very even-tempered and
rarely gets angry when dealing with students. His motto is: the student
is always right until it is proven otherwise.
As for Dr. Nimr Eid, the old warrior and the school's memory bank, he
complains that some students today don't work as hard as students did
in the past. As for friend Ibrahim Othman, who always speaks up at faculty
meetings, he is the trusted guardian of information technology and advocates
its use throughout Lebanon, particularly in government offices if they
are serious about administrative reform.
Friend Tony Feghali holds the banner of Bicharaf, which calls on students
to adhere to the strictest standards of integrity in everything they do.
As for Professor Tony Sabbagh, he is often heard saying, "Who can
I complain to when everyone is against me?"
There are so many other memories-of the dean's assistant Mrs. Hala Azar,
external training supervisor Tony Sabbagh, Mrs. Hayat Deebeh, Mrs. Nada
Khalidi, technology supervisor Mrs. Maya Helou, Miss Anna Maria Abou-Rached,
Mrs. Amal Alawiyyeh, Mrs. Roula Murtada, and our kind messenger Hadi Bou
Kamel. They all work as a team. Mrs. Hala likes to remind everybody that
she is the one in charge when the dean is away. Maya Helou does not sit
still in her office; you can always meet her on the faculty stairs for
a quick appointment. Hayat Dibeh, the student affairs assistant, looks
like an inspector who knows all the details of a situation when she contacts
a student to tell him or her that there is a problem. Anna Maria Abi Rached
loves to prepare student statistics. Nada Khalidi is the first one to
call attention to any injustice.
On April 22, 2005, the MBA students held their annual party at the Mövenpick
Hotel to honor Dr. Nimr Eid and myself. We both received memorial gifts
and then I gave the following "Farewell Speech":
"Dear dean, associate dean, respected professors, dear students.
In a life spent working as an economic advisor in the Ministries of Finances,
at banks, and as a university professor, I can say with a clear conscience
that working with the "School of Business" was the most enjoyable
for the following reasons:
I pledge to stay in touch with all my friends, professors, and students. I
wish all of you every success as the school moves to its new location under
the leadership of Dean George Najjar. I say thank you and goodbye."
- My emotional attachment to the building that houses the faculty.
I was a student in this building for a long time and attended many classes
there. In the room that Dr. Said Fakhani now occupies, I passed my oral
examination for the BA in economics.
- The friendly relationship between faculty members. I have never seen
anything like this in any other institution where I have worked. During
the 18 years I have spent here as a full-time professor I have never
had any problems throughout the deanships of the late Emil Ghattas,
Nimr Eid, Saadeh Shami, Pierre Abu Azza, Imad Baalbaki, and finally
- Serving students at a great university that has graduated so many
men and women who have gone on to leadership positions in the Arab world
is truly a great honor.
And so I end my half century of AUB memories.