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Inside the Gate
  Views from Campus: Honorary Degrees and Graduation 2008; Western Students Exceed
Lebanese Expectations; Teaching in Tehran; A May Explosion
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Fast Track to Slow Food: A Crash Course in Lebanese Heritage Cuisine
Heavenly Halloumi
Better Barley, Wonder Wheat and Champion Chickpeas
A Night Out in Beirut
 
 
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AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
 
 
Credits
From the President
From the Editors
Letters to the Editors
Last Glance
 
 
Charles W. Hostler Student Center Welcomes Students, Staff and Alumni
Try it On On-line
Redefining Nursing in Lebanon
Collecting Lebanon's Past
Fast Track to Slow Food: A Tour of Lebanon's Best Culinary Traditions
Better Barley, Wonder Wheat and Champion Chickpeas
Class notes: May Albert Rihani Receives the 2008 Khalil Gibran International Award
Last Glance: Lee Observatory
 

Summer 2008 Vol. VI, No. 4

Inside the Gate

Views from Campus

University News

2008 Honorary Degree Awards

AUB awarded honorary doctoral degrees to six men and women at an award ceremony on June 28, prior to the 139th Commencement. Outgoing President John Waterbury -who was among the recipients -reestablished the tradition of granting honorary degrees in 2003. The six awardees were as follows.

Hanan M. Ashrawi, official Palestinian spokesperson during the Middle East Peace processes 1991-93, earned BA and MA degrees from AUB and a PhD from the University of Virginia. Known as one of the most influential women in the Arab world, she remains active in Palestinian economic, social, political, and cultural organizations today.

Mona Hatoum's avant-garde art has appeared in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. Born in Beirut in 1952 to Palestinian parents, Hatoum studied art in London (1975-81) during the Lebanese civil war. She is widely recognized for a distinctive style that disturbs, discomforts, and dislocates her viewers.

Irene Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International since August 2001, has worked tirelessly to promote human rights throughout her career. Educated at Manchester University and Harvard Law School, she spent 20 years with the UN High Commission for Refugees before taking the helm at Amnesty.

Orhan Pamuk, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2006, is best known for his novels Snow and My Name is Red. He has received many prizes, has taught at Columbia University, been a fellow at the University of Iowa, and writer in residence at Bard College.

Georges Tohmé, president of the Board of Administration of the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research since 1993, is a dedicated champion of the flora and fauna of Lebanon and has written extensively-often with his wife, Henriette Sabbagh-about Lebanese mammals, birds, and flowers. He is Lebanon's pioneer environmentalist.

John Waterbury, a scholar of the Middle East and AUB's 14th president, worked tirelessly on behalf of the University. He oversaw the establishment of academic centers and institutes, the reinstatement of PhD programs, a successful fundraising campaign that raised more than $171 million, and the development of a Campus Master Plan.

Graduation 2008

Congratulations to the 1,897 students who were awarded degrees from the American University of Beirut in the 2007-08 academic year

FAS: 657 graduates this year-60% were women
OSB: 452 graduates
FM: 78 new graduates with Doctor of Medicine
SoN: 38 graduates
FHS: 94 graduates, with 33 degrees in Master of Public Health and 32 BS (Medical Lab Tech)
FEA: In short: 2 MA of Urban Design, 2 MS in Environmental Sciences...and 75 BE in Computer and Communications... 381 graduates in all
FAFS: 184 graduates, with 55 BS degrees offered in Nutrition and Dietetics-more than any other field.


Charles W. Hostler Student Center Welcomes Students, Staff, and Alumni

The AUB community is now enjoying the Charles W. Hostler Student Center, which includes health and fitness rooms, an indoor 25-meter swimming pool, a multi-use gymnasium, three basketball courts, indoor soccer and handball courts, two squash courts, student activity rooms, a refurbished track and Green Field, a 280-seat auditorium, a cafe, an internet room, and underground parking for 200 cars.

Thanks to an environmentally friendly design, the center-which is entirely smoke-free- minimizes heat and cooling needs by recycling water and employing energy-efficient lighting. Solar panels heat the indoor pool while landscaped vegetation cools the area during hot summer days. Check the Hostler Center website to learn about membership rates.

