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On Past Presidents and Football Stratagems: Fifty Years of Memories at AUB
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Spring 2007 Vol. V, No. 3

Class Notes

1950s

Mona Asfour Saba and Robert Bahij Saba
Mona Asfour Saba (BA ’53) and Robert Bahij Saba (BA ’52, BSCE ’53) live in Allison Park, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Mona volunteers at the local hospital and at Christ Episcopal Church. Robert Bahij, who also earned an MS in civil engineering from MIT in 1961, is retired but still actively involved in technology transfer as a consultant to FirstLink, a Department of Defense National Center of Excellence for first responders, at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mona writes: "I was so glad to visit Beirut this past October and share a few weeks of comfort and joy with family and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the AUB campus and marveling at all the growth and improvements. The museum in particular was fabulous. Then, of course, I visited the AUB Chapel (Assembly Hall) where my husband and I were married in 1954. The number of students milling around in front of the gates and all over the campus was such an uplifting sight. Thank you AUB for being there for all of us: "We’ll Salute Thee Alma Mater. Hail! O Hail! To Thee!" We hope our five grandchildren will be able to visit some day!

Munir Nassar
(MD ’59) and his family are happy to announce that they are the proud grandparents of Isabel (born to their son Ramzi and his wife Shawna) and Dylan (born to their daughter Rania and her husband Josh). Munir can be reached at mnassar1@rochester.rr.com.

1960s

Zubeida Barmania
(MA ’67) has had a long and successful career as a legal and civic advocate in corporate and governmental affairs in North America and Africa. She is a barrister-at-law in England and a barrister and solicitor in Canada. She returned to her native country South Africa in 1993 to work with the ANC government. She writes, "I am currently in South Africa. I receive copies of MainGate from time to time and remain in contact with fellow alumni: Najwa Khouri, Usama Mugharbil, Amal Shammaa, Munir Shamma, Rashid Khalifa, and Adnan Bakhiet. I was in Beirut and Jordan last April for a reunion and met up with some of these friends there. I hope to attend my Class of ’67 Reunion. It is wonderful to go back in time and recall my student days in Beirut. They were my best!! I was vice president of the graduate residence Bustani Hall..." Zubeida can be reached at zbarmani@mweb.co.za.

Bonnie Hasler
Thomas Hasler writes: Bonnie Hasler (MA, Middle East Studies, ’68) and I met at the Middle East Studies Seminar organized by Professor Joseph Malone. I was an editor at The Daily Star on a journalism internship from the University of Michigan trying to understand something about the Middle East. We got married in Beirut the day after Bonnie defended her thesis on the Kurds. Returning to the US, I found a job as a journalist at the Baltimore Sun and Bonnie went into the human services field, first with the State of Maryland, then as a consultant in Washington. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1991, but before her demise in 1995 she worked on a challenging

USAID contract that established the first senior center in Moscow shortly after the fall of communism. I subsequently left the Sun and was involved in several IT ventures in the business intelligence area. More recently I’ve been an independent investor and film producer. I reconnected with AUB after the Israeli attack on Lebanon. I can be reached at thasler@ix.netcom.com.

1970s

Ara Tekian
(BS ’75, MS ’79, PhD ’81) was the keynote speaker at the 4th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference in Singapore February 8-11, 2007 where he delivered a paper, “Innovative Simulations to Assess Professional Competence.”  He was also asked to speak at the Headquarters Office of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland on February 23 on the challenges and opportunities of medical education in the 21st century. 

On a personal note, Drs. Tekian and Haroutune Armenian (BS ’64, MD ’68, president of the American University of Armenia), climbed 17,044-foot Mount Ararat with four other people on August 27, 2006.  It was one of the most challenging experiences of their lives. 

1980s

Raja G. Khouri
(BA ’81) was appointed commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) after completing a one-year appointment at the Hate Crimes Community Working Group. Raja was national president of the Canadian Arab Federation (2002-04) and a strong advocate for community rights and civil liberties. In 2001, he directed a landmark national study of the Canadian Arab community and authored the book Arabs in Canada: Post 9/11. Raja is an organizational and community development consultant and a regular commentator in Canada. He is currently writing a book on Palestinian contemporary artists. Raja can be reached at khouri@canada.com.

