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Inside the Gate
  Inauguration of the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing;
OSB Awarded AACSB Accreditation; Life With Six Presidents
Features
Health Beyond Hospitals
Diagnosing the System
Special Insert: 2009 Inaugural Address
Welcome to AUB’s New Rafic Hariri School of Nursing
 
 
Alumni Profile
Alumni Happenings
Class Notes
AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
 
 
Credits
From the President
From the Editors
Letters to the Editors
 
 
AUB Inaugurates the Rafic Hariri School
of Nursing
Health beyond Hospitals
Line of Sight
What’s best for my bones
Time Flies
AUB students adorn walls near campus with bits of culture
CCECS hosts intercultural discussion on youth volunteer work
Last Glance: The Charles Hostler Student Center has been commended by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) as one
of the Top Ten Green Projects for 2009.
 

Spring 2009 Vol. VII, No. 3

Class Notes

1960s

Jarir Halazan
(BS ’62, MD ’67) lives in Amman, Jordan where he is a diplomat at the American Board of Pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. hadih@nets.com.jo

Yusef Shalabi
(BE ’63) has recently been promoted to director of projects at Al Habtoor Group in Dubai. He is developing the Habtoor Palm Resort on Jumeira Palm Island, a $300 million project that includes a five-star beach hotel and an attached apartment block. yusef_shalabi@hotmail.com yusef@emirates.net.ae

Muhammad A. Abu Zaki
(BE ’68) is working as an expert in road design and land transport for the Directorate General of Roads and Land Transport in Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communication. mabuzaki@gmail.com

Michael Woosnam-Mills
(MA ’69) lives in Talence, France. He has three children: Laura, 34, a designer; Fabien, 29, a Paris-based Air France steward; and Olivia, 27, who recently earned an MA from Queensland University in environmental management. Woosnam-Mills writes, “After over 20 years of reflection, their French mother Gabrielle and I got married in 1998. We are both translators. I continue the English teaching I started 40 years ago at the AUB Orientation Program and am also a freelance writer, editor, and journalist. I read AUB publications with pleasure and interest, and they have enabled me to contact several old friends and acquaintances.” mikemills@wanadoo.fr

1970s

Jamal Akl
(BE ’70) is group vice president for sales, proposals, and support at Consolidated Contractors Company. He lives in Athens, Greece. jakl@ccc.gr

Khalil Cotran
(BS ’70) is the managing director of NBK Capital in Kuwait. He earned his master’s degree in 1972 and his doctorate in 1976 from the University of Louisiana. khalilcotran@gmail.com

Levent Yaveroglu
(BBA ’72) is a senior partner of Deloitte Turkey, and the founder and chairman of the Deloitte Educational Foundation. He holds a master’s degree from Middle East Technical University in Turkey, where he is a sworn certified accountant. Yaveroglu and his wife of 35 years live in Istanbul. They have a son, Tolga, and two grandsons. Yaveroglu would love to hear from classmates. lyaveroglu@deloitte.com

Abdallah Abdul Wahab
(BE ’73) is the director of Urban Community Al Fayhaa in Tripoli, Lebanon. alfayhaa@gmail.com

Nayla Boulos Rathle
(BBA ’74) lives in Belmont, Massachusetts where she is division administrator (Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Astrophysics) at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a research bureau of the Smithsonian Institution.  While working for the Smithsonian, Rathle earned her graduate certificate in management in 1999 from the Radcliffe Seminars.  She is married to Mario Rathle and is a doting aunt to her two nephews who live in Paris. nrathle@cfa.harvard.edu

 

Hagop Holtian
(BE ’75) lives in Beirut and works as an electrical engineering consultant at Pierre Dammous & Partners. Hholtian@hotmail.com

Kamal F. Badr
(BS ’76, MD ’80) is founding dean of the Medical School at the Lebanese American University. Badr is working towards fulfilling the school’s mission “to educate and train a new physician, one superbly trained in the art and science of medicine, and who believes deeply that a physician is, above all, a merciful healer.” Visit the LAU School of Medicine at http://www.lau.edu.lb/academics/schools/medicine/index.php

Arshag Mooradian
(BS ’76, MD ’80) is chair of the Department of Medicine and a professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Mooradian lives in Jacksonville, Florida.  Arshap.Mooradian@jax.ufl.edu

Karim Samir Tabet
(BA ’76) has been appointed group general manager of marketing and sales at Al Rai Media Group, a Kuwait-based media conglomerate.