More On-line

The Next Time You're Killing Time on YouTube...
Check out the new AUB channel at www.youtube.com/AUBatLebanon.

Since the "AUB at Lebanon" channel was launched in February 2008, the University has posted 40 videos. Both the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) have uploaded entire lectures by recent guest speakers. "We live in a globalized moment," explained Patrick McGreevy, director of CASAR, "in which we can use technology to broaden our reach and communicate with a wider audience."

Dr. Nadim Cortas to Leave AUB
On April 23, John Waterbury announced the resignation of Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Nadim Cortas. Prior to his appointment as VP and dean in 1999, Cortas was associate dean for research and development at AUB's Faculty of Medicine (1994-99). Under the leader-ship of Dr. Cortas, there have been a number of significant developments both at the Medical Center and the Faculty of Medicine including Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, new academic programs at the Faculty of Medicine and School of Nursing, partnerships with medical schools and hospitals in Lebanon and the United States, the successful recruitment of many highly credentialed faculty, and an improvement in the medical center's financial situation. Cortas will continue in his current position until his successor is appointed.

Iman Nuwayhid Succeeds Huda Zurayk as Dean of FHS
The Board of Trustees has chosen AUB Professor Iman Nuwayhid to be the next dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) effective September 1, 2008. After receiving an MD from AUB (1984), Nuwayhid traveled to the United States where he earned an MPH (1985) and a DPH (1990) from Johns Hopkins University. He joined AUB in 1991 and was promoted to full professor in 2004.

Nuwayhid will succeed Dean Huda Zurayk who has been dean of FHS since 1998. As dean she oversaw the accreditation of the Graduate Public Health Program by the Council on Education for Public Health and spearheaded efforts to develop an integrated program of population research, which led to the founding of the Center for Research on Population and Health at AUB in 2002. Zurayk will be taking a one-year leave before rejoining FHS as professor of epidemiology and population health.

CASAR

The Role of Religion in American Presidential Elections
Maureen Fiedler, host of the popular American radio show, Interfaith Voices, spoke about the role of religion in the upcoming US presidential elections in a lecture entitled "God as a Running Mate: Religion and the 2008 American Elections," sponsored by CASAR on May 26. Fiedler tackled many topics including history, Islam and the elections, the war of the pastors and preachers, religious constituencies, and the candidates. According to Fiedler, "if God plays a role in the elections, he will be the God of economic justice, good health, peace, and a secure environment."

From the Faculties

FEA

Try It on On-line
The European "Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes" recently approved a joint project from AUB's Department of Computer Science, the University of Geneva's MIRALab, and Al-Mehdia Museum in Tunisia. Computer science Professor Ahmad Nasri will be working with AUB graduate students including Zahraa Yasseen, Wajih-Halim Boukaram, and Samar Al-Fatayri to improve a web-based "Virtual Try On (VTO)" application-a virtual fitting room. Supply your measurements and voilá- a perfect model that walks, turns, and swishes. Is this the end of guessing in on-line shopping?

More On-line

FM

The School of Nursing Joins the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the governing body of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education that accredited the BSN and MSN programs at the School of Nursing in October 2007, invited the school to become a full member-making it the first member of the AACN outside the United States. "Now we are members of an association that determines the trajectory of development of nursing schools and their academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels," said Huda Abu-Saad Huijer, director of the School of Nursing.

Redefining Nursing in Lebanon
At AUBMC, Nursing Services is undergoing the Herculean process of becoming a Magnet-Designated Facility, a process that demands significant changes in the way that nurses operate and has resulted in a new level of appreciation for the nursing profession in Lebanon.

The American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC), which is affiliated with the American Nurses Association, established the Magnet Recognition Program in 1994 to recognize and encourage best practices in nursing services. Supporters of the program point out that to earn Magnet status a hospital must be able to demonstrate that its nurses deliver excellent patient outcomes and enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. Assistant Hospital Director for Nursing Services Gladys Mouro says that the environment and the culture of AUBMC have changed as a result of the Magnet process. "I sense the difference among the nurses. Staff are happier, patients are more satisfied, and our outcomes have improved in patient care. Physicians respect and rely on nurses more than they did and the image of nursing at AUBMC and in the community is so positive."

