alumni living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Their work has led them to excel in multi-national corporations, the media, advertising agencies, engineering and construction firms, and in the service sector. While most AUB alumni in Dubai are originally from Lebanon, there are also many from other countries including Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and the UAE.
Vice President Najat Zaarour (BA ’68) and current President Yasser El-Hajj (BE ’89) work in partnerships with the chapter’s dedicated alumni committee (including Raja Trad (BA ’78), Amer Bibi (BBA ’72), Fida Asfour (BA ’02), Rabih Hamzeh (BE ’88), and Roula Harb (BA ’80) which organizes a wide range of activities to give AUB alumni the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company during film screenings, day trips to the desert, and their ever popular—and successful—gala dinners. Congratulations to the Chapter on being honored with WAAAUB’s first Outstanding Alumni Chapter Award.
President Dorman’s first visit to Abu Dhabi is not one he is likely to forget. As a guest of the AUB Abu Dhabi Alumni Chapter, he was warmly welcomed and quickly made to feel at home. Although it was only a short visit, there were many opportunities to meet with AUB alumni and friends both informally and at a sumptuous reception at the Royal Meridien Hotel on March 7, 2009.
One of the highlights of President Dorman’s trip was his meeting with Sheikh Nahyan Bin Moubarak al-Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and a good friend of AUB. During their meeting, President Dorman thanked Sheikh Nahyan for his many years of generous support and for his recent participation as guest of honor, keynote speaker, and prime benefactor for the Brave Heart fundraising gala in Dubai in October 2008. (The Brave Heart Fund provides financial assistance to the families of children with congenital heart disease being treated at AUBMC.)
Hisham Qayaleh Naser and his wife Gisele who currently heads the Abu Dhabi alumni chapter hosted a wonderful luncheon at their home in Abu Dhabi for President Dorman. Distinguished guests included the Lebanese Ambassador HE and Mrs. Fawzi Fawwaz, prominent alumni and friends from Abu Dhabi as well as the chapter leadership.
The Abu Dhabi Alumni Chapter is one of the most active and financially generous alumni chapters worldwide. In addition to the more than $2 million that the chapter has donated to the University since 1985, its members have helped facilitate donations of an equal amount from the Abu Dhabi community. The chapter has also been very active and worked tirelessly to assist with student recruitment and job placement. Of the more than 2,200 AUB alumni who live and work in the Emirates, almost a thousand live in Abu Dhabi.
There was something for everyone who attended the Abu Dhabi Chapter’s annual gala on May 22: illuminating insights from keynote speaker Saad Andari (BA ’72), vice governor of the Central Bank about financial markets in Lebanon and around the world; a presentation from OSB Dean George Najjar focused on AUB; lots of laughter thanks to Lebanese stand-up comedian Nemr Abou Nassar (BBA ’05); and delightful music from Lebanese singer Asmara. The more than 500 alumni and friends who attended the elegant affair at the Hilton Abu Dhabi also enjoyed the chapter’s annual book which presented the AUB campus as a nature reserve and included lots of interesting information about what the University has done and is doing to preserve the environment both on and off campus.
More than 200 alumni and friends gathered on May 14 at the Arizona Golf Resort—not, as you might suspect, in Arizona—but in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The occasion was the WAAAUB Riyadh Chapter’s third annual spring gala dinner, which this year featured the music of Lebanese saxophonist Clary Hosary. Everyone agreed that the venue, catering, music, and logistics conspired to create a perfectly memorable evening. Plans are already under way for the next event in October 2009.
The more than 200 guests, supporters, friends, and members who attended the UK Chapter’s annual gala dinner at the InterContinental Hotel Park Lane in London on May 15 were in for quite a treat. Among the distinguished guests were President and Mrs. Dorman, Syrian Ambassador HE Sami Khiyami (BE ’72) and Palestine Authority Ambassador HE Emmanuel Hassassian (BA ’75). After a warm welcome from Chapter President Talal Farah, the audience heard from AUB President Dorman and watched a brief and interesting film on the history of AUB. WAAAUB Treasurer and Board member Karam Doumet spoke briefly about WAAAUB before introducing Professor Eugene Rogan, director of Oxford University’s Middle East Centre, who offered some thoughtful observations on the future of Arab-American relations during the Obama presidency. In his after-dinner address, guest of honor Abdullah Juma’h (BA ’68), former chairman and CEO of Saudi Aramco, captivated everyone with stories from his days on campus and his time at Saudi Aramco. He also made a passionate plea for the pioneering spirit in education and research that had once prevailed in the Arab and Muslim world. After a successful auction and raffle, everyone sat back to enjoy Korean Jordanian-born, Arabic-speaking comedian Won-Hu Chung.