Zaki Zaatari
(BE ’78) received his master’s in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is the department head of engineering at Oger Liban SAL in Beirut. zzaatari@yahoo.com

Bassam Omari
(BS ’79, MD ’83) lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California with his wife Rana and daughter Lynn. He is chief of the Cardiothoracic Division at UCLA Medical Center (Harbor). bomari@ucla.edu

1980s

Sabia Kanafani
(BA ’80) works at the Arab Open University in Kuwait as an administration executive and manager of the Office of the Rector. Kanafani has two children, and writes, “My daughter joined AUB last year and is walking in my footsteps…My son will graduate from Queens University as a dental surgeon. Too bad there is no dental school at AUB.” sabiakanafani@hotmail.com

Lina Zawati Shamma
(BAR ’80) is a partner at easyinfo in Beirut and a jewelry designer for the OLina brand name. laloun@googlemail.com

Paul Abou Nader
(BS ’84) earned a PhD from Ohio University with a fellowship from the US Navy. He then conducted postdoctoral research at Oklahoma State University with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. He is presently a scientific director and heads the analytical laboratories at Charles River Labs, an international company in Massachusetts that serves the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. He writes, “I am ever grateful to AUB and miss it a lot. Hope to visit in the future.” paulnader@videotron.ca

Mohammad Abdel-Rahman Ladki
(BBA ’85) worked at Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale in Beirut from 1987 to 2008 as an internal auditor. When that bank became Emirates Lebanon Bank SAL, Ladki became a project manager to assure the smooth migration of the old banking system to the new company. He has earned two master’s degrees in finance, one from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires and the other from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris. Mohamad.Arladki@elbank.com.lb

1990s

Ihsan Alkhatib
(BA ’90) recently graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with a PhD in political science. He is an adjunct faculty member at Henry Ford Community College and a columnist for a community biweekly publication, The Forum and Link. Alkhatib has his own law practice in Dearborn, Michigan focusing on immigration law, employment law, and family law. He and his wife Maysoon have three children under the age of four: Ali, Omar, and Mohamed. ehsankhatib@hotmail.com

Kamal Kamaleddine
(BS ’90) writes, “I’m now in Dakar, Senegal where I have been since July 2008 as UNICEF’s regional chief of ICT for western and central Africa. This is the current stage of a long journey with UNICEF that started in 1987 (while I was still at AUB) and has taken me to more than 65 countries in all continents of the globe.” Kkamaleddine@hotmail.com

Ali Hajj
(BS ’91) earned his degree at AUB in computer science. He then received a diploma in human resources management from Edexel UK. Hajj is a human resources manager for United Aviation Services at their headquarters in Dubai. ahage77@hotmail.com

Omar Momtaz
(former student, 1991–93) spent two years studying mechanical engineering at AUB before transferring to Beirut Arab University where he earned his BE in civil engineering in 1997. In 1998 Momtaz earned an MBA from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires in Beirut and in 2005 he obtained a master’s in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from Université de Paris-Sud and Université La Sagesse. He is now the senior manager of Smart City Business Development at Emaar in Dubai. omar.momtaz@yahoo.com

Lina Ahmad Kattan
(BE ’92, ME ’94) earned her PhD from the University of Toronto in 2005. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Calgary in Canada. lina.kattan@utoronto.ca

Elie Alexandros
(BE ’93) is the MEP manager for Consolidated Contractors Company’s Dubai Mall Project. He lives in Dubai, UAE. ealexandros@ccc.ae

Wassef Mouhtar
(BS ’93) lives in Beirut where he is sales and marketing director of the Imaging Division at Covidien. Wassef.mouhtar@covidien.com

Zaher Haydar
(BE ’94) is a senior solutions consultant for Hitachi Data Systems. He was recently transferred from Dubai to New York, Canada, just north of Toronto. zaher.haydar@gmail.com

Rabih Al-Kaysi
(BS ’95) lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He teaches chemistry at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University of Health and Science.

