Fall 2006 Vol. V, No. 1
Meeting the Challenge: Support for the American University
of Beiruts Medical Emergency Fund
As the historically leading American university in
the Arab world, AUB has a critical role to play in the rebuilding of Lebanon.
The AUB hospital played a role no other hospital could in emergency medical
relief. Beyond emergency relief, AUB leads the country in training Lebanons
future leaders indeed, the future leaders of the Arab region. No
investment is more important than an investment in the youth of the region.
I donate to AUB because this constitutes an investment in the future of
Lebanon and the future of the Arab world.
Suad JosephAUB Donor, Professor of Anthropology and Women and
Gender Studies, Director of Middle East/South Asia Studies, University
of California, Davis
In July 2006, the American University of Beirut along with so many other
institutions in Lebanon faced the enormous challenge of coping with a
devastating war that lasted 34 days. The unexpected hostilities left hundreds
of thousands of people injured and displaced while the air, land, and
sea blockade resulted in shortages of essential supplies, such as food,
fuel, and medicine at both the University and the Medical Centerand
throughout Lebanon. AUB established the Medical Emergency Fund and launched
an appeal to raise money to help finance its expanded activities to care
for the displaced population and those injured in the fighting.
Nadim Cortas, Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Raja N. Khuri
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Dr. Ghassan Hamadeh, director of
University Health Services, led an multi-disciplinary team of volunteer
faculty, students, and staff to secure medical supplies, establish a free
evening clinic, create walk-in and mobile clinics, provide daily medical
care to 16 refugee shelters, and distribute close to six tons of medical
suppliesthe equivalent of 823 cartonsto those in need. During
the war, more than 900 patients were treated at the Medical Center. In
addition, AUB teams provided care for nearly 8,000 people in shelters
and neighborhood centers.
AUB is continuing to provide medical care and outreach to displaced families
that have remained in Beirut and is supporting other medical institutions
that dont have the resources they need to care for an increased
number of patients. President John Waterbury has appointed a Taskforce
on Reconstruction to identify key areas in which support from the Medical
Emergency Fund can be best utilized to provide short and long-term healthcare
solutions to people in Beirut and Lebanon. We will update you on these
activities going forward.
It came as no surprise to us that the AUB community around the world rose
to the challenge and has given generously in support of the Universitys
relief operations. Alumni and friends responded in many ways: by making
a gift to the Medical Emergency Fund, by organizing fundraisers, by volunteering
their time on campus, and by sending much-needed medical supplies to the
hospital. Many alumni explained that they were prompted to contribute
because of their appreciation for the hospitalfor the fact that
it has always been there providing care for the people of Lebanon whenever
this care is needed. It was there throughout the Lebanese Civil War and
again this past summer.
More than $1.1 million was contributed to the Medical Emergency Fund in
the first month. As of October 27 AUB has raised $1,262,072 from 1,534
donors. More than half of these donors are first-time supporters of
AUB. AUB is deeply grateful for the generosity, loyalty, and support of
everyone who contributed to the AUB Medical Emergency Fund. Some of you
made particularly generous donations such as the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst
Foundation and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation which each
contributed $100,000. The Sarah and William Hambrecht Foundation, the
Lawrence C. Tucker and Mary Ann Cody Tucker Foundation, and an anonymous
donor each made gifts of $50,000. The Iara Lee and George Gund III Foundation
supported AUBs efforts with a gift of $30,000.
AUB is committed to playing an active role in efforts to rebuild Lebanon
by providing for the education and medical care of its people. We are
honored to help the people of Lebanon in their moment of crisis. With
the support of our alumni and friendsof people like youwe
are confident that we will be able to do so.