Fall 2006 Vol. V, No. 1
Fuad Khabbaz (BA 45) writes that he moved in April
to a new home in Hercules, California where he is living with his son
Naji (1978-80 Biology/Chemistry) and his family, although he does
occasionally return to Lebanon. His daughter, Layla (1973-75 Nursing),
lives with her family in Sacramento, and his other daughter, Rima (BS
75, MD 79), lives in Atlanta with her husband Dr. Muin
Khoury. His daughter Najwa (BA 84) and her family live in
Nora LaBelle Cumpston (ARAMCO summer school 53) has written
to tell us that she attended summer school at AUB in 1953. Vicki Tabsch
was a classmate. Nora taught English and worked for ARAMCO and spent 28
years teaching in Saudi Arabia. She married a fellow employee and they
have three sons, who are all now married, and five grandchildren.
Omar Adra (BA 55), who was the editor of Outlook from 1954-55,
is living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he became a national in 75.
He has four children, a boy and three girls, and nine grandchildren.
Stélio Scamanga (BA 60) held a personal exhibit entitled
La Montagne et le Ciel Voisins May 12-June 2 at the Aida Cherfan
Fine Art Gallery in downtown Beirut. The paintings on display reflect
the long spiritual interplay between the symbolism and nostalgia triggered
by the mountains and the sky of Lebanon. Born to a Greek family in in
Damascus, Scamanga moved to Lebanon in 1952. In addition to practicing
architecture, he has held around 20 personal exhibitions in Lebanon, Europe,
and the United States, and participated in more than 17 exhibits around
the world. One of his winning designs, a sculpture, is at the rond-point
in Mategnin, Prévessin, France where he currently lives and works.
Joan MacCracken Holmberg (year abroad 65-66)
After 23 years at a busy pediatric endocrinology practice in Bangor, Maine,
Holmberg began traveling to Nicaragua with a public health group, Partners
in Health of Maine. She has recently written and published a bilingual
childrens picture book entitled Trisba & SulaA Miskitu
Folktale from Nicaragua/Una leyenda de los Miskitos de Nicaragua that
is an ecologically sensitive folktale about hunting (see MainGate Spring
2006, Recently Published). She may be contacted at joanmacc[at]aol.com.
Joseph Akhras (BE 74) writes: I just got back from
Sri Lanka on a humanitarian visit. They need all the help they can get.
The tsunami caused 21,000 casualties, and hundreds of thousands of people
are without a home, especially the children, the elderly, and the handicapped.
A beautiful country on the brink of war. Joseph may be contacted
Ranwa Haddad (BS 75) was appointed chief engineer for the
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) program at the Aerospace Corporation
in Los Angeles, California. Haddad, who emigrated to the United States
in 1977 to pursue graduate studies at UCLA, has been living in LA ever
since. She is married to Ed Griffin and has a daughter Maryam (22) and
a son Philip (19). She may be contacted at 30930 Rue Valois Rancho, Palos
Verdes, California 90275 or by e-mail at ranwa.haddad[at]cox.net.
Mohammed Abu Ayshi (BS 83) has been granted a patent by the
US government for a character recognition system used for automated mail
processing, a project he worked on at Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC).
At LMC, he worked on research and development for the US and UK mail processing
systems. He currently lives in Endicott, New York, with his wife Katherine,
and two daughters, Hannah and Deena.
Riad Homsi (BS 86) is the chairman of Performance Improvement
Quality at the Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women in Memphis, Tennessee.
He was awarded the Physician Quality Award for 2005 by his colleagues
and staff. He may be contacted at 6025 Walnut Grove, Suite 400, Memphis
Nabil Maamari (BS 87, MPH 05) writes I recently
relocated to Dubai, where I am starting a new job at CosmeSurge Anti-Aging
Centers as a Quality Control Manager. Before CosmeSurge, I worked at Hazmieh
International Medical Center as a hospitalist for six years. The CosmeSurge
Center has three departments: Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, and a beauty
institute. I earned my medical doctor diploma from St Joseph University
in 1991. It would be a great pleasure to get in touch with AUB alumni.
