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

Class Notes


Nadim Khalluf
(PHCH '50) When Khalluf learned of the wonderful new sports facilities in the Hostler Student Center, he wrote to share his fond memories of physical education instructor Abdul Sattar Trabulsi, the 1944-45 varsity team trip to compete with the Syrian University, and the intramural matches between classes and faculty. He still has the silver medal his team won in volleyball on his key ring. His three children attended IC and AUB.

Lieutenant Colonel Suzette Fattal-Blair

(BS '53) was the first in a class of three nurses to receive their baccalaureate degrees in nursing from AUB. Fattal-Blair is a highly decorated retired army officer who worked for the Department of Health and Environmental Control for many years. She currently performs nursing assessments for Hazards Emergency Preparedness for Public Health and Non-Federal Health Care Organizations for Homeland Security.

Shibli I. Bayyuk
(BS '56) earned his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Birmingham in England. He is vice president and chief research scientist at Genesis Fueltech, Inc., a hydrogen generation business recently acquired by Orient Venture Capital, Inc. Bayyuk, who is also an inventor, holds a number of patents on fuel cell technologies.


Teddy D. Abdo
(BBA '61) After 49 years of service, Abdo retired as chairman of Meirc Training & Consulting, a company that the late Simon G. Siksek (assistant professor at AUB's Economic Research Institute, 1956-58) established in 1958. Abdo and his wife Diana Domian (a BCW graduate) have two grown children, Nadim and Rudayna. Active in community service and in solo and choral singing, Abdo lives in Toronto, Canada, and travels extensively. He is in touch with friends from his alma mater all over the world.

Leila Rahhal Arbid
(BA '62) with her BA in political studies, has maintained an interest in current events in the world and at AUB. She writes, "I truly appreciate MainGate magazine because I like to stay updated on AUB, and on what's really interesting!" She can be reached at seeleila[at]

Samir Abu-Absi
(BA '63) was named professor emeritus at the University of Toledo where he was a member of the faculty from 1968. Prior to his retirement, he served as chair of the Department of English Language and Literature, director of linguistics and ESL Programs, and coordinator of the Arabic Language Program. He is currently working on compiling and editing a book that will be titled Arab Americans in Toledo. He can be reached at samir.

George Kassis
(BS '63, MS '67) is the managing director of Pafina Traditional Homes, Ltd. in Paphos, Cyprus, a real estate development company that specializes in building traditional stone houses in the villages around the Paphos District of Cyprus. Kassis can be reached at kassis[at]

Amal Gebara
(BE '64) moved to Toronto in May 1990. Semi-retired now, he and his wife Margaret (a special education teacher) have four children. Their two daughters graduated from the University of Toronto and their son is attending York University. The family has traveled frequently to Lebanon to stay in touch with family and friends.

Fawwaz T. Ulaby

(BS '64) has just been appointed founding provost and executive vice president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

(KAUST), a new graduate-level scientific research institution in Saudi Arabia. Ulaby is currently the R. Jamison and Betty Williams Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of numerous awards from government agencies and prestigious scientific organizations and universities including AUB's Distinguished FEA Alumni Award and the Thomas Edison Medal, the oldest and most coveted medal in the field of electrical and computer engineering in the United States.

Marwan Taqtaq
(BS '65) For the past 21 years, Taqtaq has operated the Windsor Tunnel Duty Free Shop on the US-Canadian border. He recently participated in building a community medical center.

May Rihani
(BA '68) Lebanese-American poet and former president of the AUB Alumni Association of North America, Rihani was awarded the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace Project Gibran International Prize for 2008 from the University of Maryland "in recognition of her outstanding leadership in promoting women's education throughout the world, and in appreciation of her services to the legacy of Ameen Rihani and Kahlil Gibran." Read a complete article by Professor Suheil Bushrui, former AUB professor (1968-1987) and director of the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace Center for Heritage Resource Studies, in MainGate on-line.

