Alumni Activities Worldwide!
Beirut/Alumni Engineering and Architecture Chapter
The chapter celebrated the 50th anniversary of the FEA by successfully organizing its Sixth annual Job Fair Exhibition on campus from May 16-18. The opening ceremony was attended by Yakub Sarraf, governor of Beirut; Sobhi Bsat, president of the Order of Engineers; and Khaled Shuheil, chargé d’affaires, UAE Embassy.
The Job Fair aims to create employment opportunities for graduating engineers and to provide a scholarship fund for engineering students. This year’s fair had high participation from employers in the Gulf. Also present were 10 local engineering companies that are the backbone of the construction industry in Lebanon and are generous contributors to the chapter’s budget. Approximately 150 students received job offers?and Chapter President Sami Alamuddine presented a check of $18,000 to AUB from the revenue of the Job Fair, which was added to the sum of $42,000 given to AUB in the 2001-02 academic year.
The Nurses’ Chapter of the AUB Alumni Association (AAA) held its annual induction and pinning ceremony on June 25 at the Alumni Club in Beirut, honoring 33 graduating students.
Present were AAA President Mohammad Machnouk, AUB Provost Peter Heath, AUB School of Nursing Director Selwa Makaram, and AAA Vice President George Azar.
Chapter President Nuhad Dumit and Mr. Machnouk invited all graduates to join the AAA. Provost Heath asked all graduates to stay connected to AUB as alumni. Dr. Makarem donated the sum of $1,000 to the chapter to start a nursing scholarship fund.
Dhahran and the Eastern Province
On July 8, Mr. Ziad Najjar, Vice President of the AUB Alumni Association Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, presented President John Waterbury with a $10,000 check as part of an ongoing contribution to AUB from the branch.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai and Northern Emirates
The AUB Alumni Association in Dubai and Northern Emirates holds many traditional fund-raising activities throughout the year, such as the Annual Ball. Casual activities include the Annual Day Out, the Golf Tournament, as well as a number of cultural events.
“Dubai For Ten” is the unique fundraising program the committee adopted, which raises funds to give ten students a chance to study at AUB. Distinguished high school students in Dubai are also encouraged to come to Lebanon and study at AUB as part of this program.
The total donations of the branch are very close to $1 million dollars. Members of
the committee recently visited the University and presented a check for $225,000 entirely earmarked for financial aid — the largest single donation ever made by any alumni branch. It will provide much needed funds to academically qualified and needy students during the academic year 2002-03. All this has been accomplished with the colossal efforts of highly active committee members over the past years.
The branch maintains an extensive website, where updated information and contact addresses are available. Please visit them on www.aubdubai.com.
Branch President Gasim Badri and fellow alumni and friends welcomed Samir Kadi, associate director of development/director of alumni affairs, to the Sudan in March.
The visit yielded a great exchange of ideas about enhancing communication and collaboration between AUB and Sudanese alumni, of which there are approximately 300. The first Sudanese student joined AUB in 1924, and the first prime minster of Sudan, Ismail al Azhari, received his BA from AUB in 1930.
Dr. Badri organized a reunion for alumni living in Khartoum and Um Durman at Ahfad University. Around 30 alumni, mostly graduates of the 1960s, attended as well as Khaled Daouk, a member of the class of 1966, visiting from Lebanon.
AUB President John Waterbury visited Paris on April 5 where he met with Haytham Hamidi, president of the AUB Alumni Association Branch of France, as well as other alumni and friends including Safa Janoudi and Ismat Rabbat. The branch organized a gala dinner at the Ritz Hotel. During the dinner, Mr. Hamidi introduced Dr. Waterbury and confirmed the branch’s ongoing commitment to AUB. The President then gave an overview of AUB’s new Master Plan to the more than 120 guests present.
On July 10, Mr. Hamidi came to campus and presented President Waterbury with a check in the amount of 13, 000 euros, the proceeds of the gala dinner. This gift will be added to the scholarship program at AUB.
Alumni gathered for brunch on July 13 at the Market Place Marriott Hotel, the group discussed the new campus Master Plan and AUB’s role in the US and the Middle East following 9/11. Rima Zaitoon, associate director of development, director of annual giving programs at AUB’s New York Office, joined the crowd that included alumni Karl Barbir, Lokman Meho, Nicole Sultan, and others.
