Summer 2004 Vol. II, Nos 3 and 4
 From the Editors
 To the Editors
 AUB News
 Campaign Update
 Behold Beirut Architecture’s
 New Frontier
 The Post-AUB Architectural Life
 An Exact Type
 Architecture and Graphic Design
 Students “JAM”
 Shaping the Landscape of Lebanon
 Blueprint in Action
 Commencement 2004
 Honorary Degrees 2004
 Young Lebanese Musicians Learn
 Lessons from the Master
 More than a Stamp of Approval: AUB
 Receives Accreditation
 Alumni Profile
 Alumni Activities
 AUB Reflections
 Class Notes
 In Memoriam
 Previous Issues

Alumni Activities Worldwide


AUB Alumni Association–New Officers On Board

The new council of the AUB Alumni Association assumed office on June 30: President Fawwaz Merhabi (BBA ’79), Vice President George Azar (BE ’78); Fadi Jumblatt (BA ’84), Amer Suleiman (BS ’91), Ramzi Dumiany (BBA ’84), Ramzi Alamuddine (BBA ’59, MBA ’77), Ihab Jizi (BS ’79, MD ’84), Munther Kuzayli (Pharmacy ’63), Mohammad Al-Firikh (BSN ’79), Tammam Jaroudi (BE ’98), Muheyddine Dughan (BS ’89, MS ’92), and Sami Jabbur (former student). Mabrouk to all!

The 2004 AAA Alumni Conference, organized by the Relations and Welfare Committee, was held April 22-24 at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Beirut. The conference opened with a panel discussion, “The Role of Alumni in Developing Investment Opportunities in Lebanon and the Middle East.” Speakers included Majid Jumblat, vice governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon; Nehme Tohme, a parliamentarian and founder of Mabani Company; Abbas Khalaf, a former minister; and Joseph Tarabeh, president of the Federation of Arab Banks.

The second session, “AUB Alumni Cultural Interaction with Arab and Middle East Societies,” featured prominent AUB graduates: Samir Kreidieh, the AAA representative in Jeddah; Khaled Kotmeh, director of the Suad Al-Sabbah Publication Company of Kuwait; Ramzi Najjar, communications consultant; and Flare Majali, president of the AAA Jordan Branch.

An impressive ceremony to bestow more than one honor was held at the AUB Assembly Hall on April 23. Honors went to the AUB graduates of 1954 and 1979 on the occasion of their 50th and 25th anniversaries, respectively: to Dr. Suad Al-Sabbah, who was presented with an AAA shield of appreciation, and to Mr. Adra for having reached the 75th anniversary of his graduation.

Middle East

Abu Dhabi

More than 400 alumni and friends gathered together for the 17th Spring Ball of the Abu Dhabi Alumni branch, held on May 20. The theme of the gala was AUB’s new Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, and fittingly there as the guest of honor was Khaled S. Olayan, son of Suliman.

School of Business Dean George Najjar and Abu Dhabi branch President Mohamad Sleiman welcomed the guests. Sleiman, who opened the dinner with a word of thanks to the Abu Dhabi alumni and friends for their loyalty and continuous support, especially expressed appreciation to the committee members, past and present, for their dedication and hard work in organizing the annual event, which has helped raise over $2 million for the University since 1985. He reported that in 2003-04 the Abu Dhabi Alumni Scholarship Fund had a return of around $100,000, and read extracts from a letter of gratitude from one of the student scholarship recipients.

Khaled Olayan spoke of the immense pride of the Olayan family in having the name of their late father associated with AUB. While his father did not attend AUB, or any other university for that matter, he had very deep respect for the University and what it stood for. The senior Olayan sent his daughters to AUB for their education and also sought to help AUB meet its mission through his support of the business school. But he had to be persuaded to change his mind about accepting to have his name on the school, his son said, and the Olayan family is extremely appreciative of AUB for that.


The AUB alumni in Kuwait organized their first event of the year April 29 at the new Palms Resort in Kuwait City. Greeting the guests as they arrived at the pre-dinner reception were AUB President John Waterbury, President of the Kuwaiti AUB Alumni Branch Faisal Al-Mutawa, and AUB Director of Development Imad Baalbaki.

The evening’s program opened with welcoming remarks by President Mutawa, who thanked the guests for their support and informed them of the increased momentum that had characterized the organizing committee’s work during the past year. President Waterbury, in turn, thanked the attending alumni and friends for their loyalty and continued contributions to the University. He noted the increase in the number of AUB alumni from Kuwait (now close to 300) and said that the number of students from Kuwait presently enrolled at AUB stood at 40 nationals and 100 residents.

The special program planned by the organizing committee took everyone by surprise. It consisted of a most entertaining performance by AUB students of folk dances and comedy sketches from the Ziad Rahbani play, Nazl Al-Sourour.

