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

In Memoriam

Zalfa Ali Ahmad (MD ’82) died on May 11, 2004. She was 47. Her friend Samira Atallah writes that for many of Zalfa’s friends and family, she remains at the center of their universe. For ten years, she battled a cruel illness that finally claimed her tired body, but never did she lose her beautiful spirit nor her immense ability to give, to love, and to care. She left her adoring husband Nimr Abboud, her loving family, and her devoted friends, patients, and colleagues in deep sorrow and sadness.

Zalfa was born in Beirut in 1957 and grew up in Nabatieh, where she attended the National Evangelical School until 1974. She finished her high school studies at International College before enrolling at AUB, where she earned her MD in 1982 and completed her residency in dermatology in 1985. From 1987 to 1989, Dr. Ahmad worked at Al-Salam Hospital in Saada, Yemen. In 1991, she set up her private clinic at the Gefinor Center in Beirut and soon became one of the most respected dermatologists in the country. Throughout her career, Dr. Ahmad was also affiliated with various medical centers in Lebanon and the United States, including most recently the United Medical Group in Lebanon.

Attalah writes that Zalfa, in being “confronted prematurely with her imminent mortality, embraced life peacefully and patiently, yearning to learn more, to share, and to always remind us that ‘in simplicity lies life’s genuine beauty.’”

Nazar Yeznick Davidian (MD ’48) died on June 5, 2004 in Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. A specialist in internal medicine in Essex County, New Jersey, Dr. Davidian maintained an office in Newark for over fifty years. He served on the staff of several hospitals in the Newark area before retiring in 2000. Fluent in five languages, he was a captain in the US Army Medical Corps in Germany during the Korean War.

He is survived by his wife Taquhi, their sons Yeznick Douglas, Richard, and Winston, and their daughter, Christina.

Mohammad Makhzoumi (BA ’43, BS ’45) died on August 3, 2003 in Beirut. After completing his undergraduate studies at AUB, Makhzoumi went on to earn an MS with honors from Michigan University in 1947. He then returned to Iraq to spend more than 40 years teaching in the Department of Civil Engineering at Baghdad University, where he was named professor emeritus in 1985. He was elected head of the Iraqi Order of Engineers and served as the Iraqi representative in the Confederation of Arab Contractors. Makhzoumi also served as the Honorary Swedish Consul General in Iraq for almost thirty years, from 1964 to 1992. In appreciation for his work, the Swedish government bestowed the Commander of the Order of the Polar Star on him in 1984.

During his long and distinguished career in Iraq, Makhzoumi and the company that he founded undertook a number of important engineering projects there with international consulting firms, among them the Karbala Water Treatment Plant, the Baghdad-Kirkuk-Motorway, the Gulbenkian People’s Stadium, the Diyala Dam, the Kadhimiya Industrial Compound, and the Dora Housing Compound.

He is survived by his wife Saniha Amin Zaki, their son Hasan, who is a doctor in Baltimore, Maryland, and their daughter Jala, an architect and associate professor of landscape design and eco-management at AUB.

Father Luke-Ramzi Malik (BA ’43, MA ’73) died on October 23, 2003. He was 88. Born in Btirram, Al-Koura in 1916, Malik migrated with his family to Egypt, where he lived from 1923 to 1938. After several years of teaching in Iraq, he enrolled in AUB in 1941, where he majored in philosophy. In 1944, he joined the teaching staff of AUB; but a year later while sitting in West Hall, he fell into a meditative state and was suddenly engulfed by an intense vision foretelling the reconciliation and gathering of the children of Abraham. He thereupon spent the rest of his life serving and writing about that vision. Malik became a Dominican priest in 1951 and served the Church in France, West Germany, Lebanon, and the United States. During his years in Lebanon, he once again enrolled at AUB to study Arabic, in which he earned his MA in 1973. Throughout his lifetime, Father Luke wrote over twenty-five books in Arabic, English, French, and German, some of which are available at the Jafet Library.

Nael Martini (BS ’51, MD ’55) died in June 2004. Born in Aleppo, Syria, Martini attended Aleppo College before transferring to AUB to undertake his medical studies and earn his MD. Dr. Martini completed his residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago and then returned to Syria to practice in Aleppo for five years. In 1968, he immigrated to the United States, where he joined the staff of Memorial-Sloane Kettering in New York City. In 1975, he was appointed chief of thoracic service in the Department of Surgery, a position he held for over 15 years. During his tenure, he held many teaching positions, including that of director of Surgical Education. His legacies to medicine are significant, among them his innovations in treatment modalities, which continue to prolong the lives of lung cancer patients, as well as his years of dedication to teaching the art and science of medicine to hundreds of young physicians.

Dr. Martini is survived by his wife Robin and their children, Jenny, Suzanne, and John.

Rafic Melhem (BS ’51, MD ’55), distinguished pediatric radiologist, died on June 18, 2004. He was 72. Born on May 4, 1932, in Kfarhazir, Al-Koura, Melhem completed his high school education in Tripoli, after which he enrolled in AUB, where he earned his MD in 1955. After two years of residency in radiology at the AUB Medical Center, he spent two years at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and at the Ohio State University Hospital (where he also served as an instructor). Upon returning to Lebanon in 1960, he joined AUB as an instructor in radiology and subsequently rose in the ranks to become full professor in 1974. He served as chairman of the Radiology Department from 1968 until 1986, when the war prompted his departure from Lebanon.