My e-mail is nabil.maamari[at]cosmesurge.com."
Mazen A. R. Saghir (BE 89) I am happy to announce my marriage
to Ghina Mumtaz. Ghina and I got married here in Beirut on April
22, 2006. We are both AUB alumni; I have a BE in computer and communications
engineering (1989), and Ghina has a BS in biology (2001) and MS in epidemiology
(2003). Currently I am an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering at AUB, and Ghina is a research assistant with
the National Collaborative Perinatal Neonatal Network at the AUB Medical
From: Rami Al Khal (BBA 80)
Sent: Sunday, May 7, 2006, 2:16 pm
Subject: My Nepal trip... when you are in Nepal, you are on TOP of
My two weeks trekking in Nepal cleansed my body, my soul, as well as
my mind... Not only the forests and the rivers, not only the hills and the
mountains... Not only walking our way through a snow storm and fog and rain...
Not only climbing from 700m to 4,500m altitude... But most of all, the humbleness
of the mountain people, their generosity and amiability... You greet everyone
and everyone greets you back: Namasté is the word for hello... I
must have Namastéd a thousand times... enjoy
the pictures... Rami
Ahnaf Abbas (BS 90) design for his mathyards.com website
made him a finalist in the education category of the Stockholm Challenge
Award 2006. Mathyards, which provides an interactive e-learning system
for mathematics, was chosen out of 536 other projects worldwide to represent
the education category.
Regarded as one of the most prestigious awards for information technology
development, the 2006 Stockholm Challenge held its annual international
conference in Stockholm, Sweden, to celebrate information technology programs
around the world. More than 600 projects were submitted from 53 countries.
The challenge honors organizations that are making a global difference
by bringing their ideas and successes to this international exhibit. Abbas
is living in Sharjah, UAE and can be reached at ahnaf[at]mathyards.com
Ziad Yamak (BE 91)
writes that he has been working with Zamil Steel since 1997 as a regional
sales manager developing the business of pre-engineered steel buildings
in eastern Europe and the Balkans. He is currently managing two offices
in Athens and Bucharest. His e-mail is ZiadYamak@gmail.com. He can also
be reached by phone on his cell in Greece, at 0030.6944.316246 and in
Romania at 0040-745-773387.
Zaher Nuwayhid (BS 92) writes, I am graduating from
the University of Miami School of Medicine with my MD degree as an AOA
(Alpha Omega Alpha), which is the highest honor a medical student can
get. I am starting my surgical residency at the University of Miami/Jackson
Memorial Hospital surgical program. I would like to present this humble
achievement to His Excellency the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, who
helped me when I was at AUB. God bless his soul. I live in Miami Florida.
My e-mail address is znuwayhid[at]aol.com.
Bassam Kassab (BE 93, ME 95) winner of the Ibrahim
Abd El Al prize, received his Strategic Management degree at MIT before
he moved to Silicon Valley where he practices hydraulic engineering as
a licensed professional engineer. He also writes articles for Barra, a
magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) topics printed
in Beirut in Arabic. Bassam and other AUB alumni volunteer their time
with the San Francisco chapter of Helem (Lebanese Protection for LGBT),
for which Bassam recently organized a book reading in San Francisco. Former
AUB professor Rabih Alameddine, Amy Tan, Dorothy Allison, and twelve other
famous writers read from their work to a large audience that came to support
Helems programs. During the war in July, Bassam organized efforts
in San Francisco to support the refugee relief work efforts Helem conducted
under the banner of the Sanayeh Relief Center. He can be reached at bassam[at]alum.MIT.edu.
Rula Haddad Kalifa (BS 94, MPH 96) Rula writes that
she is still living in Chicago with her husband Mark, and three year old
son, Christian. She is the director of the Center for International Patients
at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she has been for six years.
Tarek Saab (BA 94) writes: I just wanted to inform
you and my old classmates that I have started my own business, an agency
called IMPRESS for entertainment, modeling, and talent management.
