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

AUB News

MEMA Turns 38

On May 13-16, the Middle East Medical Assembly (MEMA) held its 38th annual conference on regional medical education and scientific exchange with more than 1,700 registrants in attendance. Organized by the AUB Faculty of Medicine and the Medical Chapter of the AUB Alumni and co-sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Educational Foundation, MEMA coordinated its event this year with the Global Medical Forum-Middle East. This forum, held for the first time in the Middle East, represents a non-profit private global network of select innovators and decision-makers in health care.

Over the four-day conference, seven workshops were held and 96 speakers lectured on a good number of medical specialties, among them internal medicine, anesthesiology, pediatrics, dermatology, plastic surgery, and molecular medicine. This year’s theme, “Women in Health,” was covered by sessions in obstetrics and gynecology that addressed a wide spectrum of timely topics related to women’s health.

At the gala MEMA dinner held at the Phoenicia Hotel, Dr. Samir Hanash (MD ’72) was honored by the AAA Medical Chapter for his distinguished professional achievements.

Czech President Reveals Lessons His Country Learned Through Reforms

On May 4, a large audience in Issam Fares Hall heard Czech President Vaclav Klaus speak on “Czech Reforms: Learned Lessons.” President Klaus, who is also an academic and an economist, described Czechoslovakia two decades after the fall of the communist regime and the phenomenon of the accelerated unification of the European continent into the European Union. He believes that the post-communism period in Czechoslovakia was a success and that the period of transition is now over. He also remarked on the ongoing conflict in the European Union between the goal to liberalize and its aim to unify.

Groundbreaking of Ambulatory Care Center and Wound Care Center

In January, AUBMC and the Faculty of Medicine held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pierre Y. Aboukhater (Fahed) Ambulatory Care Center and the Graham and Meredith Rooke Wound Care Center. The ambulatory care facility was named after Mr. Aboukhater, chairman and CEO of the Global Group of Companies, who donated $2 million before his death to rehabilitate AUB’s former Out-Patient Department (OPD) and to establish a wound care center. The Graham and Meredith Rooke Wound Care Center was named in memory of the children of Dr. Thom Rook, a distinguished Mayo Clinic physician and trusted friend of Pierre Aboukhater.

Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Nadim Cortas lauded Aboukhater’s generosity and recalled the wish he had expressed before his death: “I want to help you develop an ambulatory care center, like in the Mayo Clinic, to provide convenient one-stop, same-day medical care to patients, and to contain within it a wound care center.”

Dr. Rooke, the father of Graham and Meredith Rooke and a cardiovascular researcher and professor of vascular medicine at the Mayo Clinic, who was in Beirut to attend the ceremony, shared his thoughts on the challenges and possibilities currently facing wound care.

Agricultural Policies in the Arab World

The first biennial symposium, “Agricultural Policies in the Arab World,” held on June 18, consisted of a series of lectures stressing the importance and necessity of policy reforms in the agriculture sector. Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Nuhad Daghir welcomed the speakers and thanked the organizers for their support. In his remarks, Musa Frieji, president of the Agricultural and Food Sciences Alumni chapter, which had organized the event, emphasized the importance of agriculture in the “unindustrialized” Arab world. Lebanese Minister of Agriculture Ali Al-Khalil, on his part, gave praise to AUB for its leading role in the field and noted Lebanon's dire need for agricultural policies. Presentations at the symposium were made by Dr. Mohammad Osman, Dr. Adel Cortas, Dr. Marieme Fall, Dr Mekki Al-Shibly, and Dr Elias Ghantous.

IC Director Arthur Charles Links Evaluations with Professional Growth

On May 4, many members of the AUB community listened to a lecture by International College Director Arthur Charles, “Combining Teacher Evaluation and Professional Growth.”

In his opinion, evaluation should be an ongoing, productive process incorporating observations, feedbacks, writings, and discussions, in order to make the process a “very active, rather than passive one.” It should consist of many steps, in which the instructor participates in deciding on the criteria by which he will be evaluated and the people who will conduct the evaluation, as well as by giving feedback on the areas in need of improvement. According to Charles, adopting this method for instructor evaluation will incur positive changes and eventually induce professional growth.

