Beirut-based Architectural Firm Wins Design Competition for Engineering Complex at AUB  
Trustee Philip Khoury Named MIT Associate Provost  
AUB and UAE Center Sign Agreement to Offer EMBA Program to Emirate Institutions  
Fourth AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology  
New Faculty: Hussein Shahidi  
New Faculty: Kirsten Scheid  
New Faculty: Tima al Jamil  
Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day  
Staff Profile: Ghaleb Halimi  
Fifth Annual FEA Student Conference Held  
Engineering Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Achievements  
Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB  
Construction Update  
Renovated AUB Archaeological Museum Inaugurated  
Renovated Pediatrics Clinic Opened  
Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality  
Tenth Annual AUB Job Fair Largest Since Its Inception  
Letters from a New Campus by Daniel Bliss  
Winners of the Coca-Cola 'Make Every Word Count' Essay Competition Announced  
AUBMC Research Group Awarded NIH Grant  
Science Students Reveal Bonds Between Chemistry and Art  
Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements  
Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television  
Science, Math, and Technology Fair Promotes Environmental Thinking  
School Fair 2006: Prospective AUB Students Visit Campus  
Situation of the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon  
Remembering the Writer, Khalil Takieddine  
Promotions 2005-2006  
Piano Recital by Arnimée Choukassizian  
Lecture on Space Exploration by World Expert  
Teleconferencing Brings Students Together Across Continents  
"Something Is Happening": Fairuz and Ziad Al Rahbani  
Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival  
Lecture on the History and Origins of American Islamicism  
Business School and Arts and Sciences Team Wins Soccer Championship Match by Narrow Margin  
  Red Cross Club Celebrates its 26th Anniversary at AUB
  History of the American University of Beirut: A New CASAR Course
  First Stereo-photography Exhibit at AUB  
  Photo Exhibition by President John Waterbury  
  The Cats of Renée Deek: End-of-Year Theater Workshop Performance  
  Film on Euthanasia-A True Story  
  Part Two of the CVSP Forum  
  Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said  
  Mozart and Schumann Celebrated at Assembly Hall  
  Austrian Chamber Music Duo Performs at AUB  
  Mathematician Alain Connes Visits AUB  
  Rima Khcheich Concert Plays to Sold-out Crowds at Assembly Hall
  Women's Auxiliary  
  33rd Annual Folk Dance Festival Hosts 20 Performing Schools  
June 2006 Vol. 7 No. 8

Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television

"With over 100 satellite TV stations fighting for a share of the Arab audience, the awareness of image is becoming crucial," said Obeida Sidani, a 1997 AUB graphic design graduate, who now oversees the image branding of four major television channels in the United Arab Emirates. In a short lecture at Architecture Hall on April 12, Sidani spoke about his experience in the Arab Gulf, where he helped transform and shape the image of the four channels. Entitled, "Extreme Makeover, A Television Reality," Sidani's talk was both informative and humorous.

Because of the highly competitive environment, television networks are increasingly focusing on image as well as content in order to attract the audience. "The last resort is to work on the image, which is called branding," Sidani said. Branding involves four major components: the network, the target audience, identity, and design. Assisted by an elaborate slideshow, Sidani showed how his design ideas transformed otherwise decadent channels into instant successes.

Working with Dubai Television, One TV, Sama TV, and the Dubai Sports Channel, Sidani managed to instill Arab culture with a more up-to-date Western image. The trick, he explained, was to shroud the contemporary design with symbols found in Arab heritage by incorporating images familiar to the audience, such as those of maternity, childhood, friendship, and Gulf traditions. "Although many subjects are taboo to the Arab audience, they may be addressed if they are well hidden in familiar images," he explained.

Sidani is the branding consultant for the Dubai Media Incorporation (DMI). Prior to working with DMI, Sidani was the creative director of the first Arab youth channel, Zen TV, as well as the acting creative director of the Lebanese Future TV Network, one of the most significant television networks in the Middle East. Sidani has won several of television's highly-esteemed Promax-BDA awards.