Mohammad Ghazi Mohammad Kheir Kayali
(BS ’96, MPH ’98) recently earned a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Iowa. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee. gkayali@yahoo.com

Fadi Nassif
(BE ’96) is sales manager for optimization and control at GE Energy. He lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE. fadi.nassif@ge.com

Susan Daniel Fayad
(BA ’97, TD ’98). After working as a senior educational adviser for AMIDEAST for two years, Fayad left to marry and relocate in Richmond, Virginia, where her husband works as an immigration attorney. She is now working part-time in the Admissions Office of the University of Richmond and as a financial aid adviser for GRASP (Greater Richmond Area Scholarship Program) that counsels and helps primarily low income high school graduates obtain scholarships to attend college or trade schools. Through the Walid Joumblatt Foundation for Higher Education, Fayad has also advised and applied for US university scholarships for Lebanese students. Her rue labor of love is her 20 month old son, Adam.

Rana Kobrossi Zbeidy
(BS ’97, MS ’00) lives in Jbeil Caza (Kfarkeddeh) in south Lebanon. She is an environmental consultant for ELARD-Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development. rana_zbeidy (a) yahoo.com

Ahmad Samih Al-Dheiby
(BS ’98) graduated from AUB with a degree in chemistry, received an MS from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a PhD in organic chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He is currently an assistant professor in organic chemistry at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia. aldheiby@hotmail.com

Hamza Shamy
(BE ’98) is manager of e-enterprise (e3), an Emirates computer company. He lives in Doha, Qatar. hashamy@yahoo.com

Tarek Hoteit
(BS ’98) completed an MBA in corporate finance from the University of Dallas in 2006 and is currently pursuing a PhD in applied management and decision sciences at Walden University. Hoteit lives in Texas where he is a group manager at Verizon Business. hoteit@gmail.com

Hend Al-Roumi 
(BA ’99) and her husband Khaled Abbas are both bankers residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. They have just been blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Tala. The couple has another beautiful daughter named Dara. hend.al-roumi@hotmail.com

Tarek Gergawi
(BBA ’99) earned an MBA last year from Qatar University, graduating with distinction. He works at QNB (Qatar National Bank) as manager of international operations and development. tjerjawi@yahoo.com

Marwan Refaat
(BS ’99, MD ’03) completed an internship and residency program in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and is now a cardiovascular fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has earned many awards including the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Award in 2007 and clinical research awards from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, the American Heart Association and the American College of Physicians. Refaat is currently the secretary of the WAAAUB Pittsburgh Chapter. He is chairman of the National Arab American Medical Association–Lebanon Liaison. Rifaatmarwan@hotmail.com

2000s

Mohammed El Ansari 
(BS ’00, MPH ’04) is product sales manager for Neurologic Technologies at Medtronic. He lives in Beirut. mohammed.ansari@medtronic.com

Mohammad Barraj
(BBA ’00) received his MS in accounting and finance from the University of Birmingham in England and completed his CPA examinations with distinction in the United States. He works for Shuaa Capital and resides in Dubai. Barraj writes that he is “always proud to be an AUB alumnus.” MBarraj@shuaacapital.com

Salma A. Haidar
(MMD ’00) is a senior associate at Audi Saradar Investment Bank. She has been a chartered financial analyst (CFA) since 2006. Salma.Haidar@asib.com

Tania Atallah
(BA ’01) is the marketing manager for Chateau Montagne. Built over half a century ago by her grandfather Halim Nassib Atallah, it is now owned and operated by her father Ghazi Atallah as a special events venue in Aindara, Lebanon. The chateau is set on a hilltop of ten garden-filled acres and has breathtaking panoramic views of the pines and cedars of the Chouf Mountains. Atallah also works fulltime for the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and as a freelance writer. Taniaatallah@yahoo.com

Fadi Shami
(BS ’01). After receiving his degree in computer science at AUB, Shami earned a master’s, also in computer science, at the University of North Carolina. He is currently a software architect at EDL Consulting. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
fadishami@yahoo.com