Total donations received from AUB alumni and friends in Kuwait since 1998 have now topped $500,000. The proceeds of this year’s function amounted to $20,000, all of which will be distributed to AUB students who qualify for financial aid.


The Oman chapter’s festive Asian-themed dinner, held at the Grand Hyatt in Muscat on April 22, saw 275 alumni and friends in attendance. Guests were greeted with a Thai welcome of red flower petals and feasted on a sumptuous buffet of Asian delicacies.

The program opened with a few words by Chapter President Kamil Harb, who also served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. He told the gathering that it had taken much effort on the part of the alumni and friends in Oman to accomplish all that they had during the past decade, especially since they were a small group, but that it had all come out of their love of and loyalty to AUB. Vocalist Tania Assaf, in entertaining the guests, invited them to join in the singing, whereupon the American, British, and German ambassadors all took turns in belting out a solo.

Since 1992, the Oman Alumni Branch has donated close to $200,000 to AUB, out of which $75,000 went into an endowed scholarship fund.


For the third consecutive year, the AUB Alumni Association of Syria held its annual gala, which was held in December 2003, at the historic Khan Assaad Basha in the Old Damascus district. The function opened with a pre-dinner reception, at which guests were welcomed by Syrian AAA President Abdul Salam Haykal. Speakers during the evening included alumni Lyne Ruslan, Mona Kanaan, and Abdullah Khani, along with President John Waterbury, who made a special trip to Damascus to attend. The evening featured live entertainment, a raffle for airline tickets, and an auction of a painting by prominent Syrian painter Mamdouh Kashlan.

All proceeds of the event went to the Syrian Endowed Scholarship Fund, established by the Syrian branch in 2001 with an initial $15,300 donation. This year, the AUB alumni and friends in Syria added another $26,600 to the fund.


The AUB Alumni Association of Qatar celebrated its annual gala dinner at the Dana Club in Doha, with more than 500 loyal AUB alumni and friends in attendance and including the presence of AUB President John Waterbury and his wife Sarah.

Master of ceremonies Rola Mufarrij, in welcoming the guests, proposed “redefining the word alumni” to include donors and friends of AUB as well as graduates and former students. In his welcoming remarks, Ghassan Ouaijan, president of the Qatar AAA, informed everyone that the number of alumni in Qatar had now reached a record 200.

Ouaijan then handed President Waterbury a check for $70,000 to go to student financial aid, with $30,000 earmarked for the Qatar Alumni Scholarship Fund and the remaining $40,000 to be used to establish an endowment in the name of the Qatar AAA. By creating that endowment, AUB will benefit from the Dodge Foundation matching grant (of $1 for every $4 donated) and also insure a yield from the gift in perpetuity to financial aid.

North America

AANA Elects New Board of Directors

At its annual meeting on June 17, the AUB Alumni Association of North American announced its new board of directors for 2004-05: May Rihani, president; Lina Jazi, vice president; John Makhoul, secretary; Wael Chehab, treasurer; and members-at-large Roula Baddoura, Diala Ezzeddine, Alexander Geha, Frederick Hayek, Leila Tarazi, and Bassam Zarkout. Cheers to all!

Cardiology Alumni

The second gathering of AUB alumni cardiologists took place at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida, in November 2003. Several AUBites got together for casual dining in the elegant setting of the Italian restaurant, Ciao Italia. Though the group was small, the evening was memorable for its great food and pleasurable company. Those interested in such future gatherings and in participating in the formation of a professional chapter for AUB alumni cardiologists should e-mail Samer Dibs at or

Greater Baltimore

Members of the Greater Baltimore Chapter were treated to a visit by members of the AUB medical faculty, Drs. Kamal Badr, Ali Bazarbachi, Jaques Mokhbal, Ala’ Sharara, Mahmoud Chocair, and Pierre Boukhalil. Over the dinner that was held in their honor, discussions centered on the relationship between the AUB Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Medical Institute.

Dr. Maen Farha, in welcoming the guests, expressed the sense of gratitude and belonging that AUB always evokes in its graduates. Dr. Nagi Khouri then presented a history of the evolving relationship between AUB and Hopkins. After an update on that relationship by Dr. Kamal Badr and comments by Dr. Mahmoud Chocair, the group spent a very pleasant social evening marked by the usual reminiscing that AUBites so enjoy.

Greater Houston

On May 15, Dr. Ghassan and Mrs. Rania Al-Khatib Noureddine graciously hosted a Moroccan dinner and meeting at their home in Pearland, where alumni and friends gathered to share thoughts and comments about past and future activities of the Houston chapter. The meeting lasted late into the evening and everyone enjoyed the wonderful home-cooked meal prepared by Rania. Special thanks to Rania and Ghassan for the great evening!