Top US Journalists Cover Campus

About two dozen AUB students participated in a roundtable discussion with a group of US senior editors and news producers on May 11. Although the forum focused primarily on economic issues, the conversation quickly moved to other topics, such as perceptions of the United States in the Arab world, the US government’s attempt to “impose” democracy in the region, and the bias of the US media in reporting on issues related to the region.

Zahar Hankir, associate editor of the AUB student publication Outlook, commented that although there was widespread agreement about the need for reform in the region, there was also a lot of reluctance to embrace US efforts to impose reform. Jim Michaels, deputy world editor for USA Today, followed up on this point and asked the students what they thought needed to be done to move toward greater reform in the region. Hassan Mohanna, vice president of the University Student Faculty Committee, pointed to the need in Lebanon for a stronger sense of “citizenship in the real sense of the word,” and went on to explain. “Too many Lebanese feel greater loyalty to their sect than to their country.”  On both sides, the dialogue was spirited and informative.

The group of US editors and producers had traveled to Lebanon and Syria under the auspices of the International Reporting Project of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. During their fact-finding trip, they also met with President Waterbury, Provost Heath, and a number of AUB faculty members. Several of the editors participated in an event sponsored by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), which provided

the audience with the perspectives of American journalists vis-à-vis their coverage of the Middle East.

AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) worked closely with the International Reporting Project in organizing the visit.  The group included representatives from the Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette, Frontline/World (PBS), The Kansas City Star, Knight Ridder Newspapers, The Miami Herald, National Public Radio,, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The (Toledo) Blade, and USA Today.  The journalists kept up a furious pace during their one-week visit, starting early in the morning and continuing through dinner on most days.

A Fabulous Gala to Raise Scholarship Funds

AUB’s Scholarship Fundraising Committee netted an impressive $70,000 for needy students at a gala dinner held in April, which was attended by AUB alumni, faculty, administrators, and members of the Beirut community. Students who have benefited from the committee’s fundraising efforts were on hand to greet guests at the door.

In his welcoming remarks, President Waterbury stressed the value of scholarship aid, saying it was one of the best ways to provide a diversified environment for students from different backgrounds and cultures, in which they could meet and exchange ideas and beliefs.

Scholarship Committee Chair Khalil Makkawi promised that the committee would continue fundraising in Lebanon and other countries through contacts with a variety of prospective donors. One aim, he added, was to encourage AUB’s worldwide network of alumni to provide more support.

Annual Architecture Award Announced

A small but solid audience of students, family members, AUB administrators, and faculty was on hand for the ceremonial bestowal of the annual Fawzi W. Azar Architecture Award. Howayda Al-Harithy, chair of the Architecture and Design Department, in describing the history of the award, thanked Nabil Azar for his efforts in “promoting and rewarding excellence in architecture.” Azar then announced Sandra Richani as the winner and proceeded to congratulate her for her outstanding project, as he presented her with a check for $10,000.

The award is annually given to a fourth-year architecture student to cover his or her fifth-year tuition. Winners are selected from those candidates who qualify by achieving one of the five highest averages in their design courses and also by chalking up one of the three highest grades in their fourth-year projects.

Pepsi Cola International Continues Support

On a visit to AUB in May, Omar Farid, franchise vice president of Pepsi Cola, Middle East Region and North Africa, presented Pepsi Cola International’s eighth annual gift of student financial aid to the University. The check, in the amount of $35,000, brings the total of Pepsi Cola’s donations to $265,000, all used to provide aid to a total of 53 students so far. Just like last year, seven students majoring in business administration, public administration, engineering and architecture, money and banking, and medicine will benefit from the company’s gift.

A Special Report to Alumni on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

In a presentation made in College Hall on April 23, Khalil Bitar, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), addressed a select group of FAS alumni on some of the recent developments in the faculty, among them the availability of new majors and degrees and the introduction of minors in all departments. He emphasized the importance of research at AUB and the role played in that regard by the Central Research Science Laboratory. He also discussed the work of the faculty’s research centers, such as the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences, and the Center for American Studies and Research. He noted, furthermore, that FAS and AUB are currently facing some new challenges, such as competition from the growing number of universities in the region.