On June 3, Farid Haddad hosted a small gathering at his home in the Paradise Valley of Phoenix for area alumni to meet New York Office Director of Alumni Affairs Miyada Musharbash. The group proposed starting a “Four Corners” chapter that would link together alumni from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
The chapter held an exciting event in March to benefit AUB. Special guest W. Stephen Jeffrey, AUB’s vice president of development and external relations, spoke about the University and its plans for a major fundraising campaign. Members were shown an AUB video, participated in a raffle, and enjoyed dinner and dancing.
Dallas (North TX)
Over 50 alumni and friends gathered at the home Dr. and Mrs. Abdul Galil Noaman for the chapter’s annual fundraising dinner on May 24. Chapter President Dr. Kamel Itani welcomed guests and thanked the hosts for their warm hospitality.
Dr. Nadim Cortas, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, met with chapter alumni and friends for dinner before a day of meetings at Johns Hopkins University organized by Dr. Nagi Khoury and fellow chapter members to revive the ties of past years between the two institutions. Attending the dinner were Dr. and Mrs. Cortas, Dr. Nagi Khoury, Dr. Alain Shikhani, Dr. and Mrs. Elias Shayg, Dr. and Mrs. Toni Kfuri, and Dr. and Mrs. Maen Faihg.
The chapter provided great support to AUB with a $10,000 scholarship fund for two medical students. Cheers to all for their exceptional efforts!
The following members were elected to the Baltimore Chapter board in May: Dr. Meen J. Farha, president; Dr. Nada Jabbur, vice president; Ms. Salma E. Kodsi, secretary; and Dr. Adel Totoonchie, treasurer.
In completing his two-year term as chapter president, Abhallah El Rassy reported that the chapter raised approximately $20,000 for the AUB Scholarship Fund during his tenure. Playing a vital role in that effort was the chapter’s annual gala, held this year in April with the theme “Celebrate the Children.” The program, which was a great success, included a silent auction, fashion show, talent show, dinner, and dancing. Rima Zaitoon, associate director of development, director of annual giving, also attended.
The months ahead are filled with events: an October 13 picnic, a December concert by pianist Walid Howrani (tentative); and a book signing party by AUB trustee Ann Kerr on January 30. Be sure to mark your calendar!
The following members were elected to the chapter board in March: Mrs. Lina Jazi Barbar, president; Dr. Dima Suki, vice president; Mrs. Hala Charafeddine, secretary; Dr. George Nassar, treasurer; Mrs. Mona Duma, Mrs. Hitaff Saad, and Dr. Fahim Farhat, members-at-large; and Dr. Chirine Ghaoui, appointed member.
Greater Los Angeles
The chapter held an elegant dinner dance at the Park Hyatt in Beverly Hills on September 14 honoring AUB alumnus and benefactor Ambassador Charles Hostler for his service to the University. Chapter president Lina Badr introduced Ambassador Hostler to the guests and AUB Associate Director of Development/Major Gifts Timothy Brown spoke on behalf of the University, thanking him for his tremendous support of and commitment to AUB.
Ambassador Hostler shared with the audience his first introduction to AUB during his military travels in 1944. After World War II, he noted, the military had realized the importance of language training and familiarity with different cultures. Having long been interested in the Middle East, Ambassador Hostler was selected to attend AUB for a master’s degree. “AUB was a logical choice for gaining a solid understanding of the Middle East,” he explained. “The University has long been an invaluable reservoir of the area’s culture.” He went on to discuss his lengthy affiliation with the Middle East and AUB, including his nine years of living in Beirut in the 1960s, and his appointment as US Ambassador to Bahrain during the Gulf War, noting that 50% of Bahraini cabinet ministers were alumni. In his closing remarks, Ambassador Hostler proudly described the new Charles W. Hostler Student Center that will be built on the lower campus: “All of this is intended to enhance the quality of student life at AUB and to create a positive image for a University that plays such an important role within the Middle East.”
Former AANA President Walid Shekim and Greater Los Angeles Chapter President Lina Badr were each recognized for their achievements and service to AUB. The festivities also included a performance by an area comedienne and dancing.
Greater Washington, DC
More than 160 alumni and friends attended the chapter’s gala Annual Banquet in April, at the Park Hyatt in Washington. AUB alumnus Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, special presidential envoy for Afghanistan and special assistant to the president for Southwest Asia, the Near East, and North Africa, was honored with the chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award for raising the level of exposure of AUB to US officials and in the DC community. Because of Dr. Khalilzad’s travel commitments, the award was accepted by his wife, Ms. Cheryl Benard.