Ahed Ahmad Serhal
(BA ’02) received her undergraduate degree in public administration. She expects to receive her PHR certification from the Society for Human Resources in June 2009. Serhal currently works for Chelder S.A.L. Offshore. aas53@aub.edu.lb

Maher Itani (ME ’03) wed Maya Y. Itani (ME ’07) in December. They are living in Beirut, their “lovely hometown with all its noise.” Maher has earned many IT certifications including MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and OCP (Oracle Certified Professional) in Oracle Database 10g. He is a systems analyst at FEA. mti02@aub.edu.lb

M. Rami Nsouli
(BS ’03) was recently appointed assistant director for development services at AUB. He is married to Dunai El-Hassan (BE ’02, ME ’07). mn35@aub.edu.lb

Jihad Beydoun
(BS ’04) is a channels specialist at Cisco Systems in Beirut. He earned his master’s in finance at Ecole Supérieure des Affaires. Prior to working at Cisco Systems, Beydoun held various positions in banking and shipping. jihad.beydoun@gmail.com

Wassim Said
(BE ’04) left Acotel Group to join Shift Technologies as a senior consultant. He earned a postgraduate diploma in religious studies from the Near East School of Theology (NEST) in February 2008. Said is engaged to Lamia Rassi. wassimsaid@gmail.com

Mohammed Diaaeldin F. A. Omer
(MPH ’05) received his MD in community medicine from the Sudan Medical
Specialization Board in 2006. He is currently a health specialist for UNICEF at the Nyala Field Office in Sudan. diaa143@yahoo.com

Joseph Sabeh Afaki
(BBA ’06) lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is the manager of investment banking for Unicorn Investment Bank. jafaki@gmail.com

Mahmoud Hajjar
(BBA ’06) is now a buying executive for PHD Network in Dubai, UAE. mahmoudhajjar@gmail.com

Hicham Yamout
(BE ’06) lives in Abu Dhabi where he is a consultant and project manager for the Gulf region for NCR Corporation.
He is a recipient of the Consulting Excellence Award–MEA. Hicham@gmail.com

Moufid M. Dardas
(MBA ’07). After finishing his MBA, Dardas became a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and currently lives in Beirut and Dubai where he is the director of CFH Investment Banking. Moufid@cfh.com.lb

Omar Ardati
(BBA ’08) is an investment analyst for Olayan Financing Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. o_ardati@hotmail.com

Tarek Halabi
(BBA ’08) works in human resources for Fibrex Industrial and Construction Group, a company that provides innovative and cost effective construction solutions. He lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE and writes that he misses “every corner, every chair, every professor at AUB.” tah09@aub.edu.lb

Lamees Hoteit
(BBA ’08) is a sales and service adviser at IBB Bank in London. lamees_hoteit@hotmail.co.uk

Joudi R. Zayour
(BBA ’08) is married and living in Dubai, UAE where she is a personnel officer at Amana Steel Building Contracting. Zayour writes that she is proud to be a graduate of a university that is as well known and highly regarded as AUB. joudi.zayour@amanabuildings.com

Recently Honored

John Makhoul
is chief scientist at BBN Technologies, an advanced technology firm in Cambridge, MA, and is adjunct professor at Northeastern University. Makhoul, who has an MS from Ohio State (1965) and a PhD from MIT (1970), traveled to Taipei, Taiwan in April to receive the prestigious James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award for 2009 from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), in recognition of his “pioneering contributions to speech modeling.” The award is the highest given in the field of speech processing in the world.

Makhoul is one of the world’s leading researchers in speech processing. He has made a number of contributions to the mathematical modeling of speech signals, which have had applications in speech analysis and synthesis, speech coding, and speech recognition. His work has led to practical systems that can transcribe live broadcasts in real-time in many languages, including Arabic. His patented work on techniques for optical character recognition (OCR) has had a dramatic impact on the ability to create OCR systems in multiple languages relatively quickly. His current activities focus on the emerging area of machine translation.

Makhoul has an impressive list of honors spanning his long and distinguished career: his 1975 paper on linear prediction was named a “citation classic” by the Institute for Scientific Information in May 1982. He has received the 1978 Senior Award, the 1982 Technical Achievement Award, and the 1988 Society Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 2000, he was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.

