Inside the Gate
  Views from Campus
An Energizing Enterprise
Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center: Deep Roots, Endless Skies
A New Era of Medical Research at AUB
A Healthier Health Care System
Rx for Success
In Our History
Alumni Profile
Maingate Connections
Alumni Happenings
Class Notes
AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
WAAAUB Election Results
From the Editors
Letters to the Editors
Campaign Update
Waterbury Promotes Role of American Universities in Mid-East
Intel-sponsored telemedicine project launched between AUBMC and Nabatiyeh
Olayan School of Business launches its Strategic Leadership Executive Program
Elected to the AAP: Dr. Fuad Ziyadeh
Alumni Profiles: A Century of Changing Lives
"AUB in 1948" - excerpts of President Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr.'s article for the Whitman Alumnus magazine

Summer 2007 Vol. V, No. 4

Class Notes


John Grotenhuis
(BA ’64) is now living in Cairo and would love to hear from former classmates and friends. His email address is: johngcairo[at]

Youssef Zaki Daaboul  
(BA ’65) writes that he just got back from abroad and is planning to retire in Lebanon. He can be reached by email at mdaaboul[at]

John Lorenzo
(BA ’67) has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Scorpio Capital Corporation in Toronto, Canada, where he has lived since 1971. Lorenzo is the president of Innomarque (Canada) Inc., a private equity investment and management company whose shareholders include Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti families that Mr. Lorenzo has worked closely with for the last 30 years. Innomarque has investments in bio-extraction technologies, site-specific equipment and processes for oil recovery, and remediation of oil-contaminated sites and solids, oil drilling equipment and control systems, real estate, and cafés and restaurants.


Henry Azzam
(MA ’72) was appointed chief executive officer operating out of Dubai for Deutsche Bank’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In addition to its presence in the major international financial centers of the world, Deutsche Bank has been quite active in MENA with operations in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Egypt, and Algeria. Azzam will be leaving his current position as CEO of Amwal Invest, which he established in May 2005. He is currently the chairman of Dubai International Financial Exchange and vice chairman of Majed Al Futtaim Trust, Dubai. Professor Azzam worked with the Arab Fund in Kuwait and taught economics at AUB in the early 1990s.

Ross Hicks
(former student, 1973-74) writes: “I studied at AUB the freshman year of my undergraduate studies. I cannot think of anything that would be more joyful than being able to locate and communicate with the specific 1973-1974 AUB freshmen who were my close friends while I attended AUB. I lost contact with all of these friends by 1980. Is anyone in touch with Nabil Audeh, Alison Rodgers, Pamela Link, Roseanne Sheehan or Mengesha K., all freshmen 73/74? I can be reached at rmhicks4[at]”

Nicolas Abourizk
(MD ’76) has been appointed chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. Abourizk came to the United States in 1978 to complete a fellowship in diabetes and metabolism at the Joslin Clinic Diabetes Center and New England Deaconess Hospital in conjunction with a research fellowship in diabetes and endocrinology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He returned to AUBMC from 1981 to 1984 as an assistant professor and then went back to the United States in 1984 as professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Abourizk is a recipient of a Certificate of Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the Delivery of Quality Diabetes Care, and of a number of awards for service to the University of Connecticut School of Allied Health and the American Diabetes Association. He is also a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Abourizk will have an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School and a secondary clinical appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Charles N. Zaher
(BS ’80, MS ’82) has joined HydroPoint Data Systems as business development manager. Zaher is a member of the Irrigation Association and a past board member of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants. He resides in Orange, California with his wife and three children.

Rima Koleilat-Barrage
(BA ’81) recently launched her blog,, which is full of rich and descriptive articles on art, artists, art techniques, and creative ideas. Koleilat-Barrage is managing partner of Maraya Galleries, an on-line showcase for international artists and artisans. If you are an art lover, be sure to visit her blog and

André B. Sassine
(BE ’82) was promoted to senior vice president of the Project Management Group of Hill International, the worldwide construction consulting firm. Sassine will continue as regional manager for Qatar in addition to being responsible for developing new business throughout North Africa. He has over 20 years experience in the construction industry in project management, construction claims, and contract administration.

Wissam Al Ghawi
(BS ’84) has been working for the State of Florida Department of Health for 19 years as a human services program consultant. The department was recently awarded the governor’s Sterling Statewide Excellence Award for the second time in a ceremony that was sponsored by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Al Ghawi can be reached by email atw_alghawi[at]

Michael Young
(BA ’85) is a contributing editor for the libertarian monthly Reason, named one of “The 50 Best Magazines” three out of the past four years by the Chicago Tribune. Young is also opinion page editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut where he writes a weekly column. He formerly edited the Beirut Review, a publication of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, where he was English publications editor until 2000. He contributes regularly to publications in Lebanon, the United States, and Europe, and has published in the New York Times Magazine, Tech Central Station, and The International Herald Tribune. Young lives in Beirut with his wife.

Camille Zakharia
(BE ’85), the award-winning Lebanese-born Canadian photographer is one of nine photographers and artists taking part in “My Father’s House,” a lens-based media commission founded by the British Council to explore cultural heritage and the legacy of contemporary redevelopment of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. Zakharia will represent Bahrain and Oman. A touring exhibition of the artists’ work is expected to open in Bahrain in January 2008 and continue to Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Yemen, with a grand finale in the United Kingdom in early 2009.

Zakharia, an engineer by profession, spent the last six years compiling Distorted Memories—a set of photomontages inspired by the urban landscape of Bahrain where he has lived for the past 12 years. Besides his engineering degree from AUB, he has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design. He is the recipient of a number of art grants and awards, the latest of which is first prize in the collage category of the International Photography Award for 2006.