More on-line

Umar K. Baloch
(MS '69) writes: "AUB is the institution that turned my future in a direction that led to my becoming chief executive of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council." Baloch can be reached at 92-51-926-6465 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Mahmoud Solh
(BS '69, MS '72) After earning degrees at AUB in crop production and agronomy, Solh went to the University of California at Davis for his PhD in genetics. Since 2006, he has been the director general of the International Center for Agriculture Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). Previously he was the director of the Plant Production and Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome. Solh can be contacted at M.Solh[at]


Khalil Cotran
(BS '70) is the managing director of human resources at NBK Capital in Kuwait. He can be contacted at khalilcotran[at]

Zareh Astourian
(BE '71) After majoring in civil engineering, Astourian went on to get his MS in structural engineering from the University of Southern California. He is president and CEO of TMAD, Taylor and Gaines, a full service engineering company headquartered in Pasadena, California. Astourian and his wife Sossy have three children. He can be reached at: zastourian[at]

Marwan S. Hayek
(BA '72, MS '74) After more than twenty years of service as managing director and member of the Management Committee at Investcorp Bank in Bahrain, Hayek retired in 2007. He has since started his own private investment company, Hayek Investment Management, which is also based in Bahrain. He can be reached at marwan[at]

Nabil Matar
(BA '71, MA '72) was appointed presidential professor in the English Department at the University of Minnesota in August 2007. His book, Europe through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727, will be published later this year by Columbia University Press. He has also collaborated on a book with Gerald MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713, slated for publication in 2009 by Oxford University Press. His two children are in college, one at Emory and one at Trinity. Matar can be contacted at matar010[at]

Hani Alamuddine
(BS '73) is a clinical associate in surgery at AUBMC. He can be reached at ha84[at]

Zaher Mohammed Saeed Ismail
(BEN '75) is director of information systems at the Ministry of Education in Bahrain. His email address is zaherms[at]

Badih "Buddy" Soubra
(BA '75) has been appointed senior adviser for Trans-actions at MerchantBridge, an equities house investing in the Middle East. Soubra holds a PhD from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and an MBA from the University of Southern California's Graduate School of Business in Los Angeles.

Andree de Bustros
(BS '76, MD '80) and Serge de Bustros (BS '75, MD '80). Both Andree and Serge are members of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Andree earned her MPH at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and currently works at Endocrine Care, LLC. Serge is the director of the Retina Center in Munster, Indiana. They can be reached at miniloup[at]

Fuad S. Saba
(BBA '77) is the international tax director of Navistar International Corporation in Warrenville, Illinois, a global manufacturer of medium and heavy trucks and diesel engines. Saba has been married to Mary (Sinkovitz) Saba for 30 years. They have three grown children. Saba would be glad to hear from his former classmates at AUB, especially anyone in the Chicago area. He can be contacted at fuad.saba[at]

Antoine Tamer
(BBA '78, MBA '81) has worked in Kuwait since 1993 as a general manager and partner at Greenline/Alsahm JV. The company specializes in water distribution networks, pump stations, infrastructures, and hard and soft landscaping. Tamer and his wife Eliane Jean Khoury (MA ' 83) have two sons: Ziad (23) is a student at Purdue University and Anthony (14) just received his brevet from the Louise Vegmann School in Beirut. Tamer's contact information is tiroman55[at]

Fuad George
(BEN '79, MBS '83) is a senior contracts manager for TDIC in Abu Dhabi. He can be contacted at fuadgeorge[at]

Joseph Zaiden
(BA '79) has been named general manager of the Sungate Port Royal Resort in Antalya, Turkey. Zaiden has managed hotels in Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East for major international and private hotel companies.


