vol. 44, No. 1/2
From left: Mr. Nazih Zeidan, Mrs. Najat Zarour, HE Ghassan Tueni, Dr. Imad Baalbaki, Mr. Hassan Bazzi, Dean Maroun Kisirwani, Professor Abdul-Hamid Hallab
|Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni Dinner|
The AUB Alumni Association of Dubai and Northern Emirates held its annual
Gala Dinner on June 6 at the Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel. Some 450 AUB alumni
and friends attended. The AUB official delegation comprised Dean of Students
Dr. Maroun Kisirwani, Special Assistant to the President for Development
and Alumni Affairs Mr. Nazih Zeidan, and Director of Development and External
Affairs, Dr Imad Baalbaki.
After a welcoming reception, President of the Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni Association Mrs. Najat Zaarour opened the event, thanking AUB alumni and friends for their dedicated support. Mrs. Zaarour then talked about AUB as an institution of leadership: "At this time of crisis, and at all times, leaders with integrity, courage, and vision are needed in every domain in life . . . if our countries are to prosper and develop." Leadership is the theme of this year's alumni function and its related publication.
Mrs. Zaarour then went over some major activities that the Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni have organized throughout the year. These included a Ramadaniyat social evening that was attended by more than 600 alumni and friends, and a very well received monodrama play by Rafic Ali Ahmad.
Mrs. Zaarour closed with a quotation from Winston Churchill: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." She was referring to the generous support of AUB alumni and friends in Dubai and Northern Emirates which has netted
in financial aid to the University in academic year 2001-2002.
Representing President Dr. John Waterbury, Dean Maroun Kisirwani then addressed the crowd. He talked about AUB, its mission, its educational philosophy, and its role in building leaders of tomorrow. He expressed appreciation for the unyielding support of the Dubai and Northern Emirates alumni for AUB.
His Excellency Mr. Ghassan Tueni then took the podium as the dinner's guest of honor and keynote speaker. This was the very first time Mr. Tueni addressed an alumni gathering outside Lebanon. Mr. Tueni, who graduated from AUB more than 50 years ago and who has been serving as a trustee for years, talked about graduating from AUB as a mission of success and excellence. He gave examples from the Gulf to Afghanistan of AUB alumni who were leaders in their own right. He noted how impressed he was with the success that AUB graduates have had in Dubai, but reminded the audience that our stay in the Diaspora is temporary, even if it was crowned with success. After all, we are termed successful only when we succeed in our homeland.
During the dinner, there was a raffle and a solo performance by singer Khaled Abdallah.
The week of the Gala Dinner the Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni Association organized activities for Mr. Tueni and the AUB delegation. Among them were visits to and meetings with leaders of Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City as well as visits to cultural centers and museums.
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