Its a new concept for Lebanon, and with my strong links to international
booking agencies, I guess it will be a special agency. Its mainly
for providing entertainers and well-known performers for any type of event.
Feel free to contact me for any additional information or check my web
site at www.tareksaab.com. My e-mail address is tareksaab[at]hotmail.com."
Sami Oubari (BBA 95) writes: Im currently studying
for my masters degree in administration and management at Concordia
University. I graduated last summer with a BBA from AUB and came directly
here to continue my studies. I expect to work here a couple of years,
then return to work in Lebanon. My e-mail is s_oubari[at]yahoo.com."
Victor Fuad Nasreddine (BS 96, MS 98) has recently
relocated from Sarnia, in Canada, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the headquarters
of LANXESS Corporation (formerly BAYER Polymers), as a technical leader
in the Application and Business Development Division for the NAFTA region.
He received his PhD in 2003 in chemistry from McGill University.
Samer Harb (BS 95, MS 97) currently works for Diet
Center, an international company that operates in Beirut, Lebanon; Riyadh,
Jeddah, and Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Doha, Qatar.
After joining the Riyadh branch as project manager in 2004, he was promoted
in January 2006 to be the Diet Centers operation manager for the
Saudi Arabia Region, which covers its eastern (Khobar and Dammam), western
(Jeddah, Mecca, and Madina), and central regions (Riyadh). His e-mail
Beatrice Maalouf (pursued MA studies at AUB in 1997) writes that
she completed her masters degree in diplomatic studies in 2000 at
the Mediterranean Academy for Diplomatic Studies. In 2004 she started
a three-year PhD program in political science and international relations
at Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. She focused her work on
GCC-EU relations. She established and is running the Centre for Middle
Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of Public Administrations and
International Relations in Prague, Czech Republic. Her e-mail address
Elias Nohad El-Chemali (CCE 98) writes: Today I work
in Zouk-Mosbeh as a deputy general manager at Masterpak s.a.l, an industrial
firm and member of Indevco Group, which produces different types of plastic
films for packaging and agricultural use. I married Faten Barakat in 1999
and we have three kids: Sarah, Nohad, and Ghadi. I received my MBA from
ESA/ESCP-EAP in 2004. My mailing address is Masterpak s.a.l. P.O.Box:
11-2354, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon; my phone number is 961 9 209001."
Tarek El Gergawi (BA 99) writes: After I graduated
in 1999 (business administration) I worked for Schlumberger Overseas,
Ernst & Young. Now Im an assistant manager for overseas operations
and developments with Qatar National Bank in the newly established Department
of International Banking. I married Maha El-Taha in January 2002. She
graduated from AUB as wellin 2000 in business administration. We
have a nice small family, Farah, who is three-and-a-half years old, and
Ziad who is nine months. Maha is working as an HR senior coordinator for
Dolphin Energy in Qatar. Id like to stay in touch with the AUB community.
You can contact me by phone at 974 59 19 149 or by e-mail at tjerjawi[at]yahoo.com."
Maher R. Dalal (BBA 99) writes from Doha, Qatar: I
am working for Standard Chartered Bank and was recently promoted to be
a manager of internal audit. I got married eight months ago. His
e-mail address is mrd04[at]hotmail.com.
Zena El Khalil (BGD 99) held a personal exhibit of collage artwork
entitled I Love You at Espace SD, Beirut from May 4-27. The
exhibit works with images from the Lebanese Civil War. El Khalil, who
currently lives in Beirut after having lived in New York, is cofounder
of the art organization, Xanadu, which is a bicontinental
space for promoting young artists.
Jomana Elaridi (BS 00) writes that she recently graduated
with a PhD in chemistry from Monash University in Australia. She says
Im absolutely ecstatic because one of my thesis examiners
is the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner in chemistry, Robert Grubbs and the
other examiner is one of the best chemists in Australia. Im returning
to Lebanon soon and look forward to working at AUB (hopefully!)
She may be contacted at jelaridi[at]hotmail.com.
Karam S. Nachar (BA 03) writes that he has recently moved
to the United States to start a PhD at Princeton University, in Princeton,
NJ. He can be reached at knachar[at]princeton.edu.