Coca-Cola Launches Sports Fund

Realizing the important role of AUB in encouraging its students to get involved in extra-curricular activities such as clubs and sports, Coca-Cola from now on will be contributing $10,000 a year to establish and maintain the Coca-Cola Sports Fund.  The company’s decision is in line with its current campaign to promote sports and a healthy active life in Lebanon and the region.

The fund will be used to support sports activities at AUB, including subsidizing the travel of the University’s sports teams when competing in regional or international games. This year, the fund will be used to support soccer team activities.

Sami Salman, CEO of the National Beverage Company, and Rafic Al-Toukhi, regional manager for Coca-Cola Middle East, presented the first $10,000 check to Stephen Jeffrey, vice president for Development and External Affairs at AUB.


US Ambassador Vincent Battle Visits AREC

On April 16, the 150 farmers who participated during 2003 in the Forage Development Training Program organized by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at AUB’s Agricultural Research and Educational Center (AREC) in the Beqa’a. The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador Vincent Battle and Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Raouf Youssef. Ambassador Battle spoke about the importance of the program, which was launched in 1998 under a cooperative agreement between USAID and AUB and is part of the USAID Expanding Economic Opportunities program for Lebanon.

Majida and Aida Siniora Memorial Prizes Awarded

AUB Professor Usama Arabi was awarded the Majida Siniora Memorial prize for his book, Studies in Modern Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, while Professor Farid Al-Khazen received the Aida Memorial award for his book, The Breakdown of the State in Lebanon 1967-1976.

Back in 1988, the Siniora family had established three research prizes: the Majida Siniora Memorial Prize for the best publication in the field of Arabic studies, the Aida Siniora Memorial Prize for the best publication in the fields of political science and public administration, and the Kiram Siniora Memorial Prize for the best publication in the fields of social sciences, population studies, anthropology, or epidemiology.

President Waterbury and Lebanese Minister Fouad Siniora presided over the award ceremony.  Sami Siniora, the eldest of the Siniora brothers and sisters, read a word originally written by their late father Abdulbasit Siniora, which noted the unique academic contributions of AUB and its professors.

Palestinian Cultural Club Fund Builds for Continuity

The Palestinian Cultural Club has established the Palestinian Cultural Club Scholarship Fund, which aims at providing assistance to needy and qualified Palestinians living in refugee camps to study at AUB. The scholarships awarded will cover full tuition costs for all the undergraduate years of study at AUB.

Abdel Mohsen Y. Abo-Shukaidem, member of the Foundation Committee for American University of Amman launched the fund with an initial gift. In a short span of time, the Palestinian club managed to build a solid foundation to assure continuity of the fund by setting up offices in Lebanon, Jordan, and the UAE to connect with possible donors.

“Today, knowledge is an integral element in human development, social advancement, and scientific productivity. Our objective is to prevent shortfalls in foreign aid from denying Palestinian refugees access to the tools of information and knowledge needed to provide the essentials for a life of empowerment and dignity,” said Rasha Ismail, the scholarship fund’s president, when asked about the fund’s objectives.

Dubai Alumni Make History with $500,000 Donation

AUB President John Waterbury witnessed a historic day for the University’s alumni association on July 5 when he met with Dubai and Northern Emirates alumni branch leaders Najat Zarour,Yasser Al-Hajj, and Rabih Hamzeh, who handed him a check for $500,000.

“This is unbelievable!” exclaimed President Waterbury, commenting on such great devotion to AUB. “The Dubai and Northern Emirates alumni have manifested once again what dedication can produce: a donation of half a million US dollars in a single year—the largest single donation ever from an alumni group to AUB. And for the second consecutive year, they have succeeded in topping the record for the single largest donation made by an alumni group…The past two earlier records were set by none other than themselves: in 2002 ($225,000) and in 2003 ($333,000), bringing total donations since 1998 to around $1.5 million dollars.

The Dubai and Northern Emirates branch decided to devote $350,000 to the Dubai and Northern Emirates Endowed Scholarship Fund, and to use the remaining $150,000 to cover the Dubai and Northern Emirates scholarships to be awarded to needy and deserving students in the 2004-05 academic year.