A recipient of the Penrose Award at AUB in 1964, Makhoul was presented with AUB’s FEA Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002. He currently serves on the External Advisory Board to the AUB Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.makhoul@bbn.com

Musa Z. Nazer
(BS ’58, MS ’60), who lives in Amman, Jordan, was decorated on February 15, 2009 by his Royal Highness King Abdullah the Second with the Al Hussein Decoration for Distinguished Contribution, First Order in recognition of “Excellence in the Field of Chemistry Teaching and Research.” mzn06@yahoo.com

Arpine Konyalian Grenier
(BS ’65, MS ’67) received Arizona’s Pima Arts Council Award in 2008. Grenier, who recently guest edited Big Bridge, a webzine featuring poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays, journalism, and art of all kinds, has published her work in several literary journals on and off-line including Milk, Word for Word, Otoliths, and diode. In May 2009 she will read from her poetry and present a paper entitled, Heritage Like Money Then: Exaptation at the Margins (Where the Word Meets Itself) at Sabanci University’s Dink Memorial Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

AUB Trustee and internationally renowned scientist Dr. Huda Zoghbi (BS ’76), a pioneer in the study of Rett Syndrome and related autism spectrum disorders, received the 2009 Vilcek Prize in biomedical science at a ceremony in New York City on
April 2.

The Vilcek Prize honors exceptional foreign-born professionals in the early stages of their careers in the arts and biomedical sciences. Dr. Jan Vilcek commented, “Much of the advancement of science in the United States from the first half of the twentieth century onward rests on the achievements of foreign-born individuals. The outstanding work of this year’s science honoree, Dr. Huda Zoghbi, underscores the importance of remembering this fact.”

Intending to become a pediatric clinician, Zoghbi’s career path was altered by an encounter with a five-year-old girl at Texas Children’s Hospital and an article on Rett Syndrome in the Annals of Neurology. These two experiences prompted Zoghbi to study molecular genetics so she could learn more about this little known medical condition. Because there was too little data available to make it the focus of her career, she concentrated instead on spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a crippling, neurodegenerative disease that affects balance and coordination. In 1988, Zoghbi set up her own laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, and began a close collaboration with Dr. Harry Orr at the University of Minnesota, who was also working on SCA1. Coincidentally, they cloned the SCA1 gene on the same day in 1993. Throughout this period, Zoghbi continued to work on Rett Syndrome. In 1999, sixteen years after first learning of the disease, she and her collaborators identified mutations in the MECP2 gene as the cause of Rett Syndrome.

Today a professor of pediatrics, neurology, neuroscience, and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Zoghbi says her professional mission is “to actually make a patient better” through treatments resulting from her research discoveries.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and has been honored with the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research, the nation’s most distinguished pediatric research award; the Kilby Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Society through Science, Technology, Innovation, Invention, and Education; the Sidney Carter Award; and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research.

Samia Khoury
(BS ’80, MD ’84) has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Kuwait Prize for Sciences by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences for her work in immunology. The prizes were awarded during a ceremony in Kuwait City in December 2008.

Elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in 1983, Khoury completed her neurology residency at the Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a research fellow at the Center for Neurologic Diseases in 1991, and became a member of the faculty in 1994. Shortly thereafter, Khoury was also appointed codirector of the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center in Boston. She was promoted to professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in 2007. Khoury developed and directs the Clinical Immunology Laboratory at the Center for Neurologic Diseases that specializes in biomarker development for multiple sclerosis. In 2002 she was elected to both the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Neurological Association. sjkhoury@comcast.net

AUB’s Young Global Leaders
Two AUB graduates were among the 230 Young Global Leaders (YGL) 2009 from business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations, and the arts that the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced in February 2009. Chosen “for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society, and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world,” the YGLs hail from 71 countries in all regions of the world.

YGL Abdulsalam Haykal
(BA ’01), the founder and CEO of Transtek Information Systems and Haykal Media, is a media and technology entrepreneur, president of the Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association (SYEA), and an AUB trustee. Haykal sees the award as a reminder of his commitment to a better future for Syria and the region. He is quoted as saying, “The great honor WEF bestowed on me would not have been possible without the lessons learned at AUB as a student, alumnus, and trustee. The University is a beacon of light and it will always be at the core of my concern for others and my passion for positive change.”