MainGate meets with Elie Moussalli (BS Biology 69,
MS 72), former Ottawa Alumni Chapter president, and talks about
fisheries, Fairouz, bowling on Hamra Street, and the next phase of his
relationship with AUB.
Can you tell us something about when, why, and how you got involved
with the Ottawa Alumni Chapter?
In February 1998 I heard a radio announcement that the AUB Ottawa Alumni
Chapter was presenting a reading of Come with Me from Lebanon: An American
Family Odyssey, by Ann Kerr, the widow of former President Malcolm Kerr.
I bought Mrs. Kerrs book and got in touch with the Ottawa Chapter.
I really started to get involved when the chapter was preparing for President
John Waterburys visit to Ottawa in March 2003. My first assignment
was as Gala Dinner DJ: I put my entire Fairouz collection to good use!
Suddenly I realized that in coordinating the many details of the gala
with my fellow alumni, I was recapturing the cherished times of my life
as a student at AUB debating, bantering, and socializing late into
the night. I eventually served as chapter secretary and was elected president
following Bassam Zarkouts term.
What chapter activities have you most enjoyed?
We have held a couple of major events that I am quite proud of: the gala
dinner in 2003, and a talk last June by alumna and board member Dr. Rima
Khalaf-Hunaidi, then the United Nations Regional Director of the
Bureau for Arab States. Im also quite fond of our informal gatherings.
We have a bowling night with pizza my prior bowling experience
was on Hamra Street where the Cinéma El Hamra used to be. We also
have a summer picnic, and an Iftar during Ramadan. Weve had several
distinguished lecturers: Ottawa based Polish diplomat/archaeologist, Slawomir
Kowalsky; Mounir Abou Debs, who founded the first modern theater school
in Lebanon; and AUB Professor Helen Sader spoke about Byblos and the origin
of the alphabet. I really enjoyed publishing the chapters quarterly
e-newsletter, which I hope will be continued.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests?
During the first year of my masters program, a professor advised
me to apply to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
a marine mecca. I ended up attending seminars with Wolf Vishniac
who was on the staff of the first Viking expedition to Mars, and other
great scientists. After a rite of passage cross country trip
from Boston to La Jolla, I taught biology at International College (IC)
in Beirut, then returned to the United States to UC San Diego (UCSD) for
graduate work in oceanography. I moved up the coast and up the food chain
to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to focus on fisheries in 1980.
Ive been working as a scientist in fisheries since 1985, primarily
with international organizations such as the Food Agricultural Organization
of the UN, the UN Development Program, and the World Bank.
It was at UBC that I met my wife, Kathleen Day, who is an associate professor
of economics at the University of Ottawa. We have an eight year old daughter,
Rima Elizabeth Moussalli, who has just entered third grade. My own family
connection to AUB is somewhat unique. My paternal grandmother, a survivor
of the Armenian genocide, came to Lebanon sometime before 1920 and found
employment at AUB in the library. She dusted and filed away books, cleaned
floors, and was able to raise her family. As a very young boy I recall
meeting her benefactor, Mrs. Edith Laird, who was universally known as
the First Lady of the AUB library for her long and productive term of
service from 1926 until 1951. I still feel gratitude towards her for helping
my grandmother through what must have been a terrible ordeal for a young
widow with two small boys.
So, you see, my loyalty to AUB is generational, and I hope someday my
daughter will choose to carry on the tradition. Even though my time as
president of the Ottawa Chapter has ended, I plan to stay connected to
the University by continuing to serve on AANAs Board of Directors.
Any closing thoughts on AUB and your time as Ottawa Chapter President?
I am enthusiastically supportive of the initiative to consolidate the
AUBs alumni organization into a single world-wide entity. Our current
level of information technology makes it possible to facilitate engaging
alumni globally, and will promote their much-needed support of the University.
We all want AUB to continue to be the premier educational institution
in the region, and we all owe what we are, at least in part, to the time
we spent on that beautiful campus.
Elie Moussalli may be reached at emoussalli[at]sympatico.ca