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Graduation 2006
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Escape from Lebanon

Fall 2006 Vol. V, No. 1

AUB News: Spring and Summer 2006

Dina Abou Salem

Lectures and Seminars

American Presence in the Levant: America before Anti-Americanism
May 5: Rice University Professor Ussama Makdisi was invited by CASAR to give a lecture entitled "America before Anti-Americanism." Makdisi surveyed the long cultural and political encounters between the United States and the Levant through its missionary work before the spread of "anti-Americanism."

Article online

Noam Chomsky on "The Great Soul of Power"
May 9: Internationally renowned linguist, scholar, and political analyst Noam Chomsky was invited by The Center for Behavioral Research and Center for American Research and Studies to give the first Edward Said lecture at AUB on "The Great Soul of Power." On May 10 he also gave a more technical talk entitled "Biolinguistic Explorations: Design, Development, and Evolution."

In his first lecture, Chomsky addressed the moral responsibility of intellectuals, and emphasized the importance of dissident positions that should be taken by those in power, for, in his opinion, "privilege confers opportunity and opportunity confers moral responsibility."

After naming several abuses of this moral responsibility -namely NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War and the United States' (US) bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War-, Chomsky spoke of the "the great soul of power," and urged intellectuals to resist what can become the fanatic pursuit of power. He gives a possible remedy to the above: identify the "decisions" that have influenced the world order and that continue to affect decision making.

Noam Chomsky is Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to his work on theories of transformational and generative grammars, his role as a political analyst, critic of certain US government policies, and antagonist to corporate power and big media have made him a controversial figure.

More on Noam Chomsky

Issues of the World's Food Safety
May 16: The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences hosted a talk by Dr. Ewen Todd entitled "Today's World Wide Food Safety Issues." Todd, who the former director of the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University (MSU), USA, discussed current safety concerns in today's food industry and disease surveillance, and defined and analyzed the newly emerging phenomenon of bioterrorism. He is currently a professor at MSU and the director of the Food Safety Policy Center.

Charles El Achi Presents the Latest in Space Explorations
May 24: Charles El Achi, established physicist and director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology, recently spoke at AUB while visiting his home country Lebanon. In coordination with Diwan Ahl al-Qalam, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) invited him to give a lecture entitled "Excitements and Challenges of Space Explorations." During the event, Dean of FAS Khalil Bitar presented an honorary plaque to Dr. El Achi who spoke of the latest innovations in space projects.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.

Conferences and Symposia

ARIJ Workshop on Investigative Journalism
April 1 - 6: A workshop on investigative journalism, sponsored by the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was conducted by the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), a regional independent NGO. ARIJ was established by Arab media activists and media organizations in cooperation with the Copenhagen-based International Media Support (IMS). ARIJ is an Amman-based, regional media network that seeks to support independent quality professional journalism, through funding in-depth journalism projects and offering media coaching. Facilitators of the AUB workshop included Professor Nabil Dajani, chairman of the board of ARIJ, and Assistant Professor Hussein Shahidi, who helped moderate the training of 13 journalists from Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. ARIJ will conduct three trainings a year, and Dajani has been invited to conduct an upcoming session in Syria.

More info on the ARIJ project at ARIJ.

40th Annual Middle East Medical Assembly
May 11: The 40th Middle East Medical Assembly (MEMA), a four day annual medical conference, was inaugurated at Assembly Hall. The scientific program of this year's MEMA addressed topics on trauma, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, avian flu, and medical ethics. MEMA, which is jointly sponsored by AUB and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation for Continuing Education, included a medical exhibition of the latest equipment and healthcare support systems. MEMA ended May 14 with a fundraising gala dinner held at the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel, Beirut. Funds raised at the dinner will go to scholarships for students at the medical school.

Introduction of the Fuad S. Farah Lectureship in Dermatology and Immunology
A special feature of this year's MEMA was the inauguration of the Fouad S. Farah Lectureship in Dermatology and Immunology. This lectureship was made possible by two donations by Farah's family totaling $100,000. On May 13, Dr. Kurt Blaser, Director of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF) in Davos, Switzerland, launched the lectureship series during MEMA with a talk entitled "Mechanisms of Specific Immunotherapy and Tolerance Induction." Fouad S. Farah (MD '54) now lives in Syracuse, NY with his family. He has 4 children, who are all medical doctors.

40th Annual Middle East Medical Assembly

Arabic Prose: A Contemporary Phenomenon in the Arab World
May 19: The Anis Makdisi Program in Literature (AMPL) held a four day conference on Arabic Prose, the fourth since its establishment in 2002. The conference addressed the historical, literary, theoretical, and philosophical traits of Arabic prose poetry, which made its first appearances in the Arab world during contemporary times.

The Anis Makdisi Program in Literature


AUB gets outside
Three of the AUB's most anticipated annual outdoor events were a huge success this May. The traditional Outdoors Festival took place on upper campus on May 13 and 14 with the theme "Wild Wild West!". The annual Big Game took place May 23 on IC's football field with the Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences facing off and winning against the School of Engineering. The 33rd Folk Dance Festival took place on AUB's Green Oval on May 21 when groups of students from 20 schools from all over Lebanon gathered to perform folkdances of 12 different countries.

Folk Dance Festival

Renowned Director Jawad al Assadi Shares His Theatre Experience with AUB Students
April 18 - May 16: Jawad al Assadi, renowned theatre director and playwright offered a theatre student workshop at AUB. Participating students had the opportunity to work with al Assadi, recipient of the international 2005 Prince Claus Foundation Award, and Robert Myers, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing.

Jawad al Assadi, who has a PhD in theatre from the University of Bulgaria, is the author of Forget Hamlet, Women of War and Hammam Baghdadi.
More on Jawad Al Assad

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