Ibrahim Waheed
(BA ’83), writes: "I am living in the Maldives, still fresh out of AUB after my 1983 graduation. I want to thank the AUB community and the people of Lebanon for having given me life in more than abundance right in the middle of a raging civil war!" Ibrahim particularly wants to thank AUB’s honorary university marshal Nabeel Ashkar for his encouragement. "I recall with great fondness his suddenly calling me ‘Grand Maestro’ when I was trying to play some jazz bass as per the score (!) and then decided to peel off from the rest of the gang and improvise instead. I also recall his fondness for AUB and its history—something that has instilled the same quality in me."

Leila Sami Alameddine
(BA ’85, MMB ’88) has been appointed managing director and head of the new European Private Banking Division at Europe Arab Bank (EAB) in London. She joins EAB from JP Morgan where she was vice president of Sales, Global Corporate Trust Department responsible for new business development and the sales and marketing strategy for Western Europe, the Nordic region, and the Middle East. Leila is also a member of EAB's Executive Committee. She can be contacted at Alamleila@hotmail.com.

1990s

Zaher Soubra
(BE ’93) lives in Beirut and works in Siemens's regional office, which serves the Middle East and North Africa, as a director for network consulting. Siemens is a multinational telecommunications company.

Amal Ibrahim Khoury
(BA ’96, MA ’99) has received a PhD in international relations from The American University in Washington, DC. Her 400-page thesis, “Castles in the Sand? An Integrative Approach to Peace Building and Development to Repatriate Lebanon’s Internally Displaced,” explores the theoretical link between peace building and development to facilitate reconciliation in deeply divided societies. She concludes that various efforts to return internally-displaced persons failed not only for political and economic reasons, but also because they did not emphasize the social, cultural, and human facets of the return process.

Lama Zeinoun Tabet
(BBA ’96) worked for many years teaching accounting, marketing, and business studies at schools offering the American system of education. Lama has also worked as an administrator and career counselor. She recently moved to the business sector and is now an administrative officer at Lahoud Engineering. She is also a member of the Chabibeh Sports Club, a basketball club in Chiah. The team placed second this year in the Lebanese Basketball Championship for the fourth division, and was promoted to the third division. Lama is involved in the club's social committee that is creating a free career counseling center in the region. Lama is married and has a seven-year old son. Her email is lamatabet@hotmail.com.

Rana Mougharbel
(BA ’97, MA ’99) started her professional career at HSBC in Beirut working in the Corporate Credit Department before moving to the Gulf Bank in Kuwait and then to Banque Audi in Beirut. Rana emigrated to Canada in 2004 where she completed her MBA from HEC Montreal (2005). She currently lives in Toronto and works as the business process officer in the Private Investment Counsel Division of TD Waterhouse where she provides advice, business expertise, and recommendations on operational and business processes related to the discretionary money management of high net-worth clients. She can be reached at ranamougharbel@hotmail.com.

Maha Tannir
(BA ’97) and her husband Ibrahim Hout have been blessed with the arrival of a new baby girl named Tatiana.

The happy couple has three other children: Issam (6 years), Celine (4 years), and Stephanie (2 years). Maha still works at BankMed in the Human Resources Division. Her husband Ibrahim is an architect with his own construction and contracting business.

Karine Ataya
(BA ’98) reports that after graduation she moved to Australia. Karine earned her master's degree in information systems in 2002 with high honors. In 2004, she went to work at the University of New South Wales as an alumni and event manager. She recently moved to Dubai where she is a manager of education services for the Victorian Government Business Office which covers the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Middle East.Karine would love to hear from old classmates and AUB alumni. Her e-mail is karine.ataya@invest.vic.gov.au.

Dima Zreik
(BBA ’98, MBA ’05) is a senior consultant with KPMG. She consults on public infrastructure finance and can be reached at dima_zreik@yahoo.com.

Marianne Hatzopoulou
(BS ’99, MS ’02) is a third-year PhD candidate in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Toronto. Her focus is transport and the environment and how to promote sustainable transportation plans in Canadian urban areas. She is currently working towards the development of decision-support tools/models that assist policymakers in the appraisal of strategic land-use and transportation plans. Marianne can be reached at marianne.kazopoulo@utoronto.ca.

