CAMS Holds Conference on Advanced Computing
The Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS) held its first International
Meeting on Grid and Parallel Computing in January with the St. Joseph,
Balamand, and the Lebanese Universities. The event, which was sponsored
by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, included workshops for graduate
students and faculty new to parallel computing, and a conference that
included talks on the latest developments in the field.
CASAR hosts International Conference
More than 125 participants from 12 countries attended an international
conference in West Hall on December 19-20. The event, which was the first
international conference organized by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), was
entitled America in the Middle East/The Middle East in America.
Participants touched on a wide range of topics during the lively two-day
event: perspectives of the Middle East in the United States, challenges
of teaching the Middle East in the United States and vice versa, current
US policy toward the Middle East, American religious influence in the
Arab world, women in media and film representations of the Arab world
in the United States, Arab and American writings, America in North Africa,
terrorism, and East-West dialogue through missionaries and colonialism.
CCCL Observes World Cancer Day
The Saint Jude Childrens Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) at the
AUB Medical Center commemorated World Cancer Day on February 3 by holding
a ceremony (My Child and Cancer) and distributing prizes for
the best drawings to CCCL patients.
Mona Hraoui, wife of the former Lebanese president, Minister of Health
Mohamad Khalifeh, and Jawad Mahjour, representative of the World Health
Organization, attended the event. President of the CCCL Board Salim Zeinni,
VP for Medical Affairs and Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Nadim Cortas, CCCL Director Dr. Miguel Abboud, member of the Lebanese
Association in the Fight Against Cancer Dr. Michel Daher, mother of a
CCCL patient Shohig Vardian, Dr. Jawad Mahjour, and Dr. Mario Aoun all
spoke at the event.
Students Honor Syrian Filmmaker Mustapha Al Akkad
The AUB Syrian Cultural Club organized an event to honor internationally
renowned Syrian filmmaker Mustapha Al Akkad and his daughter Rima who
were killed in the November 9 bomb attack in Amman, Jordan. Syrian actor
and former UNICEF ambassador for Childhood in the Middle East and North
Africa Duraid Lahham spoke on December 21 at the inauguration of a three-day
exhibition in West Hall on the life and work of Mustapha Al Akkad.
First EMBA Class Graduates
AUB graduated the first class from the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business
Executive MBA program on February 6. The nineteen students who received
their diplomas are the first to graduate from the program, which was established
in 2004. A number of AUB trustees, faculty, and friends, including Minister
of External Affairs Fawzi Salloukh, attended the ceremony, which featured
a keynote address by Trustee Ibrahim Dabdoub, chief executive officer
of the National Bank of Kuwait.
CAMS Celebrates 10th Anniversary and
Announces Atiyah Chair in Mathematics
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Center for Advanced Mathematical
Sciences (CAMS) organized a series of lectures and announced the Sir Michael
Atiyah Chair in Mathematics. Held on February 20 and moderated by Sir
Michael, chair of the CAMS Advisory Committee, the X Lectures
included presentations by Columbia University Professor George Saliba,
University of Amsterdam Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, and Dr. Semir Zeki,
professor of neurobiology at University College, University of London.
Sir Michael gave a lecture on February 21 on mathematics and society in
the twenty-first century in which he argued that mathematical relations
have been instrumental in the evolution of physics, topology, and architecture,
and hence modern technology.
Coca-Cola Chair in Marketing Established
The Coca-Cola Foundation has made a $2-million gift to establish the Coca-Cola
Chair in Marketing at AUBs Suliman S. Olayan School of Business.
Following the announcement, about 150 people attended a seminar on corporate
social responsibility organized by AUB and Coca-Cola. During the seminar
the two parties announced an essay writing competition entitled Make
Every Word Count. AUB students wishing to compete were asked to
write an essay that addresses the following question: In what way
can Coca-Cola, through the use of cause-related marketing and/or community
partnerships, utilize the power of its brand to demonstrate its commitment
to the Lebanese society?
Volunteer Outreach Clinic (VOC) Moves
to Larger Space
he VOC, which was founded by a group of both medical and non-medical AUB
students in October 2001 to provide medical care to people living in underserved
areas, has recently moved from the Palestinian Red Crescent Center to
the Norwegian Peoples Aid Center. Although the clinic will remain
in the Palestinian Shatila Camp, the new location, donated by the Norwegian
Peoples Aid, is larger. The inauguration ceremonies for the new
site included informative presentations on VOCs history, the medical
care that VOC provides, and the challenges it faces, including a lack
of funds, volunteers, and resources.