Although they have already been at it for more than five years now-since May 2003-they still have a long road ahead of them. Mazen El Ghaziri, the Magnet project manager, explains that in addition to working on a monumental written application, they are also preparing for a visit from a team of Magnet appraisers who will verify the application and evaluate the organizational setting in which nursing is taking place at AUB. "We have embarked on a journey that will impact patients, nurses, and health care at AUBMC, Lebanon, and the region," Ghaziri says. Mouro agrees. "We are making history in the Middle East in the area of health care that will have an impact on future generations. It may not be obvious today, but in a few years as more and more hospitals follow this path, we will see a significant difference in the quality of patient care throughout the region. This will be our legacy."

More On-line

Ghada Hamdar has been working at AUBMC for 20 years. “We believe that it takes an integrated effort to provide quality care to our patients… Nurses are the people who are with the patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Randa Shahine and her colleagues at the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) have implemented an educational program to inform cancer patients and their families about a number of cancer-related issues.

Anthony Shamoun, an advanced practice nurse at AUBMC.

FAS

Collecting Lebanon's Past
Scholars from Europe and the United States traveled to AUB in May to participate in the Civilization Sequence Program's (CSP) conference, "Collecting Practices in Lebanon: Alternative Visions of the Past." In her welcoming remarks, conference organizer Sonja Mejcher-Atassi noted the increased worldwide interest in museum studies over the past decade and explained that the goal of the conference was "to bring together some of this research…to trigger further interest in the field," to promote critical thought on "theoretical and methodological questions," and to explore the different ways we approach the past through material, textual, and urban collections.

During lectures and panel discussions, participants explored a variety of different types of collections from traditional musicology to film, fiction, video, and urban detritus. Lebanon's specific problems of wartime memory and self and national identity were constant undercurrents in many of the presentations. The audience also took a virtual tour of Lebanese mansions (the Donna Maria Palace in Sofar and the Sursock Palace and Pharaon Mansion in Beirut), visited ruins as monuments to memory (the Barakat Building in Sodeco), reflected on the experience of the people of Sidon (the Madani Project and the Arab Image Foundation), and remembered the Dahiyeh.

More On-line

FAFS

AUB Honey Day
Honey connoisseurs flocked to FAFS on June 2 to sample AUB-made honey. In addition to participating in taste panels, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed live extractions of AUB honey from honeycombs that had been harvested earlier that day. "This event aims at raising awareness of the ecological benefits of bees and beekeeping," said Rami Ollaik, FAFS beekeeping instructor. Beekeeping students sold a range of honey products including jars of honey and delicacies made with honey, banana, walnuts, almonds, and much more.

Fresh from the Farm!
AUB’s Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC), located at Haush-Sneid in the Beqa’a Valley, delivers chickens, fresh produce, and dairy products to the campus community. For more information email arec@aub.edu.lb or call AUB extension 4599.

AUBMC

New Endovascular Therapy at AUBMC
Patients needing endovascular therapy-a new technique for treating strokes by opening blocked vessels using angioplasty and stenting-can now be treated at AUBMC. Neurosurgeon Joseph Salame, who has successfully treated three patients who had not responded to drug therapy, is "really eager to offer this new technology to Lebanese patients."

Inaugurating the Muhieddine M. Ahdab Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory
Equipped with some of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools now available in neuromuscular pathology, the Ahdab Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory is improving life for both AUBMC doctors-and their patients-who will no longer have to send samples to Europe or the United States. Dr. Mamdouha Al-Ahdab Barmada, who joined AUBMC in 2006 after a long career at the University of Pittsburgh, directs the lab that is named for her father, businessman Muhieddine Al-Ahdab. She explains that she and her colleagues can now diagnose diseases such as muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, and all genetic neuromuscular diseases that affect young children at AUBMC.

What's in your water?

Engineering Assistant Professor Hamed Assaf was recently awarded the Hromadka Medal at the River Basin Management Conference in Kos, Greece for his paper on the level of nitrate contamination in the Upper Litani Basin, which is the main agricultural region in Lebanon. He reported finding significant and widespread groundwater nitrate contamination mainly due to leaching from excessive application of fertilizers. In his paper, he calls for measures to combat this serious health hazard by controlling the application of fertilizers, especially in hydrogeologically vulnerable areas, to guard against nitrate contamination.

