Spring 2007 Vol. V, No. 3
Inside the Gate
Views from Campus
CCC Scientific Research Building Inaugurated
The CCC Scientific Research Building was inaugurated on February 21, just
16 months after the groundbreaking ceremony in October 2005. The new four-storey
4,400 square-meter facility will be used primarily by students and faculty
doing research in engineering, computer sciences, and basic sciences.
President John Waterbury, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Thomas Morris,
and AUB alumnus and cofounder of Consolidated Contractors Company Said
Khoury were among those who attended the inauguration.
AUB Pays Tribute to Robert Haldane West
The University Student Faculty Committee organized a ceremony to pay tribute
to Robert Haldane West on the 100th anniversary of his death in 1906.
Prior to the ceremony, President John Waterbury led a delegation that
visited Wests grave in the Anglo-American Cemetery in Sin-el-Fil.
West, for whom West Hall was named in 1914, joined the Syrian Protestant
College (SPC) in 1883 after graduating from Princeton University and spent
23 years at SPC teaching higher mathematics, moral philosophy, and astronomy
as well as serving in several administration positions.
Beirut Clashes Disrupt Final Exams and Spring Semester Schedule
Clashes at the Beirut Arab University and riots in Beirut on January 25
delayed fall exams and the start of the spring semester, which was postponed
from February 5 to February 12.
Genz Unravels the Mysterious Hittite Empire
On January 17, the Society of Friends of the AUB Museum invited Assistant
Professor Herman Genz of the Department of History and Archaeology to
lecture on Hattusha, the Mighty Capital of the Hittite Empire.
Genz spent two years in Hattusha before joining AUB in 2004.
From the Faculties
AUBs Graduate Public Health Program first to be accredited
outside North America
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) has accredited AUBs
Graduate Public Health Program (GPHP), making it the first to be accredited
outside North America.* The accreditation comes at the end of a two-year
effort led by former faculty member Dr. Nadim Haddad. According to FHS
Dean Huda Zurayk, The overlap of the accreditation process with
the current overall strategic planning at the University was beneficial
in delineating our mission and goal and in charting the way forward.
Zurayk says that accreditation is only a first step and that she and her
colleagues have set themselves four goals for the future. Associate Professor
Kassem Kassak is leading the initiative to diversify the graduate student
body. The accreditation of the program is an external and objective
measure of its quality and rigor and will play a major role in attracting
students from Lebanon and the region. says Kassak.
The second goal involves establishing new academic programs: an executive
masters in public health and a PhD program in public health. Associate
Professor Rima Afifi-Soweid, who will be leading this effort, notes that
they will be developing clear learning outcomes for these
new academic programs as they did for the graduate program as part of
the accreditation process.
While our graduate program met the CEPH requirements for instruction
and research, says Associate Dean Iman Nuwayhid, our service
activities met the criteria only partially. Consequently, we will be establishing
a service program at the faculty within two to three years to strengthen
faculty and student involvement in community service.
The fourth area that has been targeted is evaluation and
planning: Developing an integrated performance measurement system
to provide us with indicators against which we can periodically assess
our progress will ensure that we most efficiently serve our mission of
improving public health in Lebanon and the region. says Dean Zurayk.
For more information on FHS visit http://fhs-lb.aub.edu.lb/.
For more information on the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
New Pilot Plant Increases Opportunities for AUB Students
The newly open Pilot Plant will strengthen FAFSs food science program
and provide students with enhanced opportunities to gain simulated experience
in industrial food processing, production, and quality control. The building
has two instructional laboratories. Each lab accommodates 30 students
and includes equipment such as a juice concentrator, vegetable peeler,
steam blancher, homogenizer, vacuum canner, meat smoking machine, dairy
processing equipment, freeze dryer, and refrigerators. The labs are also
furnished with huge sinks, hooded stoves, and an oven for baking Arab
According to lab instructor Basma Hamadeh, the labs will provide students
with valuable hands-on experience that is essential to their careers in
the industry. May Nassrallah, third year student in food sciences and
management, says that the new pilot plant is a major improvement and reminiscent
of what is found in large food factories.
Produce from AREC (the AUB farm) will continue to be sold at the Pilot
Plant each week.
