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 A Call to Service
 The Good Doctors
 From AUB to Afghanistan
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From the Editors of MainGate

Reaching Out

Ideas can spring out of the most unexpected circumstances. In September 2003, I was walking into the office after a leisurely lunch with a colleague and I stumbled upon a 2:00 pm meeting…at 2:20 pm. I had forgotten the appointment entirely, perhaps because of the fine weather, and had almost missed meeting with alumnus Nasrine Gross (BA ’70), who had come to see me,
as co-editor of MainGate, upon the recommendation of New York-based alumnus Necla Tschirgi (BA ’68, MA ’70). After profuse apologies, I took Gross into one of the conference rooms and settled down to hear about her work in Afghanistan, which Tshirgi had said was quite remarkable and would be of interest to MainGate readers.
What was to have been a half hour appointment stretched out into two hours. With modesty, Gross talked about her experiences in Afghanistan. She had moved to Kabul in 2001 and since then has been there helping to build up the social sciences at Kabul University and assist Afghani women in their reintegration into society after years of oppression under the despotic Taliban regime. Very moved by the story and Gross’s passionate commitment to her homeland, I shared it with Coeditor Ibrahim Khoury, and we were both immediately struck by the compelling mix of AUB and community service that it revealed. It was then that we decided to explore other evidence of that mix among other AUBites and highlight some of our findings in this issue of MainGate.
We learned about alumnus Mary Najarian, based in Glendale, California, who for the last twenty-five years has been devoting almost all her free time to establishing a more sophisticated health care system in Armenia. We came across compassion personified in the student members of AUB’s Lebanese Red Cross Club, who are providing badly needed assistance to the sight-impaired, the elderly, and the children of Lebanon. We talked with the nurses at AUBMC and discovered their remarkable dedication to extending patient care services beyond the hospital and into the community through health education programs. We visited in the Shatila refugee camp the Volunteer Outreach Clinic that is run by AUB doctors and medical students, who have little free time to spare, yet show up at the camp every single weekend to dispense free primary health care to those who can’t afford it. There are many other stories like these to tell—at AUB and among its alumni across the world—if only we had the space for them.
One may ask where this heightened AUB commitment to community service comes from. We know it is rooted in the University’s fundamental mission “to serve society”—but in the end we realize that it is sometimes best not to ask too many questions. Just remain in awe at how strongly it is being manifested and make sure it continues.
Ibrahim Khoury and Lynn Mahoney
MainGate Coeditors

Lynn Mahoney and Ibrahim Khoury

AUB Wants to Hear from You!

Send us your news and opinions.

With AUBites scattered all around the world, it can be hard to stay in touch with fellow alumni and friends. Send your personal updates to the MainGate class notes section.It’s an excellent way to share news within the AUB community. Have a new job? Recently married or
welcomed a new baby? Received any professional awards or honors? New publications? Planning for retirement? Spread the word—some of your classmates have probably been wondering what you have been up to for years.

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