What ARE they smoking?
The US National Cancer Institute recently awarded a $2.8 million grant to a team led by Associate Engineering Professor Alan Shihadeh and Professor Thomas Eissenberg at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for a study on human exposure to toxicants as a result of nargileh smoking. Calling on a wide range of techniques from many disciplines, Shihadeh and his colleagues will examine the effects of smoking water pipe tobacco on the heart, lungs, and cell biology of individual users by measuring their toxin exposure and the toxin content of the water pipe tobacco smoke itself.

Teaching in Tehran
In June 2008 Professor Patrick McGreevy, director of CASAR, found himself back in Iran for a second time to teach a short course on American ethnicity to Iranian graduate students in the North American Studies Program of the University of Tehran's Faculty of World Studies. McGreevy taught seminars for 12 to 17 students, predominantly women. "I tried to give them the feeling that the culture in the United States evolves out of interactions among Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants from Europe, and more recently, Latin Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, and Iranians" said McGreevy. "We talked also about the recent attempts of the United States to project a multi-cultural image . . . We had wonderful discussions. The Iranian students were very curious about the United States, and they wanted to talk about everything: film, politics, American-Israeli relations, evangelicals, Christianity, government, the elections, the role of blacks in society.

They were fascinated by American life and asked endless questions about "how things work, how people think, how families function." The students eagerly embraced the opportunity to question freely both McGreevy and his wife Betsy who actively participated in the seminar discussions that continued for hours. "I was originally scheduled to give eight 90-minute sessions from 9 am to 12 noon each day, but the classes lasted from 9 am to 3 pm," McGreevy reported.

Objectivity was the main thrust of McGreevy's approach, as he urged the students to begin thinking early and critically about their research projects. "Examine your topic from all possible points of view," he insisted. "People are going to expect you to be anti-American-you're from Iran. Therefore you should go overboard in the other direction. As academics you have to look at all issues from all sides."

Three Iranian students from McGreevy's 2006 visit presented papers at CASAR's Second International Conference held at AUB in January 2008. Two other students have been accepted by the University of Berlin for PhD programs in American studies. McGreevy believes that such exchanges can bring people together and are in line with CASAR's mission.

Student News

Representing Medical Students Worldwide
Fourth-year medical student Melhim Bou Alwan was elected president for 2008-09 of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA), an international association of medical students with more than one million members worldwide.

Starting October 2008, Bou Alwan will spend a year in Geneva networking with NGOs and international organizations, including the World Health Organization and the World Medical Association, on behalf of health awareness projects around the world.

During his term as president, Bou Alwan hopes to "use every chance to shed light on public health matters that are of importance to the Lebanese population in order to push for more concrete and productive change towards a healthier community."

Big Win in the Big Game
The FEA-FAS team outscored a team from the other four AUB faculties 3-1 in this year's Big Game, which took place on June 2 on the brand new Green Field. The Big Game, which has a long tradition at AUB, is an annual soccer game that takes place at the end of each academic year among students from AUB's different faculties.

Western Students Exceed Lebanese Expectations
Despite the political and economic turmoil that Lebanon has endured for years-which culminated in violence in May-there has been an increase in the number of international students on campus. One only has to attend a course on Middle Eastern studies to notice the diversity of nationalities, with students coming from the United States and throughout Europe.

In addition to their obvious interest in learning more about Middle Eastern culture through studying abroad, most foreign students have very openly embraced and adapted to life in Beirut. When I asked students what was so attractive about Lebanon I received very similar answers.

Kevin relates his story succinctly: "I came here in 2006 for a short visit, and I loved it. It's so vibrant. As soon as I graduated from college in the United States, I decided to return to Beirut, so I applied to AUB for my master's, got accepted, and moved here."

Most international students live close to the University in Hamra, and become familiar with the rhythm of the city within months of arriving. Surprisingly, they do not need help getting around and know places that we Lebanese are not even aware of.