YGL Habib Haddad
(BE ’02) is the founder of Language Analytics LLC, a software startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that specializes in smart transliteration technologies for Arabic and other languages.  He developed Yamli.com, a search engine and web-based Arabic transliteration tool that empowers users to use and access Arabic content on the web easily.  He started Relief Lebanon, a grassroots effort to support the relief operations in Lebanon during the July 2006 war, and cofounded INLET (International Network of Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Technologists), which promotes entrepreneurship and leadership in Lebanon and the Arab world. “I hope that along with fellow YGLs, we will be able to help foster entrepreneurship activities in the Middle East and North Africa. I am also excited to continue to promote the Arabic web, which I believe has a bright future,” said Haddad.

Rola Idris (BARCH ’08) and Rana Zeidan (BARCH ’08) won the first and second prize respectively at the 2008 Chadirji Awards last December. This award, which is a collaboration of the Chadirji Foundation and the Order of Engineers and Architects, Beirut, is awarded to students graduating from architecture programs in Lebanon. Two graduating projects are selected by each architecture program in Lebanon and their authors present the work to a jury.

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FW: CUBA, Havana

Subject: FW: CUBA, Havana
From: Rami Al Khal (BBA ’80)
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 23:55:08

Dear friends,

My trip to Cuba was a total inspiration...Havana is an enchanting place. The new buildings and the old restored ones are totally unique. Wherever you go, you must be in the mood to dance... bands are everywhere playing their music... in pubs, restaurants and even in the streets... a unique concert place... In the streets the buildings are colorful... the cars dating from the 50's are colorful... and even the people are colorful... and of course the Cuban cigar is the star... and when I visited a cigar factory, I was impressed by the discipline of the workers. Each performs a task and it all ends in a great handmade cigar. [There is a] person sitting at his desk with a microphone telling them stories or reading them a book so they don't lose concentration . . . most amazing . . .

On my tours outside Havana, a small old propeller plane took me to Cayo Largo, a beautiful small island where I scuba dived where Castro used to dive. Then Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Topes del Collantes, and Santa Clara, where Che Guevara's mausoleum is found. And then Varadero: with its crystal blue water and sandy white beaches. I swam with the dolphins and did many tricks with them almost like a pro...

Cuba is a heaven in the Caribbean sea . . .

“You Promise, You Deliver” Two sisters take on beauty

Self-confessed overachievers Carla-Maria Khanjian (BA ’82, MA ’86) and Irma Khanjian (BA ’81) never expected to be leaders in the skin care industry, but as the dynamic duo behind the hot selling antioxidant and anti-wrinkle cream La Peau, that’s exactly what they are. They are also CEO and executive director respectively of their very own biotechnology company, Befutur. Both economics majors at AUB, the sisters’ career paths initially diverged with Carla-Maria working in high-level corporate positions in China, Europe, and the Middle East, and Irma working in human resources and recruitment in Canada, where the family had relocated. Fate brought them back together when Irma joined her sister in Geneva and began work at Befutur.

The sisters’ personal and professional partnership was cemented with talent, tenacity, and sibling loyalty that empowered them to buy out other stakeholders in the company. By combining the very different worlds of product development using the best scientists in cell and tissue engineering, sales, and marketing with its hard-earned sweat equity, and finance with its risky twists and turns, the two sisters proved to be an unbeatable team. Undaunted by limited resources, they put La Peau on the map in three continents: Europe, Asia, and America where it is sought after by celebrity clients such as Eva Longoria, Susan Sarandon, and Gloria Estefan, and featured in the industry’s best-known fashion magazines including Elle, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. They are exploring ways to market and distribute La Peau on an even larger scale.

Although Carla-Maria and Irma once again live on different continents (in Montreal and Geneva), they are still as tight a team as they have ever been. Both women are strong, competitive athletes who believe in exercise and sports as a hedge against life’s many challenges. The sisters also believe in mentoring and do so extensively through professional networks and community outreach programs.

The Khanjian sisters take pride in identifying themselves as Lebanese-Canadians of Armenian descent, pride in their family connections—including their cousin, the actress Arsinee Khanjian—and they take pride in AUB, as we do in them.