In a prelude gesture of recognition and appreciation made at the Dubai alumni dinner held on May 13, President Waterbury had awarded alumni branch leader Najat Zarour the President’s Medal for Voluntary Service. He said then that he was in Dubai specifically "to honor Najat because her service to AUB, her tireless efforts on behalf of the University here in Dubai, are simply without equal."

Najat graduated from AUB in 1969 with a BA in public administration and began working with the AUB Alumni Association in 1987, when she and her husband Yusuf lived in Oman. She established an alumni branch in Muscat and lost no time in helping raise $90,000 to name a conference room in College Hall. When the Zarours moved to Dubai in 1996, they became involved with the Dubai and Northern Emirates branch, and Najat became president of the Dubai branch in 1998. In the last seven years, the twin branch has provided AUB with over $1.2 million—more than $1 million of which has been raised since Najat became president.

Artist Nabil Nahas Reflects on His Work

In a lecture sponsored by the AUB Art Center Committee, Lebanese-American painter Nabil Nahas filled Issam Fares Hall with colors on April 7 as he traced the development of his artistic career, from its start in 1970 in New York to the present day.

Nahas, who received his BFA from Louisiana State University and his MFA from Yale University, focused at the beginning of his career on a depiction of pictorial space marked by a Baroque tendency before shifting to a geometric style influenced by Islamic art. During the 1980s, when Nahas felt the need to instill more human emotion in his work, he returned to his original Baroque approach. Nahas emphasized the importance of nature in his art, of how it was a major source of inspiration for him.

The recipient of several awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1980, the artist has had a number of solo exhibitions and frequently participates in art fairs and collective exhibitions

New Head of Human Resources

James Radulski, who was appointed to the position of deputy vice president for Human Resources in June, comes to AUB with over 30 years of experience as a human resources professional. He has held senior executive positions at major multinational institutions and companies of 5000-plus employees—among them, he served as vice president of human resources of the American Express Company in the United States and Mexico as well as of Al-Ghanim Industries in Kuwait.

Radulski’s job is to lead the University in its development of human resources, polices, and programs. His responsibilities will include overseeing organizational planning and development; employee relations, training, and employment; compensation, benefits, safety, and health; as well as performance appraisals, work load analysis, market surveys, and organizational structuring.

Talking Iraq

In May, Professor of History Peter Sluglett of the University of Utah and a visiting fellow at All Souls’ College at Oxford University gave a lecture, “The United States in Iraq: What Went Wrong?” that was organized by the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration. Sluglett’s publications include Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship (I.B. Tauris, 1990) with Marion Sluglett, and The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspectives (Brill, 2003).

REP Provides Training to Palestinian Red Crescent Society

On April 30, AUB’s Office of Regional and External Programs (REP) awarded certificates to seven trainees from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of Lebanon in the maintenance and repair of medical equipment. The course had been given by the Medical Engineering Department of AUBMC from March to April.  In his remarks at the ceremony, Nabil T. Nassar, professor of medicine and AUB coordinator of the program, expressed thanks to both the European Union for its financial support and to the International Committee for the Development of Peoples (CISP), an Italian NGO that had initiated the training program.

Remembering Shehadeh Abboud

On the occasion of the first anniversary marking the passing away of Shehadeh Abboud, the Office of Regional and External Programs organized a memorial service in fond remembrance. Each speaker paid tribute to Shehadeh Abboud’s legacy as a teacher in Sidon and at AUB, and to his exemplary service during his long administrative tenure at AUB as director of the Orientation Program, associate registrar, director of the Special English Training Program for the Hariri Foundation, assistant to the vice president for Regional and External Programs, and director of the Continuing Education Center.

At the memorial, it was announced that the family of Shehadeh Abboud had established two awards in his memory: the Shehadeh Abboud Memorial Nursing Excellence Award for Oncology, to be awarded annually to one or two nurses and/or orderlies in oncology; and the Shehadeh Abboud Memorial Excellence Award in English to be awarded at the end of each academic year to the best graduating student majoring in English.