Another student, Francis, told me that he had become a regular at a local pub and that the owner now depends on him to stay updated with the latest music trends. Sarah, also a student, told me that she had been to beaches all along the coast except those in the South, which she is anxious to discover this summer.

Many students enroll in classical Arabic courses and some achieve a high degree of fluency. They develop an undeniably adorable accent in the process and greet fellow students with a heart-warming "Marhaba." Sometimes I have even found myself in the unique situation of having to ask one of them for help with some technical term even though I speak Lebanese Arabic and was instructed in classical Arabic at school.

Most students admit that they came to Beirut with prejudices that have since been proven untrue. As James jokingly told me, "There are no crazy Arabs; they were just a figure of my imagination!"

Others say that while they knew before arriving that they would not be living in a place radically different from the one they called home, friends and family had warned against coming to Lebanon. "I'm glad I came," said Dan, "now I know not to blindly trust what people tell me."

Looking at these individual perspectives, you see a tale of different cultures living together, learning from each other, and accepting each other. On the international level, however, it's a different story. Listening to the evening news provides a glimpse of the constant debates and conflicts between the United States and the Middle East, the endless visits and conversations of various political figures, and the constant turmoil of focusing on differences rather than on our similarities.

That these two perspectives result in such a different story is, I think, worth pondering.

I ask myself why I found it hard to imagine that international students would come here willingly, and adapt so quickly. Why was I surprised to learn that they knew places in my own country that even I didn't know about, or that they knew Arabic as well as I did? I think that there is a tendency on both sides to classify someone who is culturally different as "the other," as someone with whom you have differences that are impossible to overcome. A closer investigation in the field reveals that West and East get along just fine.

I am not advocating anything here, except to suggest that people postpone their judgment until they have gotten to know "the other." Often they will discover that they are not so different after all. As the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty said: "How can we understand someone else without sacrificing him to our logic or it to him?"

I realize that my argument may be a little naïve, for I am well aware that love is not the only thing that makes the world go 'round; there are international powers at play, politics of nations and the like, things on which I am no expert. However, in the midst of such conflict, it is a breath of fresh air to see West and East getting along so well, at AUB at least.

By Nathalie Nahas (MA ’09)
Nahas is a graduate student majoring in anthropology at AUB. This article was reprinted with permission from Common Ground News Service (CGNews) www.commongroundnews.org

Current Research

Earthquake vs. Your House: Who Wins?
Amer Elsouri, who will be working under the supervision of Professor Mohamed Harajli, is enrolled in AUB's PhD program in civil engineering.

As recently as February 2008, a magnitude five earthquake struck the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre. Luckily, there was little structural damage, but Amer Elsouri says that beam-column connections in buildings are particularly vulnerable in the event of earthquakes of magnitude six or higher. Elsouri is studying the performance of concealed beam-column connections that are commonly used in constructing buildings in the region, and assessing ways to strengthen these connections structurally when subjected to seismic loading.

Even though we don't really understand the mechanism by which earthquakes affect building failures during strong earthquakes, Elsouri explains that many people in the construction industry don't think that "this tiny concealed beam-column panel plays an important role in determining the strength and behavior of the connected beam and column." But there is no technical evidence to back this up-either way-so Elsouri has gone to work in the Structural and Materials Lab in the Bechtel Building. He plans to construct three sets of connections using exterior and interior column connections and then test each one to assess its strength and behavior. His hands-on lab work will be supplemented by computer software that analyzes and verifies the results of his experiments.

His adviser, Professor Mohamed Harajli, explains that until three years ago this type of research would not have been possible at AUB. The construction of a Strong Floor-Reaction Wall System in this lab in 2005 made it possible to test structural elements, as Elsouri is doing, under lateral loading simulating strong earthquakes.