"Memories" Screened Twice
due to Popular Demand
Memories of Ras Beirut: Wish You Were Here by Mahmoud Hojeij
is a documentary that includes oral and eyewitness accounts of the demographic
and cultural changes that took place in Ras Beirut in the 20th century.
The film, which was funded by the European Union and AUBs Center
for Behavioral Research, features appearances by a number of AUB faculty
and staff, including Nabeel Ashkar, Saadeddine Dabbous, Leila Shaheen
Da Cruz, Samir Khalaf, Samir Makdisi, Kamal Rbeiz, Philip Safar, Kamal
Salibi, Leila Shahid, Munir Shammaa, Victor Shibli, and Ibrahim
Globalization and Implications for Citizenship
The relationship between citizenship, urban communities, and globalization
were discussed in a conference entitled Cities and Globalization:
Challenges to Civilization at AUB December 9-11. The conference
was organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the AUB Graduate Program
in Urban Planning and Design, and the Institut Français du Proche-Orient.
as Food Workshop Looks at Wild Edible Plants
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences in collaboration with the
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, the Environmental Sustainability
and Development Unit (ESDU), and the Initiative for Biodiversity Studies
in Arid Regions (IBSAR) organized a three-day workshop in February on
Biodiversity as Food. During the workshop, which was sponsored
by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), participants
looked at wild edible plants and whether they could offer a solution for
the world food crisis.
Piano Master Class by Waleed Howrani
Waleed Howrani, IC graduate and longtime friend of AUB, gave a piano master
class for AUB students on March 6 in Assembly Hall. Now living in the
United States, Howrani is an internationally known musician and has composed
many pieces, primarily for the piano, that have been performed in Europe,
the Middle East, and North America. He has also composed a set of variations
on AUBs alma mater. Students participating in the master class examined
pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, and Albeniz.
PepsiCo Honors Scholarship Recipients
On February 8, PepsiCo hosted a dinner for the recipients of the PepsiCo
scholarships that it has awarded yearly to AUB students since 1995. The
seven awardees, PepsiCo staff, and AUB representatives attended the dinner
at AUBs Faculty Lounge. VP W. Stephen Jeffrey welcomed PepsiCo and
expressed thanks for its long years of collaboration with AUB. Over the
years, PepsiCo International has donated $300,000 to a scholarship fund
that has benefited 60 AUB students.
Saad Abdul Latif, president of PepsiCo International in the Middle East,
Africa, and Central Asia, spoke next of his memories from his time at
AUB in the 1970s. He mentioned in particular the rambunctious Hyde Park
inspired speeches outside of West Hall and proudly said that he owes his
success at PepsiCo to the outstanding education he acquired at AUB.
The students who received the PepsiCo scholarship awards for the 2005-06
academic year are: Nader al-Attar, junior, business administration; Maya
Mansour, senior, business administration; Christina el Khoury, senior,
business administration; Nadine el-Kojok, junior, public administration;
Nasr Madi, junior, computer and communications engineering; Sandra Hattab,
junior, computer and communications engineering; and Joseph Kharrat, recognized
as best athlete, junior, agriculture student.
Ayadina Foundation Contributes to Financial
Aid and Brave Heart Funds
On February 28, Maya Najjar, founder of the Ayadina Foundation, presented
a check to AUBs Office of Development, to be used for financial
aid and by the Brave Heart Fund. Najjar is the founding president of Ayadina
Foundation, a non-sectarian philanthropic foundation that helps destitute
communities. It is also providing assistance for underprivileged populations
in the Sin El Fil and Nabaa areas in Beirut.
Salim Alamuddin Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Hana Sulayman Alamuddine, a part-time faculty member at AUBs Department
of Architecture and Design, has founded the Sulayman Salim Alamuddin Memorial
Endowed Scholarship at AUB in memory of her father, Sulayman Salim Alamuddin
(BBA 44). Alamuddin was general manager at Near East Resources until
1984 and a prolific writer. Among his most well known publications are
Al Sajjad al Sharqi (Oriental Carpets), Islamic Tassawuf (Islamic Mysticism
or Sufism), Al Mutazila, Tadhakkar ya Marwan (Remember Marwan),
and Al Karamita.