The Greater Houston Chapter recently held elections for a new executive committee, which will serve for two years as of June 2004. The committee is composed of Lina Jazi, president; Dima Abi-Said Suki, vice president; Hala Musallam Charafeddine, secretary; Chirine Soubra Ghaoui, treasurer; and Mona Maalouf Duna and Hitaf Jurdi Saad, members-at-large. Congratulations to all 

AANA’s 12th Biennial Convention will be held in Houston, Texas, September 30 through October 2, 2005. For further information, visit the Greater Houston chapter web page at And if you are interested in being on the convention committee or just helping out, please send an e-mail to

Greater Washington

On April 30, the chapter held its annual banquet dinner-cum-theater at the Marriott Hotel in Vienna, Virginia. Honored guest and speaker was Marsha J. Evans, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. Evan’s inspiring speech was followed by a most enjoyable performance by Hexagon, Washington’s original political, satirical, musical, and comedy review. After many hearty laughs, alumni and friends danced for hours to the lively beat of the Toronados band.

Helen Muller, meanwhile, has been elected secretary of the Executive Committee of the AANA Greater Washington Chapter, for a term that will extend to June 30, 2005. Welcome aboard!


The Montreal Alumni chapter held its first annual gala dinner on May 7 at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal. The event was attended by more than 200 alumni and friends and turned out to be a huge success. It attracted many prestigious guests, featured two dynamic speakers (Chapter President Donald Eddé and keynote speaker Henri Habib), included an impressive art exhibition by Ino AlGranti, and topped it all off with fine dining and live entertainment by talented singer Linda Thali.

The evening began with a welcoming address by Dr. Eddé, in which he outlined the three goals of the Montreal Chapter of AANA: networking, improving the image of AUB graduates, and fundraising. He informed the audience that since June 2003 when the chapter was formed, it had organized five social events, created the innovative Young Wing Program with its panel of mentors, and established a fellowship fund at the AUB Faculty of Medicine. (For the text of Dr. Edde’s speech, as well as photographs of the gala event, visit the chapter’s website:


During the evening four distinguished Montreal-based alumni were recognized for their notable professional achievements: Dr. Vazken Der Kaloustian, specialist in genetics and pediatrics; Khalil Ghalayini, senior vice president at CIBC Wood Gundy; William Spurr, president of North America for Bombardier Transportation; and Henry Habib, outstanding teacher and Middle East scholar.

A letter of appreciation especially written by Ara Tekian, member of the AUB Board of Trustees and former president of AANA, was then presented to Fares Fares, president of the Almassa Group of Companies, thanking him for his continuous support and generous donation. Fares, in complimenting the Montreal chapter for having organized a most successful gala dinner, specifically acknowledged Mona Ghazzouri and her organizing committee for their hard work and said, ”This has been a unique event and hopefully more such functions will be organized in the future.”

The gala raised $14,000, all of which will go into the chapter’s medical fellowship fund at AUB.


On June 6, the Ottawa chapter elected its new executive committee, which will serve for a two-year term as of July 1. Those elected were  Elie Moussalli, president; Nada Tamim, vice president; Rita Chalabi, treasurer; and Dina Talhouk Abdel Khalek, secretary. Thanks go to the election committee composed of Nouhad Hammad, Andre Skaff, Nabih Baasiri, Rafic Khalaf, and Asma Kabbara for their efficient organization of the election.             

One of the benefits of living in the capital city of Ottawa is that occasionally the AUB alumni living there will get to meet someone like Slawomir Kowalski, press officer and second secretary at the Polish Embassy, who is also an accomplished archaeologist with extensive experience in Lebanon and Syria. The alumni were given that opportunity on May 15, when they were treated to a fascinating slide lecture by Dr. Kowalski on the excavations in Beirut and Cheem in which he had participated.


The annual gathering of the AANA Psychiatry Chapter was held during the American Psychological Assocation meeting in New York on May 3. During the luncheon gathering, Dr. Hagop Akiskal made a presentation which was followed by an open discussion. Also on the agenda, of course, was discussion of the chapter’s mission and ways to implement it.

Southern California

The Southern California chapter elected a new board in June. It is composed of President Genane Maalouf (BBA ’98), who is a financial analyst for the Business Unit of the Union Bank of California; Vice President Lydia Nassoura (BSN ’82, MPH ’87), a former nurse at AUBMC, who is the mother of two teenage daughters and is active in charities; Secretary Dina Shahin (BA ’99), who is currently working as a project coordinator for a Southern California construction company; Treasurer Bilal Ouri (BS ’95), who is an assistant controller at International Computer Graphics; Rani A. Saad (BECC ’93), member-at-large, who has been developing new businesses in software and telecom over the last ten years and is currently building a software venture, Synthean; Wafaa Safaoui Sbeti (BE ’88), member-at-large, who had worked with AUB’s Computing and Networking Services and recently moved to the Bay area to join one of the leading internet wireless companies there. Welcome aboard! 


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