Elsouri comes to AUB's PhD program with bachelor and master's degrees from Beirut Arab University and almost 20 years of engineering work experience in Australia and Lebanon. As a structural design engineer at Irwin Johnston and Partners in Melbourne, he worked with all types of structures: timber, masonry, steel, reinforced concrete, and composite structures. Since returning to Lebanon in 1992, he has been a structural consultant on many residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

Are You Vitamin D Deficient?
New research from AUBMC suggests that the current US recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D for children may be too low-ten times too low in fact. The current RDA is 200 International Units (IUs), but a study shows that a higher dosage could improve bone health in children. "Our research reveals that vitamin D at doses equivalent to 2,000 IUs a day is not only safe for adolescents, but is actually necessary for achieving desirable vitamin D levels," says Dr. Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, the study's lead author. Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and development in children and promotes skeletal health in adults. In the AUBMC study, children between the ages of 10 and 17 were given various doses of vitamin D over a period of time ranging from eight weeks to one year. At the end of the study, only children who had taken the higher dose of vitamin D-2,000 IUs a day-were found to have what is considered the optimum level of vitamin D in adults. While there is disagreement about the optimum level for children, the supplements were well tolerated and safe, says Fuleihan. She adds that since children grow so quickly, they are more likely than adults to be vitamin D deficient. Other researchers involved in the study include Joyce Maalouf, Mona Nabulsi, Rola El-Rassi, and Ziyad Mahfoud (AUB) and Reinhold Vieth and Samantha Kimball (University of Toronto). The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Expanding Regional Opportunities for Medical Scholarship: The DTS Foundation
The AUB Medical Center’s (AUBMC) mission doesn’t stop at the health and welfare of its patients. It’s concerned with the doctors and other health care professionals living and working in the region as well. Fortunately, the Diana Tamari Sabbagh (DTS) Foundation shares its concern.

Just this past April, Dr. Said Hammouz, director general of Human Resources Development at the Ministry of Health in the West Bank, led a delegation of 15 hospital administrators and ministry officials to AUB to learn about the types of training that AUBMC could offer. They discovered that the hospital can provide support in many areas including nursing, critical care and life support, diagnostic radiology, quality management, and the various laboratory specialties such as chemistry, microbiology, hematology, blood banking, and histology.

The visit was the first step in a project of the Medical Welfare Trust Fund (MWTF) that is coordinated by a liaison committee at AUB that includes Drs. Ghazi Zaatari (chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), George Araj, and Rima Afifi. The MWTF, which was established and supported by philanthropist Hasib Sabbagh, is joining forces with AUB to provide technical training at AUB for health care professionals from the West Bank. Hammouz reports that he and his colleagues are now in the process of prioritizing their needs and selecting candidates who will receive on-the-job training at AUBMC.

The DTS Foundation is also supporting a new program for medical scholars at AUBMC, which is described as “a rare and quite extraordinary opportunity” by Zaatari, who is chair of the Diana Tamari Sabbagh Medical Scholars Fund Committee that will be reviewing applications from prospective medical scholars. He describes the fund this way: “Imagine being paid to devote yourself fulltime to basic medical research—to do something you love and that will also improve people’s lives?”

Fund Trustee Dr. Joseph W. Tamari explains that the DTS Foundation strongly supports former President John Waterbury’s commitment to strengthening research at AUB. “I believe strongly that to be an excellent university, AUB must-as it says in its mission statement-'participate in the advancement of knowledge through research.' My colleagues and I wanted to support an initiative at the Medical Center that would promote this goal," he said.

In addition to providing support for medical scholars, the DTS Foundation has also allocated funds for a comprehensive survey to assess the future needs in basic and clinical medical sciences in the region. Ara Tekian, a professor of medical education at the University of Illinois, who has conducted many workshops at AUB on medical education supported by the DTS Foundation, will conduct the survey that will also assist the members of the committee as they select men and women to be DTS Medical Scholars.

It seems that wherever you look at the AUB Medical Center, you will find the generous helping hand of the DTS Foundation. Established in 1978 by Hasib Sabbagh, an AUB alumnus and cofounder of Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) to honor the memory of his wife, the DTS Foundation has been supporting AUB and its Medical Center in particular for almost 30 years.

"When my sister passed away," recalls Tamari, "Hasib came to me and asked, 'What can we do to commemorate her memory?'" The first thing Tamari did was to get together with a couple of colleagues and long-time family friends at AUB-Dr. Adel Afifi and Dr. Samih Alami. "I knew that Dr. Afifi had a vision and would know what needed to be done and that he and Dr. Alami would be willing and able to offer invaluable advice and support to me and Hasib," Tamari remembers, "and I was right." Although Alami passed away in 1996, he is still very much a presence on the DTS Medical Committee as the other two members, Tamari and Afifi, continue to work to lay the groundwork for a new and comprehensive approach to teaching and research in the basic medical sciences. "That was always the goal," says Tamari.