Teaching and Technology
On December 1, the Academic Computing Center (ACC) held the Third
AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology, during
which a number of professors shared their experiences with other faculty
members and the administration. Participants included Professor Marcus
Marktanner, Department of Economics; Dr. Ali Taher, Aida Habbal, and Dr.
Kamal Badr, Department of Internal Medicine; Professor Iris Stoval, University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, American University
Reducing Money Laundering in Lebanon
In January and February, the Institute of Financial Economics in cooperation
with the Economics Department held a lecture series on Selected
Issues in Banking and Finance. Mohammad Baasiri, secretary of the
Special Investigation Committee and the current president of the MENA
Financial Action Task Force at the Banque du Liban, spoke on February
7 on money laundering.
Lale Behzadi Portrays al-Jahizs
Literary Use of Silence
Lale Behzadi from the Institute of Arabic Studies at Georg August University
in Goettingen, Germany, gave a talk at the Center for Arab and Middle
Eastern Studies (CAMES) on al-Jahizs ideas of silence on December
1. Behzadi is currently researching theories of communication and language
in ninth and tenth-century Arabic literature, with emphasis on the works
of Amr Bahr al-Jahiz (776-868 AD).
Idwar al Kharrats Autobiography:
an Authentic Way of Personal Writing
At the invitation of the Makdisi Program in Literature, Andreas Pflitsch,
a professor of Arabic at Ruhr University in Germany, gave a talk about
Idwar Al Kharrats autobiography, The City of Saffron, on January
25: Idwar Al Kharrat and the Involuntary Autobiography.
Breast Cancer in Lebanon
The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) held a second seminar on breast cancer
on January 4. Participants agreed that despite the increasing number of
new breast cancer cases, early detection is also expected to rise because
of widespread screening programs, better public awareness of the early
signs of cancer, and the increased availability of hormonal therapy. The
seminar was attended by AUB faculty members Dr. Faysal El-Kak and Dr.
Muhieddine Seoud and by Dr. Salim Adib (St. Joseph University) and Peggy
Hanna from the Ministry of Public Health.
Interrelations between Byzantine and
Henri Franses, a specialist in Byzantine art history, was invited by the
Faculty of Arts and Science on January 30 to give a talk on The
Human, the Infinite, and the Divine: On the Interrelations between Byzantine
and Islamic Art. The audience was fascinated by Frances visual
and illustrated comparison of the concept of infinite divinity in both
Islamic and Byzantine art.
Funding in the MENA Region
Professor Jane Harrigan, of the School of Oriental and African Studies
at the University of London, was invited by the Department of Economics,
the Institute of Financial Economics, and the Center for Arab Unity Studies
to lecture on the determinants of IMF and World Bank lending in the MENA
region on January 4.
Propaganda and the Power of the Pope
On February 22, Professor John N. King from Ohio State University lectured
at AUB on the propagandistic media in Tudor England from 1485 to 1603.
Entitled Religious Controversy and Art under the Tudors, the
talk dealt with the Tudors use of image-making strategies.
Reform From Within: Divorce in Egypt
At the invitation of CAMES and the Center for Behavioral Research, Professor
Diane Singerman from American University in Washington, DC gave a talk
on December 6 about divorce in Egypt. She touched on a number of aspects
of this topic, including current efforts by the Egyptian scholarly elite
to reform the personal status laws of Egypt from within the system.
Lebanons History Predicts Iraqs
Professor Marcia C. Inhorn, director of the Center for Middle Eastern
and North African Studies at the University of Michigan, spoke at CAMES
on February 21 about the public health consequences of the war in Iraq.
She argued that the experience of post-war Lebanon could be used to predict
the effect that the war in Iraq would have on human health and the environment.
Lecture on Labor Migration in Morocco
Natasha Iskandar, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, traveled
to AUB on January 16 at the invitation of AUBs Graduate Program
in Urban Planning and Design and the Olayan School of Business. During
her talk, entitled Emigration, Interpretative Engagement, and Infrastructure
Reform in Rural Morocco, 1985-2005, she analyzed what migrant-sending
countries do to strengthen the relationship between migration and development.
She focused in particular on returning Moroccan migrants who developed
strategies to increase the energy production of the Maghreb Souss Valley.