Samia Joseph Khoury
(BS '80, MD '84) is principal investigator and professor of neurology at the Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She was recently awarded the 2007 Kuwait Prize for Sciences by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. You will find more information about Professor Khoury and her research and publications at

Rana Zeine
(MD '87). In addition to a medical degree from AUB, Zeine also has a PhD from McGill University. She recently became associate director of the Pathology Research Core Facility of the Cancer Center at Northwestern University. Zeine can be reached at r-zeine[at]

Maya Khawam Nader
(BA '89) After earning her BA in political science at AUB's Off Campus Program, Khawan went to Boston University where she earned an MA in marketing and communications. She worked in advertising for three years before deciding to stay home with her two young children. Nader still stays busy professionally-as a business manager for her husband's medical practice, and as a partner in a new business, Pacifica Home Gems, LLC, importing home accessories and selling them wholesale. Maya can be reached at manader[at]

Salah F. Masry
(BS '89, MD '95) has joined the John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York as a hospitalist where he has introduced palliative care programs.


Annie Lajinian-Magarian
(MA '91) is pursuing her doctorate in education at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. She has worked extensively as an educational consultant and is currently the director of the Foundation Program at Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman. Lajinian-Magarian is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Oman Quality Network that is working to improve higher education in Oman. She can be reached at anniemagarian[at]

Mohammad Maki
(BEN '91) is an IT supervisor at Banque du Liban. He can be reached at MMaki[at]

Roland Bejjani
(BEN '93) has left his job at UNIPAK in Beirut to move to Canada. He can be reached at rolandbejj[at]

Zeina Maalouf
(BS '93) writes: "In the course of my masters work at Tufts University, I worked with international nutrition policy makers at the World Bank, in Washington, DC, and with their nutrition programs in francophone Africa (Senegal, Madagascar and Benin). I was sent to Senegal to assess the implementation of their national nutrition enhancement program. It was an eye-opening experience to the realities of maternal and child malnutrition in rural and urban Africa, to the challenges of implementing programs to address this issue, from the both the population's side, as well as the program managers' and donors' side. After graduating I also worked in Washington with Global Food & Nutrition, Inc. a consulting firm that works in international food aid and nutrition programs. I am currently getting my PhD at the University of California, Davis in maternal and infant nutrition, studying the determinant of infant feeding practices, regulation of food intake in infants, and their interaction with growth and obesity. My e-mail is zeina.maalouf[at]"

George J. Saliba
(BS '93, MD '98) practices internal medicine at the Newton Marshall Clinic in Effingham and Newton, Massachusetts. Previously (2003-04), he was a physician at the Consolidated Community Medical Center in Newton, Massachusetts.

Youssef Sannan
(BA '93) has been in Dubai for the past ten years where he is now a territory manager for the telecommunications company Avaya, working out of their regional MENA and Turkey offices. Sannan can be contacted at youssef.sannan[at]

Fadi Nassif
(BEN '96) is a sales manager in the Optimization and Control Department of GE Energy. He can be reached at fadi.nassif[at]

Rana Zbeidy
(BS '97, MS '00) is currently working as an environmental consultant in a private consulting firm, ELARD (Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development). She can be contacted at rana_zbeidy[at]

Aref Abouzahr
(BEN '98) writes: "Our learning experience is limitless, for AUB instilled in us the passion for learning new skills every day." Abouzahr is currently enrolled in a post-MBA program in strategic marketing and finance at McGill University in Montreal. REIM, Inc., the company he founded with two partners, has performed quite well specializing in short-term real estate funds. Abouzahr can be contacted at aref[at]

Dania Salem
(CCE '98, MEM '03) and her husband Hayssam Hasbini (CCE '95, MS '99) are the proud parents of Jana who is the younger sister of Lama (5) and Nazek (3). Dania returned to work as IT administrator at AUB after her maternity leave.

Diala Abou Daher Ismail
(BS '99, MPH '01) is working at AUBMC as the Patients' Relations Manager. She is married to Saed Ismail and has two children, Larissa (4) and Bashir (2).

