Inside the Gate
  Views from Campus: Honorary Degrees and Graduation 2008; Western Students Exceed
Lebanese Expectations; Teaching in Tehran; A May Explosion
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
In Our History
Alumni Profile
Maingate Connections
Alumni Happenings
Class Notes
AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
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

Alumni Happenings


In recent months the WAAAUB Board of Directors and its Standing Committees have been busy meeting on a regular basis to put into place their goals and objectives for the coming year. Recent highlights include:

Reunion 2008 (June 30- July 2)
Hundreds attended several jam-packed days of events to celebrate their Reunion on the AUB campus with fellow alumni. Especially enthusiastic participants were this year's 25th and 50th class reunion celebrants, who, with family and friends crowded Assembly Hall on June 30. WAAAUB's Program Committee worked closely with the Alumni Relations office to make this one of the most successful Reunions ever. Full coverage-and plenty of pictures-will follow in the fall 2008 issue of MainGate.

Publication of the inaugural issue of the WAAAUB e-newsletter, Al-Jame'a
This is the product of the work of the Outreach Committee, the e-newsletter sub-committee and the Alumni Relations Offices. Find the e-newsletter at: and write to us with your feedback at:

Regional Gatherings 2008
The WAAAUB Committee for Chapters and the Programs Committee are planning several Regional Gatherings for WAAAUB chapters and alumni to get to know each other and meet with senior leadership. These gatherings will include brainstorming sessions, discussions about future activities and ample occasions for socializing. For a full list of upcoming Regional Gatherings go to:


Abu Dhabi Association

The Abu Dhabi Association 21st Spring Ball, which was attended by more than 400 alumni, highlighted sports at AUB and the role they play in campus life and in teaching leadership and teamwork skills. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of Zayed University HE Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was the keynote speaker at the May 1 event held at the Rotana Beach Hotel and Towers. Attendees enjoyed a popular benefit auction that featured AUB graduation rings donated by the University (we hope AUBites had the winning bids), a lithograph by Juliana Seraphim, and the lively music of the Gomidas Band.

Riyadh Chapter
As part of an ongoing effort to involve alumni living in the Riyadh area in AUB activities, WAAAUB organized a benefit gala dinner on May 1 at the Lebanese Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After Lebanon's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia HE Marwan Zein welcomed the attendees, Jamal El Zein, president of the Riyadh Chapter, graciously thanked the embassy and stressed the importance of alumni outreach and alumni involvement with AUB. The presence of so many graduates and the exceptional performance of Lebanese violinist Jihad Akl and his band made the evening a resounding success.


Arizona Chapter
Arizonan AUBites attended a photography exhibit by one of its members, Nidaa Aboulhosn (BS '94) on May 2 at the Phoenix Burton Barr Central Library. The exhibit, entitled "Conatus. Every Day," is part of the Central Gallery's art walk series, which presents solo and group art exhibitions by emerging and established Arizona artists. The exhibit featured 20 photographs Nidaa took during a recent trip to Lebanon.

"I was trying to look for a word or a phrase that describes how life moves on regardless of the circumstances. I found the word conatus, which is Latin for 'the will to live' or 'the will to continue to exist,'" explained Nidaa. She describes her photos as spontaneous and intuitive, a reaction to a moment of inspiration. "My hope is to create an experience of heightened awareness and to allow for an instant of time to portray a universal symbol or metaphor. I photograph seeking to witness a glimpse, a fraction, which reflects a larger whole and describes not only the appearance of a place or person but a wider truth."

Said Salloum, Arizona Chapter President, said "I personally found that the images were often mundane yet always thought provoking, and for a Lebanese native like myself, were reminiscent of familiar images, but frozen and given an enhanced identity. I was also struck by the absence of war references, which I found to be refreshing. War themes seem to often starve attention away from other aspects of the Lebanese daily life, and it is healthy to be able to put that aside, even if for a little while. The photographs were very well received by the large number of exhibit attendees, who kept streaming in late into the evening. More of Nidaa's work can be found on her web site"

The Arizona Chapter held its annual picnic on April 20 at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in the beautiful city of Scottsdale. All AUB alumni in Arizona were invited to the picnic, which provided a wonderful opportunity to spend some time together and discuss future chapter activities-including the annual fall banquet dinner-and to find ways to build a closer and more involved alumni community. Although the local WAAAUB chapter provided a delicious catered lunch of traditional Lebanese grilled dishes, desert was left to the real culinary professionals: the many AUB families who brought their home-cooked specialties. When the young ones (our future alumni) were tired of food and socializing, they enjoyed some of the park's attractions including sports, train rides, and a merry go round-a perfect way to recover from a great meal.