Special guests included the ambassadors of Lebanon and Afghanistan to the US and other diplomats. Letters of tribute to Dr. Khalilzad were read from Vice President Dick Chenny, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condolleza Rice, the Senate Appropriation Committee, US State Department, AUB, and the AUB Board of Trustees.
The banquet raised approximately $23,000 for AUB’s Scholarship Fund.
In June, chapter members joined other Arab-American organizations in a community picnic including food, games, music, dabke, sports, and children’s activities. The picnic was held in Arsenal Park in greater Boston. As a local newspaper pointed out, the Boston area has attracted Arab immigrants since the late 1800s and the purpose of this community affair was to rediscover Arab Americans and organizations in the area and to meet the Arab American business community.
On July 25, those chapter members not vacationing met for a summertime dinner in Cambridge. Although the group was small, the conversation was large and lively. Rima Zaitoon of AUB’s New York Office joined Nicholas Bu-Saba, Farid Louis, and Diala Ezzeddine for an evening of fine food, laughter, and discussion on AUB.
Elections were held in May: Dr. Diala Izzedine, president; Dr. Nakhle Tarazi, vice president; Dr. Rima Rashid, secretary; Dr. Farid J. Louis, treasurer; and Dr. Nicholas Bu-Saba, ex-officio member.
New York Metropolitan Chapter
In June the chapter held a dinner/dance in New Jersey, Attended by many alumni and friends from the metropolitan area.
The highlight event of the New York Chapter spring/summer season was a symposium, The Amber of Lebanon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on August 11.
Following the lecture, the chapter awarded AUB Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science Aftim Acra a medal of honor for his years of service and dedication to his students, AUB, science, and to the study of amber.
The panel featured some of the world’s leading scientists specializing in fossil preservation: Dr. Acra; Dr. David Grimaldi, curator of fossil insects and former chair of the Department of Entomology, American Museum of Natural History; Dr. Danny Azar, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris; and Mr. Fadi Acra, son of Dr. Aftim Acra.
An added treat was that Dr. Acra’s amber collection, one of the most valuable in the world, was on display.
The chapter held its annual picnic in Huddart Park, Woodside, in September. Alumni, family, and friends played tawla and volleyball and enjoyed good food and each other.
Other events planned for summer and fall include a sailing trip in San Francisco Bay.
On July 12 the chapter held a well attended summer dinner for members.
In May, the chapter elected new officers of its board: Leila Kabalan Safadi, president;
Wafaa Safaoui, vice president; Nadim Maluf, secretary; Nicola AbiSamra, treasurer; and Walid Ali Ahmad, member-at-large.
For news and updates of coming events, see the Northern California Chapter’s web site: www.aubalum.org.
In September, many chapter members pulled on their hiking boots for a picturesque four-hour hike at Mount Tremblant resort, about two hours from Ottawa and two from Montreal. Groups had different options for going up or down the mountain or just enjoying the warm sun in the village. In August, the yearly summer picnic was held in Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa. Members and their families enjoyed picnic fare of hamburgers and hot dogs with their hummus and tabouleh. Backgammon, volleyball, and soccer provided opportunities for recreation.
The inaugural issue of the chapter’s new newsletter announced the results of the April election of the following members to the chapter’s board: Bassam Zarkout, president; Nada Tamim, vice president; Maria Ghazzaoui, treasurer; and Shireen Alameddine, secretary.
Elections for the chapter were held in May. The new leadership consists of Dr. Rima El-Hajje El-Khatib, president; Mr. Caesar Azzam, vice president; Mr. Samar Yousef-Eid, secretary; and Mr. Mohammad N. Oweida, treasurer.
Syracuse (Central New York)
In June, three generations of alumni and future alumni dove into the First Annual Pool Party of this newly active chapter. Festivities were accompanied by a band playing Beatles music, a backgammon tournament, and a soccer match between the Faculties of Engineering and Architecture and Arts and Sciences alumni, with both teams declaring victory.
After the fun, the following members were elected as the chapter’s new board: Dr. Amin Elhassan, president; Rima Habayeb, vice president; David Shomar, secretary, and Dr. Imad Nsouli, treasurer.