Karim El Khazen
(BBA '99) is the country manager for Red Bull F.Z.E. of the UAE. His email address is karim.khazen[at]


Hatem Imam
(GD '00), Lena Merhej (GD '99), Fadi Baqi also known as fdz (GD '00), and a group of artists recently published the first issue of a new comic book for adults called Samandal. Published by Xanadu, Samandal provides a venue for comic artists to publish their work and promote comics as a popular, indigenous form of literature. The first issue of Samandal is a collection of 11 independent comic strips from Lebanese and international contributors. It was launched on March 28 at Express Café in Hamra, Beirut.

Shadi Braish
(BBA '01) For the past four years, Braish has worked at Universal Media HQ, an affiliate of Universal McCann Worldwide, where he is currently a media manager. He writes, "My years at AUB were the best thing that ever happened to me. I will always be grateful and proud to have attended this great University. Believe me, it always shows in one way or another that you are an AUB student. MainGate always reminds me of sitting on the stairs facing College Hall, drinking coffee, and chatting with friends…Just good old days!" Braish can be reached at shadibraish[at]

Elie Abou Fares
(BS '02), Abou Fares is an HR analyst in AUB's Human Resources Department. He can be reached at: ea10[at]

Loay Sayah
(BA '02) and his wife Samar Farha (BS '96, MD '00) report that they are both doing well and living in Cleveland, Ohio. Sayah is a program delivery manager in corporate social responsibility at Cisco, and Samar is a doctor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit at the Cleveland Clinic. Their email addresses are lsayah[at] and sfarha[at]

Nagi Salloum
(BE '03) is the founder of Frustrated trying to find basic information on the web, Salloum launched the first cinema portal in Lebanon and the Middle East, including such features as theater schedules and locations, viewer and critic reviews, trailers, soundtracks, blogs, weekly competitions, and much more. Salloum plans to expand his model regionally and improve the cinema experience for film lovers across the Arab world.

Abdel Rahim Hajjar
(BE '04, ME '06), who earned high distinction for his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, has just published an eBook called Business Engineers! for engineers working in business. Hajjar is currently a project setup and capability manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey for Procter & Gamble. He can be reached at abdelrahimhajjar[at]

Amal Morcos
(MA '05) is director of communications for the global humanitarian relief and development organization, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which is based in the United States and has international field offices in eleven countries, including Lebanon. Morcos is responsible for public and media relations at IOCC, which provides emergency aid and long term development programs for refugees, internally displaced persons, the handicapped, children, and victims of natural disasters. In 2006, IOCC provided emergency supplies for Lebanese families displaced from the South to Beirut. IOCC also repairs and develops hundreds of public schools throughout Lebanon. Morcos can be contacted at: elkomos6[at]

Abderrahman Bani Hani
(BBA '07) is a currency broker at Boston Trading and Research in New York. He reports that life is good and everything is going well. You can contact him at a.banihani[at]

Sarah Ouwayda
(BE '07) now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is completing her PhD in linguistics after graduating from AUB with a BE in computer and communication engineering. She was awarded a USC merit-based graduate fellowship throughout her doctoral program. She was recently elected co-president of the Graduate Students in Linguistics at the University of Southern California.

Fadi Shayya
(MUD '07) was recently profiled on Marcel Ghanem's Kalam el-Nas (LBC) as one of the winners of the Basil Fuleihan Innovative Good Governance (BFIGG) competition. The eponymously titled competition is a memorial tribute to the late MP/minister/economist/academic, Basil Fuleihan. Shayya was awarded first place for his paper "Invigorating a Park in the City: Alternatives for the Good Governance of Horsh Al-Sanawbar in Beirut." Other awardees were Houda Sahyoun (BS '03), Rebecca Semrani, Nadine Dib, and Nader Houella. Shayya can be contacted at fadi.shayya[at]

Recently Honored

Archdeacon Rafiq Farah

(BA '45) was honored on March 9 at a celebration at St. Andrews Church, Toronto, in recognition for his 60 years of service as a priest.

MP and AUB Trustee Ghassan Tueni (BA '45) received the Arab Media Creativity Award from Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah and Arab Media Forum head Mahdi al-Khamis during the opening ceremony of the fifth Arab Media Forum in Kuwait City on April 6.

Leila Fawaz
(BA '67, MA '68), a professor at Tufts University, has been named a 2008 Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and will receive a two-year grant of up to $100,000 for her research, "The Experience of War: Muslims in the Middle East and South Asia, 1914-1920." Fawaz received her doctorate from Harvard University, where she currently serves as a Harvard overseer. She is the Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies and director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies and holds a joint appointment at Tufts as professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of diplomacy at the Fletcher School.

Ahmad A. Ajarimah
(BA '71) is the first Arab to be inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (IACEHF) in Norfolk, Virginia. Ajarimah completed 35 years of service with Saudi Aramco, where he recently served as coordinator of Training and Career Development (T&CD) Policy and Planning from 2000-05. He was cited by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) and IACEHF for achievements in the fields of adult education and human-resources. Ajarimah can be reached at ajarimaa[at]

Asif J. Chaudhry
(MS '82) President George W. Bush nominated Chaudhry to be US ambassador to the Republic of Moldova. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of minister-counselor, Chaudhry previously as deputy administrator of the Office of Global Analysis at the Department of Agriculture. He also served as agricultural minister counselor at the US Embassy in Cairo. He has been assistant to the general sales manager of the Foreign Agriculture Service in the Office of the Administrator. Chaudhry received his bachelor's degree from the University of Punjab, his master's degree from AUB, and his PhD from Washington State University.

Rabi Mohtar
(BS '83, MS '85) has just been awarded the 2008 Agricultural Research Award from Purdue University where he is a professor of agricultural and biological engineering. Mohtar's world-renowned models of water and soil land-use allow people to make informed decisions about development and encourage conservation of natural resources. After graduating from AUB, Mohtar won a Hariri Fellowship and continued his studies in the United States at Michigan State University, where he completed a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering and a doctorate in agricultural systems management.

Lamia El-Moubayed Bissat
(BS '87, MS '90) was recently awarded the prestigious French decoration Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite to honor her significant contribution to the Institute of Finance, the training and documentation agency of the Lebanese Ministry of Finance, for the development of cooperative ties between France and Lebanon. El-Moubayed is currently the head of the Institute of Finance, which is now known as the Basil Fuleihan Institute for Economy and Finance.

Mahmoud El-Assir
(BEN '97), a vice president of information technology for sales and marketing systems at Verizon, has earned two honors from CIO Magazine: the Ones to Watch Award, and the Standout Award for innovation. El-Assir began his career in 1997 with GTE, a predecessor company of Verizon, and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility within the company's IT Department. He lives in Mendham, New Jersey with his wife Rania, and their daughter Noor.

Khaled Hammoud
(BBA '97) recently won the Pepsico Valedictorian Award of PepsiCo Global Marketing University. He is currently marketing manager at Pepsi Gulf and is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Khaled can be reached at khaled.hammoud[at]

Ghinwa Choueiter
(BEN '02) is the recipient of a 2008 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. A graduate of AUB's Computer and Communications Engineer-ing Program, Ghinwa is currently a PhD candidate pursuing her graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her Google Award includes a sizable scholarship and an invitation to attend the 2008 Google Scholars' Retreat.

Marie Joe J. Raidy
(BGD '05) who works at Raidy Printing Group SAL in Beirut, was selected to participate in the Fortune State Department Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership in April 2007 and the Fortune Most Powerful Women's Summit in October 2007. Raidy is a member of Child of Lebanon, the Lebanese League for Women in Business, and AmCham (the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce). Raidy can be reached at design[at]