World Bank Official Calls for Increased
On January 26, Giovanna Prennushi, an economist with the World Banks
Poverty Reduction Group, led a seminar jointly organized by AUBs
Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs and
the World Bank. Basing her argument on the recently issued World Bank
Development Report 2006 that included studies on equity, Prennushi asserted
that increasing equity improves efficiency and production, thereby improving
incomes and standards of living.
AUB and Johns Hopkins Address Challenges
in Internal Medicine
AUBs Department of Internal Medicine and Johns Hopkins University
held their first annual AUB-Johns Hopkins Review of Internal Medicine
course at the Gefinor-Rotana Hotel in Beirut in early February. The course
covered a wide range of topics, including the problems encountered in
ambulatory and in-hospital settings, cardiology, astroenterology, neurology
and psychiatry, infectious diseases, and endocrinology.
Saudi Enrollment on the Rise at AUB
numbers of Gulf studentsespecially from Saudi Arabiaare choosing
to come to AUB for their undergraduate studies. This is the result of
the Universitys recently adopted aggressive recruitment strategy
that included visiting Saudi schools and the establishment of the University
Preparatory Program (UPP). UPP is a pre-university program that was established
in 2002 to help high-achieving students improve their English proficiency
and thus take better advantage of their education at AUB. Since 2002,
there has been a 200 percent increase in the number of Saudi students,
primarily from schools in Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of Saudi
students currently studying at AUB to 112. Even Lebanons recent
political instability did not deter Saudi nationals from sending their
children to Lebanon, as attested by the 51 new Saudi students who enrolled
at AUB this year. (An additional 85 students from other Gulf countries
also enrolled for the 2005-06 academic year.) The Saudi Ministry of Higher
Education recently decided to send a group of 20 highly qualified students,
who were selected according to a strict set of criteria, to study medicine
at AUB. These students will take the one-year UPP course to improve their
English language skills to the required standards, so that they can then
join the MD program.
Saudi students consider that AUB offers a high-quality education,
said Salim Kanaan, director of Admissions and Financial Aid. But
they used to find the admissions process difficult for them. Students
are required to pass the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Test of English
as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to qualify for admission to AUB. With more
visits and improved communication, the Admissions Office helped prospective
students overcome these and other hurdles, working closely with the Saudi
cultural attaché in Lebanon, Ayman Moghrabi. Our interaction
with the faculty and staff at AUB has been very smooth, said Moghrabi.
We are provided with all the facilities we need. The university
faculty and staff take care of our students as though they are their own
children. Moghrabi founded the Student Affairs Bureau at the Saudi
Embassy in Lebanon in 2002 to monitor Saudi students academic progress
at all Lebanese universities.
Provost Peter Heath said plans for expanded partnerships are on the agenda.
The University plans to continueand even expandits intensive
recruiting efforts in this region in future years, he said, adding:
Attracting an academically strong, yet regionally and economically
diversified student body is one of AUBs core strategic goals. AUB
welcomes this recent increase in highly qualified students from Saudi
Arabia and the Gulf.
As a result of the increase in the number of Saudi students at AUB, there
is now a Saudi Cultural Club. Led by Saudi national Najla Al-Bassam, a
second-year graphic design student, the club emerged out of a need to
welcome new Saudi students and make them feel comfortable in their new
setting, and to allow Saudis and non-Saudis to discover each others
cultures, said Al-Bassam, who is one of the clubs founders.
The club will also serve as a forum for cultural exchange. We wanted
to show the AUB community what Saudi Arabia is about, said Al-Bassam.
The club attracted 80 members in its first semester and includes in addition
to Saudis a small number of Lebanese, Jordanian, American, Kuwaiti, and
Students often discover in Lebanon and at AUB greater cultural diversity
than they were exposed to back home. This is exactly what attracted Al-Bassam
to AUB. I had the choice of going to an American university in a
Gulf country, where the culture is similar to Saudi Arabia, she
said. But my parents encouraged me to come here. They wanted me
to study at AUB since, its famous for the high quality education
it offers. Im hoping to go back and teach at one of the universities
and bring back some of the experiences I have had in Lebanon, such as
practicing democracy in student elections, she said, adding: Lebanon
is totally differentEuropean with an Arabic culture. Im really
enjoying exploring it.