Accreditation of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Renewed
The College of American Pathologists has renewed the accreditation of
the AUBMC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine until February
AUBMC Witnesses First Artificial Cervical Disc Prosthesis in Lebanon
A team of surgeons at AUBMC recently performed the first successful implantation
of an artificial cervical disc prosthesis in Lebanon on a 35 year-old
San Diego State University Signs Partnership Deal with Olayan School
San Diego State University (SDSU) College of Business Administration recently
signed a partnership agreement with the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business
(OSB) that will allow students enrolled in its MBA program in global entrepreneurship
to spend part of a semester at OSB. SDSU also has partner universities
in China and India.
AUB Engineering Students Rank Third in Regional Computer
Coached by Professor Hassan Artail, ECE students Hussein Al-Asadi, Jad
El-Hage, and Camille Lahoud ranked third in a regional computer programming
contest in Morocco in December 2006. The AUB team competed against 44
teams in the annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Regional
Programming Contest, which is part of a worldwide event organized by ACM.
Citigroup Foundation Continues Support for AUB Business Students
During 2005-06, fifteen AUB students received support from the Citigroup
Foundation, which donates $25,000 a year (as part of a four-year $100,000
pledge) for students at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business. A number
of scholarship recipients also have the opportunity to train at Citibank
branches. In addition to employing many AUB alumni, Citibank also recruits
AUB graduates for its branches in the Middle East.
Walter Siouffi, who was recently appointed president and general manager
of Citibank Lebanon, presented the check from Citigroup Foundation to
Provost Peter Heath during a visit to AUB. Both men expressed their appreciation
for the mutually beneficial relationship that Citigroup and AUB enjoy.
AUB Celebrates Chinese New Year during Chinese Cultural Week
During the week of February 12, AUB celebrated Chinese New Year with films,
a photo exhibit, magazines and books on China, and the opportunity to
taste green tea. Organized by the embassy of the Peoples Republic
of China and AUBs International Student Services, the week promoted
Chinese culture. Chinas ambassador to Lebanon Liu Zhiming and Provost
Peter Heath were on hand to inaugurate the event.
Students celebrate International Womens Day
The Womens Rights Club (WRC) celebrated International Womens
Day on March 8 with a series of on-campus and off-campus activities. At
a stand in front of West Hall, club members distributed pamphlets on sexual
harassment and self-defense, and red ribbons marking Womens Day.
We wanted to address the issue of sexual harassment and violence,
so we distributed brochures by the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence
against Women and our own brochures to raise awareness about harassment,
club president Rania Jaber told MainGate.
The WRC and the Standing Committee on Reproductive Health and AIDS cosponsored
a self-defense empowerment workshop by Senshido affiliate George Fahmi.
Senshido is an organization that teaches martial art for self-defense.
After the workshop, the club showed a movie (The Accused), which was followed
by a reception and discussion. The club also organized a day-long event
in the Art Lounge that included round-table discussions on a wide range
of topics including womens rights in the Arab/Muslim World, womens
relationship with the media, the patriarchal global society and political
representation, and an exhibit by women artists.
Maysam Ali (BA 07)
Debating the existence of God
Chairperson of the Philosophy Department Bashshar Haydar and Professor
Al Moutasim Billah Al-Baghdadi of the Philosophy and Sociology Department
at the University of Tripoli debated the existence of God in an event
hosted by the Debate Club on March 7.
Haydar argued against believing in the omni benevolent God of Judeo-Christian
religions: If this world is created and supervised by God, and if
God is all good and powerful, he wants to eliminate evil... But the world
we live in has excessive evil, which makes it unlikely that it was created
by an all-good and powerful being.
Despite all efforts, Haydar argued, believing in God
is a leap of faith, because you do it against the evidence. Those who
choose this should know that those who refuse to accept it do it on good
Baghdadi argued that a human being cannot refute the existence of God
because human knowledge is very limited. Does matter alone have
the capacity for invention and the advancement of human kind? he
asked. Everything that happens does not happen by accident; we cannot
deny Gods existence. Baghdadi said that humans cannot judge
whether natural disasters are good or evil because they do not have the
divine wisdom to make such a judgment. The debate, which attracted a large
audience, was followed by a two-hour Q&A session.
Maysam Ali (BA 07)
Laila Farhood, SoN, professor of psychiatry, was
appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as mental health coordinator
for Lebanon during and after the July war. Farhood was asked to develop
teaching materials to train personnel to help the internally displaced
deal with post traumatic stress symptoms. She chaired a committee of psychiatrists,
psychologists, social workers, and nurses during the first phase of the
program to train mental health professionals, October 1-24, 2006.
Assaad Soweid, FM, assistant professor of endosonography and advanced
therapeutic endoscopy, Division of Gastroenterology, was recently appointed
as a fellow of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
(ASGE) in recognition of his outstanding research and world-wide
teaching contributions to the field of gastrointestinal endoscopy. He
is the first therapeutic endoscopist to receive this honor in the
Middle East. Soweid will be recognized during ASGEs annual meeting
in Washington, DC in May 2007.
Isam Bashour, FAFS, chair of the Department of Land and Water Resources
and associate professor, presented a paper, Ammonium Hydroxide and
Hydrogen Peroxide Amendments for the Control of Root-Knot Nematodes,
which he co-authored with Alia Y. Alameddine, Adib Saad, Mussa Nimah,
and Moatassim Sidahmed. The paper explores chemical alternatives to the
newly restricted synthetic nematicide, methyl bromide, and was presented
at the 58th Pittsburg Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy
in Chicago, Illinois, February 25- March 2, 2007.
Ali El-Hajj, FEA, professor of electrical and computer engineering,
presented Intercell Interference Reduction by the Use of Chebyshev
Circular Antenna Arrays with Beam Steering, which he co-authored
with Karim Kabalan, Ali Chehab, and Elias Yaacoub at the 24th National
Radio Science Conference at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, March
Ghazi Ghaith, FAS, professor of education and director of the University
Preparatory Program, participated in the International Congress of Professional
Development for Teachers of English in Buenos Aires, Argentina, February
Sari Hanafi, FAFS, associate professor of sociology and former
director of the Palestinian Refugee and Diaspora Centre, Shaml, participated
in a conference at Al Quds University, November 25-26. The International
Conference on the Palestinian Refugees: Conditions and Recent Developments
attracted 30 lawyers, activists, politicians, social scientists, and UNRWA
experts from the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, Canada, and the United Kingdom
and an audience of approximately 300 students and community leaders. Participants
tackled a range of issues including the living conditions of refugees
in the Palestinian territory and Arab countries, the legal aspect of right
of return, and case studies of repatriation and compensation of refugees
Marwan Khawaja, FHS, associate professor of epidemiology and population
health, presented a paper he coauthored with Shireen Asaf, The Transition
to Lower Fertility in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: Evidence from Recent
Surveys, at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Population Association
of America in New York, March 28-31, 2007.
Alba Sibai, FHS, associate professor and chair, Department of Epidemiology
and Population Health, presented Marital Status, Intergenerational
Co-Residence and Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality among Middle-Aged
and Older Men and Women during Wartime in Beirut: Gains and Liabilities
at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America in
New York City, March 28-31. The paper was co-authored with Kathy Yount
of Emory University and Astrid Fletcher of the London School of Hygiene
and Tropical Medicine.
Baladi Habibi: Celebrating Zaki Nassifs Musical
The annual fundraising concert celebrating Zaki Nassifs musical
heritage, Baladi Habibi (My Country, My Love) was held on
February 1 at Assembly Hall. The Lebanese National Oriental Arabic Orchestra
performed during the concert that was held under the auspices of the Zaki
Nassif Music Program at AUB. Dr. Walid Gholmieh, director of the Lebanese
Higher Conservatory of Music, conducted the concert that featured the
songs of Zaki Nassif such as Tallou Hbabna Tallou (Our Loved
Ones Have Returned) and Hbayibna Hwalayna (Our Loved Ones
Are With Us). The concert ended with Nassifs Mahma Yitjarrah Baladna
(Beyond Our Countrys Wounds) as a tribute to Lebanon. All proceeds
from the concert were used to support the Zaki Nassif Music Program at