In the United States, he and his family settled in Mobile, Alabama, where he became professor of radiology and chief of pediatric radiology at the University of South Alabama School of Medicine. He remained there until his return to Lebanon and AUB in 1997.


Dr. Melhem was a renowned pediatric radiologist. He made more than 45 contributions to world literature in the field of radiology and trained generations of radiologists in Lebanon and in the United States. He received a number of honors and awards during his lifetime, among them the Lebanese Order of the Cedars (1972) and fellowships in the American College of Radiology (1972) and the Royal College of Radiologists (1986). In addition, he twice received the Excellence in Teaching Award of the USA Radiology Residents (in 1994 and 1996).

Dr. Melhem will be remembered for his strong personality and distinctive voice—and especially for his rough exterior, which, for those who knew him well, hid a deep concern for and commitment to the education of medical students and residents, as well as an unwavering devotion to his alma mater. The latter became most manifest during his stay in Alabama, where he mobilized the Lebanese-American community to work for AUB.

Dr. Melhem is survived by his wife Muna and their three children, Rania, Elias, and Nada.

Emile Wadih Nasrallah (BE ’43) died on April 20, 2004. He was 83. Born in Zahleh in 1921, Nasrallah went to the United States in 1946 soon after receiving his AUB degree in civil engineering to study at California Polytechnic, where he earned degrees in aeronautical engineering and aircraft and engine maintenance. He worked in New York until 1951, then returned to Lebanon to become chief engineer for Middle East Airlines from 1951 to 1966. During that period, he published a book on aircraft maintenance and also taught engineering courses at the Lebanese University. From 1966 to 1986, Nasrallah worked as production manager in Lipoul, a poultry business.

He is survived by his wife Suha (BA ’60) and his five children: Ranya (BS in Agriculture ’85; MA ’03), Wadih (BE ’85), Rula (BE ’88), Maya (BA ’90), and Tony (currently enrolled in the History Department).

Yusif Sayigh (BBA ’38, MA ’52) renowned economic expert and former faculty member, died on May 11, 2004. Born in Palestine in 1916, Sayigh earned his BA in business administration and his MA in economics from AUB. After earning his PhD in political economy from Johns Hopkins University in 1957, he was appointed assistant professor at AUB’s Department of Economics. He was promoted to full professor

in 1963, and was director of the Economic Research Institute at AUB in 1963-64. He remained a professor at AUB until 1975, when he took early retirement. Sayigh was visiting research associate at Harvard University jointly with the Center for International Affairs and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (1959-60) and was also a visiting associate professor at Princeton University (1960). In 1984-85 he was honored as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, and was named senior associate member of St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University.

Yusif Sayigh was an assiduous researcher and writer, with 15 books to his credit (of which the 2-volume study, The Economies of the Arab World and Determinants of Arab Economic Development, is the best known), as well as 40 journal articles (in English) and numerous others in Arabic. His main field of specialization was economic development in the Arab world, but he also wrote about oil, the Lebanese economy, the Israeli economy, and Arab economic integration.

In 1964-65, on sabbatical leave from AUB, Sayigh served as adviser to the Planning Board of Kuwait, drawing up a five-year development plan for the country. After retiring from AUB, he served as consultant to the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the League of Arab States, FAO, and the Arab Industrial Development Organization. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Arab Unity Studies since 1976, and of the Economic Research Forum for the Arab Countries, Iran, and Turkey from 1993 to 1996. He also served as president of the Arab Society for Economic Research from 1992 to 1995. In 1993 he supervised a $12

billion, seven-year economic plan for building the new nation of Palestine.

He is survived by his wife Rosemary and their three children, Yezid, Joumana, and Faris.

Georgiana Stevens (member of the AUB International Advisory Council) died in April 2004, just six months short of her 100th birthday. She was known as a spirited and energetic writer on the Middle East and spent twenty-five years as a correspondent for The Atlantic and The Economist. In recent years, she became better known as a philanthropist, contributing generously to AUB and many other institutions. Stevens was born in Dallas, Oregon, to the pioneering Gerlinger family, founders of Willamette Industries, one of the largest lumber firms in the United States. She attended the University of California/Berkeley in the 1920s, developed a life-long attachment to the Bay area, and made it her permanent home base.

Shortly after graduating, she met Harley Stevens, who was practicing law with the firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop LLP). The firm assigned Stevens to Standard Oil Company of California, which took the couple to Saudi Arabia. During World War II, Mr. Stevens joined the Office of Strategic Services and Mrs. Stevens worked on an OSS project. In 1947, the Stevenses moved to Beirut, where he worked with the American Independent Oil Company. It was in Beirut that Mrs. Stevens developed her love for the Middle East and became a correspondent. In the 1950s, the couple returned to California and became active in the World Affairs Council of Northern California. After Mr. Stevens died in 1959, Mrs. Stevens continued writing about the Middle East and became a board member of the Near East Foundation and a member of the AUB International Advisory Board.