2000s

Ihab Hassan
(BS ’00, MD ’04) performed a benefit piano recital in Iowa City on October 18, 2006 for the UNICEF Lebanon Children's Fund.  Approximately 150 of Ihab's friends, colleagues, and Iowa City residents attended the concert. Contact lori-strommer@uiowa.edu to order a CD or DVD of the event.

Nadim Issa
(BA ’00) earned his master's in international relations from Hawaii University. After one year at Zawya Dow Jones, Nadim was promoted to assistant news editor. He recently published his first article in the European edition of the Wall Street Journal. Nadim also writes for the Lebanon-based Executive Magazine and Jordan Business. In May 2006, he won first prize in a contest sponsored by Annahar Newspaper and Iqra Association for a children's book he wrote to be published in 2007. Nadim and his wife, who were married three days after the start of the July 2006 war, live in Bchemoun. He can be reached at nadimissa2003@yahoo.com.

Zeina Muhieddine Ghalayini

(BBA ’02, MBA ’06) has moved to Kuwait with her husband and is working at the National Bank of Kuwait as a marketing researcher.

Hassan Osman
(BE ’02) is an information security adviser with Ernst & Young LLP’s Security & Technology Solutions where he helps Fortune 500 clients assess, evaluate, and implement solutions to protect their information. After earning his degree in civil engineering from AUB, Hassan went on to get an MS in information security policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives with his wife Maisaa in Dearborn, Michigan and can be reached at hassan@securingyourinfo.com.

Celine El Khoury El Bourgi

(BBA ’05) has moved around quite a bit in the last few years. She is now working as a trader at Capital Markets in Beirut. Her email address is celine_bourgi@hotmail.com.

Recently honored alumni

Nicolas Hayek, former AUB student, receives The Economist’s Innovation AwardLebanon-born Nicolas G. Hayek, the cofounder and chairman of the Swatch Group, was recently chosen to receive The Economist's Innovation Award, which recognizes individuals "who dream up new ideas and turn them into reality." Hayek, 74, who graduated in 1945 from AUB's preparatory college (which later became International College or IC), was chosen to receive one of the awards that are presented each year in six fields: bioscience, computing and communications, energy and environment, social and economic innovation, consumer products, and a flexible "no boundaries" category. Hayek is credited with saving the Swiss watch industry from collapse in the 1980s when it was facing fierce competition from low-cost Japanese products. He received the award for the consumer products category at a ceremony in London on November 9, 2006.

Joelle Mitri
(BE ’06) writes: I’ve started working at Schlumberger as a field engineer.  I was in Syria, then Malaysia, and am finally back in Syria. I currently live in Derezor, about 500km away from Damascus, on the border with Iraq, and sometimes go on jobs for days and days in the desert. I lose all sense of time and direction there... and let me tell you something about the cold. When it is 16 degrees Celsius in the morning, the sand is covered with a grayish white layer of crystals. It's just beautiful! The freezing weather keeps me strangely awake and energetic. On the longest job I've done, I was in the desert for ten days working 24 hours at a time, sleeping for two hours, then working for 24 hours, and so on.

But I love my job here! It’s a great mixture of the technical and the practical. As field engineers, we send our tools down a well via a cable called a wireline to gather data. We transmit power and send and receive data on this wire. We study the communication of tools with the acquisition system, which is called telemetry.  We study the QPSK, QAM, downlink, uplink rate, CRC error check, phantom technique, digital telemetry bus... apart from telemetry we also study how the tools work, whether they are based on resistivity, nuclear, acoustics, imaging, pressure samples... pressure, valves, pistons...and the raw data of the tools is then input to software inversion, least squares estimation and correction, forward algorithm....

On the practical side, when you're alone in the field, 500 kilometers away from the base and the tools fail, you really learn how to troubleshoot any of the following situations- an oil leak, a failed-O ring, a short in the cable, a failed module, an AC power failure, a stuck tool, the maximum tension to be applied, mechanical or differential pressure stuck... and of course the interpretation of data, hydrocarbons, shale, sand, fracture, water, gas... yes, I've been kind of busy!

Yalla... take care :)