Birjis G. Akhund
(MD ’86) was recently named chief of the Department of Oncology at Huntington Hospital, Long Island, New York. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center where he also served as chief resident. Akhund is board certified in oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He serves as a board member of the Long Island Division of the American Cancer Society.

Jerjis T. Alajaji
(MD ’86), a radiologist, has joined the medical staff at Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge, Georgia. After receiving his medical degree with distinction from AUB, Alajaji completed a four-year residency in diagnostic radiology at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and a two-year residency in nuclear medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified by both the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. Alajaji is married with three children; the family enjoys tennis and soccer.

Maher Taleb
(BA ’86) recently launched his web site: Taleb is a financial adviser working in partnership with Canfin Financial Group and assists clients to reach their financial goals with a myriad of services.

Fady and Ghada Badra
Congratulations to Fady (BE ’89) and Ghada on the arrival of their first child, Zayan, on April 1, 2007, shortly after midnight. At a healthy 8 lbs. and 10 oz., Zayan is officially the youngest member of their network. The proud parents are active members of the alumni chapter in Toronto and look forward to introducing Zayan at a future alumni event.


Lina Badih
(BA ’97), Toronto Alumni Chapter Executive Committee VP, organized “Authentic Women Networking” on May 11 featuring award-winning Canadian fashion designer Linda Lundström as the keynote speaker. The event, which celebrated Mother’s Day, green-conscious fashion, and authentic women, offered some impressive door prizes. Lina can be contacted at 647-293-5462 or lina.badih[at]

Abed Itani
(MD ’97) has joined the Pulmonology Group at Ferrell-Duncan Clinic in Springfield, Missouri. He is certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care, and sleep medicine. Before joining Ferrell-Duncan he was in private practice in Branson, Missouri.

Mirna Sharara
(MS ’97) recently moved to a new position as marketing manager in the South Business Innovation Center in Saida, Lebanon. She can be contacted at:[at]

Rami Wehbi
(BE ’98) has spent the last seven years as a civil engineer in construction in the Gulf. For the last five of those seven years, he has been working in Qatar for CCC. Wehbi moved back to Lebanon in April to work with USAID on the reconstruction of the Muderiej Bridge. In September 2006, he became engaged to Layla Shaar, who graduated from AUB last November with a master’s degree in biochemistry. Wehbi’s e-mail address is: ramiwehbi[at]

Aline Daou
(MD ’99) opened a family practice, Daou Medical, at the Genesis Health Center in New Concord, Ohio. She completed her internship and residency in family practice at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she was also a professor in the Family Practice Residency Program.

Ziad Khammar
(BBA ’99) has been appointed general manager at AME Info (, the leading on-line business resource in the Middle East. He will use his business, marketing, and web expertise to build and strengthen the already successful AME Info site, which is visited by nearly one million people every month. Previously, he spent four years in charge of eworks, the on-line arm of Publicis Graphics, where he oversaw significant growth and worked with clients such as British Airways and Hewlett Packard. Khammar has lived in Dubai for nearly 20 years.

Ghina M. Yamout, PhD
(BS ‘99, MS ‘02) has a doctorate in water resources management from the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Florida. She joined Parsons in August 2005, and has developed techniques for managing various aspects of engineering, project management, and client/subconsultant relationships. Yamout, who was a senior water resources specialist, currently works as a drainage engineer.


Ralph Rabbat
(BE ’00) has joined Searchme, an emerging search company in Palo Alto, California, backed by Sequoia Capital, as chief software architect. Previously, Rabbat served as an engineering manager in Yahoo!’s search group. Rabbat has also worked as senior software engineer at Basis Technology Corporation and as a research assistant at the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has a PhD and an MS in information technology from MIT. Rabbat is a recipient of the Yahoo! Teddy Roosevelt Award, the MIT Program of the Year Award, and is an honorary member of Sigma XI.

Dania El-Khechen
(BS ’01, MS ’02) left for Montreal in 2003 to complete her master’s in computer science at the University of Concordia. Driven by an interest in merging her passion for language and science, she recently participated in the CBC Literary Awards competition, a literary competition for original, unpublished works in Canada’s two official languages. The competition includes three categories—short story, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The winning entries are published in Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine and broadcast on CBC radio. In her article, “Où Est Baba?” Dania’s first attempt at French literature, she won second prize for—in the words of the jury—“the tragic simplicity of her text and the strength of its authenticity and coherence.”

May Sabbah
(BS ’04) writes that she is studying “Languages and Literatures for Cultural Tourism” at the University of Trieste in Trieste, Italy. She is also working part-time at a science center conducting physics-related activities for schoolchildren. Her e-mail address is maysab[at]

Hana’a Bou Nasr
(BArch ’04) recently married Elie Ltayf and has moved to France. Her new address is 8 Avenue Anatole France, 92240 Malakoff, France.

Samer Bekdash
(BE ’06) has just been appointed project coordinator with EllisDon, one of the largest construction contractors in Canada with projects around the world. Bekdash coordinates among the owner, architect, and subcontractors and handles the electronic project management system for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) Transformation project, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Ziad Elie Mounayar
(BS ’06) graduated from AUB in February 2006 with a BS in food science and management. For more than a year he has worked for Gandour Group, a local manufacturer of mostly confectioneries with plants in various parts of the world including China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, the Philippines, and soon India. Mounayar wants to pursue his postgraduate studies soon and is considering a degree in marketing. He can be contacted at his AUB email: zem02[at]