Cardiology Chapter
The Cardiology Chapter celebrated its fifth anniversary in Chicago on March 30 during the American College of Cardiology annual convention. Several AUB alumni cardiologists got together at Bistro 110, at the heart of the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, and enjoyed an evening of delicious food and great company. Those interested in future gatherings of AUB alumni cardiologists and other chapter activities should email Dr. Samer Dibs (MD '89) at or Eva Klimas (Director of Alumni Relations, North America) at

Indiana Chapter
The Indiana Chapter had its first get-together on May 10 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. In addition to planning future events to bring the AUB community in Indiana together, the chapter is also looking forward to collaborating with other chapters in the Midwest. The Indiana Chapter committee includes: Khalil Diab, president; Nadine Yehya Abou Najm, vice president; Mohammad El Abiad, treasurer; Hicham El Masry secretary; and Charles Kahi, member at large.

Michigan Chapter
AUBites gathered at the Kensington Metro Park, a 4,481-acre park in Milford, Michigan, on June 8 for their summer picnic. They took full advantage of the beautiful summer day: playing some soccer and tossing a Frisbee, eating catered Lebanese food, and sharing AUB stories from the 1970s to the present. Chapter President Michael Mamish saved the day by using his fishing pole to retrieve the frisbee when it got stuck on the roof of the shelter. He was cheered on by Ali, son of the chapter treasurer, who told Michael, "Yesslamo. You're my hero." Never underestimate the hidden talents of our AUB graduates. The chapter is planning a Halloween event in October 2008. Contact the chapter for more information.

Ohio Valley Chapter
More than 35 alumni from the Columbus and Cincinnati areas gathered at TAZ Restaurant in Cincinnati on April 12. The Executive Committee is planning to organize more events in the future to provide alumni in central Ohio and northern Kentucky with opportunities to network and to welcome new alumni to the area. Check out the chapter's website at

Calling all AUB choir alumni
for a reunion and performance at the Inaugural WAAAUB Gathering in North America in Washington DC, September 27, 2008. Contact, and see and ensembles.htm for details.

Alumni Recently Published

Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape
(Profile Books: 2007)
by Raja Shehadeh (BA '73)
Shehadeh won the prestigious British Orwell Book Prize 2008 for Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape, a unique combination of memoir, poetic reflection, and political commentary. Structured around six walks he took in the hills around Ramallah between 1978 and 2006, Shehadeh sadly records a vanishing landscape as he walks in increasing "fear of harassment and the distracting awareness of imminent political and physical disasters." Shehadeh's work provides a vivid and deeply personal record of his great love for the hills and the relentless swallowing up of the West Bank by Jewish settlers. A practicing lawyer, Shehadeh weaves intimate knowledge of the law with loving descriptions of plants, birds, animals, and curious stones-some revealing dinosaur footprints.

Dirasaat Jadida fi'l-Fikr al-'Arabi
New studies in Arabic thought
(Dar An-Nahar: 2007)
by Majid Fakhri (BA '44, MA '47)
This collection of studies follows Fakhri's original work, Dirasaat fi'l Fikr al-'Arabi and addresses both Greek and Arab philosophical questions and current theological issues. In addition to many articles, Professor Fakhry's other recent publications include Averroes: His Life and Works (2001) and Al-Farabi: Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism (2002).

Business Engineers!
(Feed Forward Publications: 2008)
by Abdel Rahim Hajjar (BE '04, ME '06)
This new eBook examines a recent trend in engineering-the increasing number of engineers who work in marketing, consultancy, finance, and other business-related disciplines. The author illustrates how the same skills needed for a successful career in engineering are also vital in the business domain, and notes that there is a significant and growing demand for engineers in less traditional engineering fields including computer and electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and civil engineering. You can download the book at: