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Spring 2007 Vol. V, No. 3

In Memoriam

Iraqi historian Majeed Khaddouri (BA ’32) passed away on February 26 at the age of 70. Born in Mossul, Iraq on September 27, 1908, Khaddouri received his PhD from Chicago University in 1938. In 1945, he became a member of the Iraqi delegation to the 50-nation conference that signed the Charter of the United Nations. In 1949, while at Johns Hopkins University, he founded the first Department of Higher Studies in Middle Eastern Affairs in the United States. His publications include Nidham al Intidab (The Mandate Regime, 1933) and Harb al Khalij (The Gulf War, 2001).

George Mansur Jurdak (BE ’33) passed away peacefully in Montreal on November 25, 2006. Jurdak was born in 1912 in Beirut. After graduating from AUB as an architect in 1933 he pursued his education at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1934 and 1935. He was a prominent architect and civil engineer who practiced in Lebanon and the Arab world for over 50 years and left a great architectural legacy. Jurdak was an avid bridge player, and kept actively playing until age 94. He nourished regular contacts with his network of fellow bridge players in many countries. He is remembered fondly as a pleasant communicator and as a special friend to many of different generations. He leaves his wife, Gisele Kerba Jurdak; two sons, Nady (BE ’74) and Roy; and three sisters: Angela Jurdak Khoury (BA ’37, MA ’38); Salma Mansur Jurdak, (BS ’42); and Salwa Jurdak Nawas, (BA ’47, MA ’48). His father, the late Mansur Hanna Jurdak (BA ’01, MA ’07), was professor of mathematics at AUB. He was the maternal uncle of AUB Trustee Philip S. Khoury (’69–’70).

Nasrine Adibe (BA ’40) science educator and professor emeritus at C. W. Post Center, Long Island University, died September 22, 2006. After graduating from AUB, she became the first woman to teach at the College of Pharmacy in Baghdad, Iraq. She received her MA in Education in 1951 from the University of Michigan. As a technical assistance expert for UNESCO in the newly independent Kingdom of Libya (1954-58), Adibe designed the K-12 science curriculum that remained in use for two decades. She received her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1971. Adibe taught science education and directed the Program in Science Education for 21 years at C.W. Post. She also served as education consultant in New York and in Oman and Yemen and was a Fulbright scholar in Bahrain in 1994. Adibe is survived by her daughter, grandson, son-in-law, two sisters, and a large extended family. The family has established the Nasrine Adibe Scholarship Fund at AUB in her memory. Information may be found at http://www.ahjur.org/adibe/adibe.html.

Faisal Damluji (BA ’43), a former diplomat, politician and industrialist, passed away on February 11, 2006 at the age of 85. After graduating from AUB, Faisal joined the Iraqi Diplomatic Service. In 1953, he was elected MP for Mosul, a seat he held until the 1958 Revolution. He founded the National Commercial Company and cofounded the National Sewing Company and Rubber Company. Damluji was an active member of the AUB Alumni Association in Iraq. He is survived by his wife Mona Baroody (BA ’43); his daughter Sumaya Shabandar (BA ’69); his son Dr. Namir Damluji; daughter Salma Samar; and son Ousama; as well as six loving grandchildren. 

Samir Shikhani (BA ’45) passed away on December 10, 2006 at the age of 83. A prominent journalist, writer, and historian, Shikhani dedicated his life to translating the literary classics into Arabic. He also translated the biographies of famous figures in the fields of science, mathematics, literature, astronomy, and sports. He headed the

cultural department at Radio Lebanon for several years and cofounded the Lebanese weekly Al-Ahad.

Nahida Fadli Dajani (BA ’52, MA ’70) passed away on January 1, 2007. Dajani worked in media for more than 40 years and interviewed countless celebrities on her radio shows from the 1950s. She was a pioneer in television programming, a prominent poet, and a member of the Supervising Committee at the Arab Center for Dialogue in the United States. To honor the memory of this inspiring and remarkable woman, her family has established the Nahida Fadli Dajani Scholarship Fund at AUB. For more information contact Sujatha Vempaty at vempaty@aub.edu.

Iliya Harik (BA ’56, MA ’58),a renowned expert on the Middle East and professor emeritus of political science at Indiana University, passed away on February 24, 2007.  Harik earned a BA in philosophy and a MA in Arab Studies from AUB and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1964. From 1964 until he retired from teaching in 1998, he was affiliated with Indiana University in Bloomington. His extensive list of publications on the Middle East include The Political Mobilization of Peasants: A Study of an Egyptian Community, Economic Policy Reform in Egypt, and Democracy and the Paradoxes of Cultural Diversity. He served on the first board of the Middle East Studies Association (1973-76), the Middle East Journal, and Journal of Arab Affairs and helped establish and directed Indiana University’s Middle East Studies Center (1980-83). He also directed the education and social science program of the Ford Foundation in North Africa (1974-75) and served as director of the American Research Center in Egypt (1990-92). He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Elsa Marston Harik, and three sons:  Ramsay, in Boston; Amahl, in Providence, Rhode Island; and Raif, in Austin, Texas. 

Mai Ghoussoub (BS ’74) publisher, author, sculptor, journalist, and playwright, died on February 17, 2007, in London at the age of 54. She earned degrees in mathematics from AUB and in French literature from the Lebanese University. In 1979, she and Andre Gaspard opened Al Saqi Bookshop in London. They later established Saqi Books, an Arabic-language publishing house and Dar al Saqi in Beirut. She is survived by her husband, Hazem Saghiyeh; her parents, Antoine and Maggie Ghoussoub; and her sister, Hoda.

Maya Ghannoum (BA ’99) lost her battle with cancer on October 26, 2006. She was a children’s writer and gourmet cook and will be fondly remembered for her children’s stories including Sara Goes to Lebanon and My Home Beyond the Sky. After graduation, she and her husband moved to the United States.  She later returned to Lebanon. Maya was a fighter until the very end and a source of positive energy for all those around her. She will be greatly missed.   

Calvin H. Plimpton, M.D., the tenth president of the American University of Beirut, died on January 30, 2007, after a long illness.

Dr. Plimpton was born on October 7, 1918, in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Amherst College with a BA cum laude in 1939 and received his MD cum laude from Harvard in 1943. After serving in the Medical Corps of the United States Army (1944-46), he received a master’s in biochemistry from Harvard in 1947. He later joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. In 1957 he left Columbia to become professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at AUB. In 1960 he was appointed president of Amherst College, a position he held until 1971. From 1971 to 1978 he was president of Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York.

Dr. Plimpton joined AUB’s Board of Trustees in 1960, and served as chairman from 1965-72, and again 1975-82. He served as president of the University from 1984-87. He was appointed trustee emeritus in 1987. Calvin Plimpton’s leadership of AUB will long be remembered. The Government of Lebanon awarded him the Order of Cedars Medal, Commander Rank.

Dr. Plimpton is survived by his wife, Ruth Talbot Plimpton, and four children, David, Thomas, Anne (Polly), and Edward, and seven grandchildren.

Condolences can be sent to Ruth Plimpton at 10 Longwood Drive, #411, Westwood, Massachusetts 02090.