One of the DTS Foundation's earliest gifts in 1979 was to renovate and equip the Diana Tamari Sabbagh Basic Sciences Building. Over the years there have been many other initiatives including the DTS Memorial Lecture that is held each year during the Middle East Medical Assembly (MEMA) in Beirut and the establishment of a fund to train clinical technicians in neurosurgery and neuro-radiology.

"Like AUB, the DTS Foundation is committed to this part of the world," says Tamari. "From the beginning, the DTS Medical Committee has looked for opportunities to work with AUB to invest in human capital and to suggest projects that support this objective. This is why I feel that the Medical Scholars Fund, the survey that Dr. Tekian will be conducting, the workshops on medical education that the foundation has supported over the years, and the Medical Welfare Trust Fund are all so important. These initiatives will benefit people today and will also build long-term capacity that will benefit people in the future. That is our goal." And AUB's goal, too.

Reviews

The Qur'an
Penguin Classics: May 2008
By Tarif Khalidi

Heralded by The Guardian "a magnificent achievement", Khalidi's new English translation of the Qur'an addresses three sensitive and divisive issues that are central to the interpretation and translation of the holy book. In response to the question of whether the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in groups of five verses or in shorter instalments, Khalidi divides his translation into paragraphs hoping "to highlight the periscopes (a selection or extract) upon which the text is built," he writes in his introduction to the translation. He has also adopted a new formatting method to help the reader distinguish the many voices throughout the text, which displays verses horizontally and vertically. While the voice may shift "from narrative to exhortation, from homily to hymn of praise, from strict law to tender sermon, from fear and trembling to invitation to reflections," Khalidi has arranged narrative and legislative content in a horizontal format; verses of dramatic nature appear vertically in a "vertical poetic" fashion. But it is the fine art of the language itself that distinguishes this translation. Khalidi strikes a delicate balance between "modern" and archaic language in delivering a translation as true to the original as possible. Alas, "the cadence of the Arabic could never be reproduced," he writes, but thanks to Khalidi, we now have a second best substitute for English language readers.
Tarif Khalidi holds the Sheikh Zayed Chair in Islamic and Arabic Studies at AUB.

'Ubur al-Hudud wa Tabaddul al-Hawajiz: Sociologia al-'Awdah al-Filastiniyya (Crossing borders, shifting boundaries: Palestinian dilemmas)
American University in Cairo Press: 2008
Edited by Sari Hanafi

This book centers on the effort to understand the issue of return migration to Palestine from a sociological point of view. Six papers examine various human situations among Palestinians, ranging from villages that have been divided by borders such as the Green Line to Palestinian populations that have been cut off from their roots in Palestine and are now seeking to establish their lives elsewhere. The common theme is the role of borders and boundaries-those that people seek to cross and those that the external political environment imposes on existing populations.
Sari Hanafi is an associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at AUB.

Tariq al-Nahl (The Bee's Road)
Tariq al-Nahl Press: 2007
By Rami Ollaik (BS '96)

This recently published account traces Ollaik's journey from being an active Hizbullah militant to an advocate for peace. Ollaik, who teaches beekeeping at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, held a book signing on February 20 at West Hall, in the Bathish Auditorium.

One Family's Response to Terrorism: a Daughter's Memoir
Syracuse University Press: 2008
By Susan Kerr van de Ven

Susan Kerr van de Ven, daughter of former AUB President Malcolm Kerr, who was assassinated on his way to work on January 18, 1984, recently published a memoir focusing on her family's life after the assassination of her father. In what Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim describes as "an odyssey of grief, a relentless search for truth, and finally a reconciliation," van de Ven describes "what happened to us as a family in the wake of one death by terrorism, and the moral choices we felt compelled to take, at long last, toward legal justice." Although the book is a deeply personal account and includes many family pictures, the author also draws heavily on documents gathered under a Freedom of Information Act search, unpublished papers, and personal correspondence to describe her and her family's quest for legal justice.