At a reception on May 22, a group from the AREC ’80 class including George (BS ’82, MS ’84) and Marwa Barbour, Tony Chahine (BE ’88), Fadi (BS ’81, MS ’83) and Marianne Freiji, Khallad Kaballan (BS ’81, MS ’83), Nada (BS ’81, MS ’83) and Bassem Khatib (BS ’81), Nada Radwan (BS ’81, MS ’83), Rabih Talhouk (BS ’81, MS ’83), and Rami Zurayk (BS ’81, MS ’83) presented Dean Nahla Hwalla (MS ’74, MD ’77) with a check for $40,000—the first installment toward their goal to raise $75,000 to establish the AREC ’80 Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of Diab Abu Jawdeh, Sinan Qaisi-Farran (MS ’85), and Randa Smine (BS ’81). In 2002 members from the class of AREC ’80 who were taking part in the faculty’s 50th anniversary celebrations decided to establish this fund. The class of AREC ’80 urges others to establish scholarship funds to celebrate a class reunion. As Rabih Talhouk explains, “If each one of us contributes even just a modest amount every year, we can make a difference.”
The Ohio Valley Chapter hosted a fondue dinner for 50 AUB alumni and friends in a private room at the Melting Pot Restaurant in Centerville, Ohio on May 2. The interactive dining experience featured group memory games and trivia contests with prizes for the winning tables and great fun for everyone.
The Montreal Chapter organized a visit to Montmorency Falls and the Ice Hotel in Quebec City on March 21 for a group of hardy alumni from the Montreal and Ottawa Chapters who were willing to brace the cold temperatures to celebrate a chilly spring. Everyone was grateful that the next gathering, a happy hour on May 26 at the Hotel Opus, was a slightly warmer affair.
Planning a picnic in Ottawa summers can be, in the best of times, an uncertain undertaking. Unlike the predictably warm and dry summers of our youth, torrential downpours and thunderstorms can ruin the best planned picnics. Not so for over 90 alumni and friends that gathered in the warm dappled sunlight of Vincent Massey Park on the shores of the Rideau River for the annual picnic of the Ottawa Chapter. An active game of racket ball here, a round robin game of backgammon games there, along with card games (primarily tarneeb), chess, badminton and some argeeleh after a healthy and delicious lunch made for a easy going dolce fahre niente on Saturday June 27. Some youngsters went off on their bikes to explore the park and the riparian shoreline while neighboring picnics entertained all within earshot with West African Highlife music and Caribbean Reggae—perhaps a bit too loudly at times for the more conversationally inclined gathering of AUBites on this lovely afternoon.
On June 5, AUB alumni, family, and friends from the Northern California Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area met at Waterfront Pizza for a Mediterranean meal, hearty conversations, and a chance to “Meet ‘N Greet” the recently elected board members. To find out about future events and get back in touch with some of the more than 500 graduates and their families who live in northern California, email the chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WAAAUB Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Alumni Chapter held a picnic on June 21 at the Washington Crossing State Park in New Jersey for about 50 AUB alumni, their families, and friends, including John and Sarah Waterbury. Chapter President Nasri S. Kawar welcomed the group and introduced the members of the Executive Committee: Asma Ghannam (BS ’82), vice president; Khalid Tabbarah (BS ’96, MD ’00), secretary; Peter Edde (BS ’96, MD ’00), treasurer; Aref Aref (BS ’65) and Samir Akruk (BS ’65) members-at large. A delightful Lebanese and American style picnic lunch was enjoyed by all. A raffle and silent auction were held for items of AUB memorabilia. The chapter looks forward to many more events that will bring the region’s alumni together including the annual banquet that will be held on November 14, 2009 at Carlucci’s Waterfront Restaurant in Mount Laurel, MD.
It’s hard not to be a tad envious of the Michigan Chapter and folks in the audience at the Northside Community Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 9. Members were treated to a concert by gifted pianist and AUB alumnus Walid Hourani, who performed pieces by Beethoven, Gelalian, and Ragtime by Albright. Following the performance, the members and guests of the Michigan Chapter had a chance to swap stories and reminisce about AUB.
The WAAAUB Dallas Chapter celebrated spring with a family picnic on Sunday, April 5 at Steeplechase Neighborhood Park in Plano, TX. Alumni and their families from around the metroplex enjoyed a windy day by flying kites and playing basketball and Frisbee. The children also enjoyed an Easter egg hunt and face painting. Good food and good company warmed up a chilly day attended by 85 adults and kids of three generations.
On March 9, AUB and the WAAAUB New York Metropolitan Chapter cosponsored a talk by AUB’s Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs Rami Khouri entitled, “From Daniel Bliss to Barack Obama: American Soft Power in the Middle East.” The event was a captivating account of American interests in the Middle East and was attended by over 150 alumni, Daniel Bliss Society (DBS) members, and friends. This lecture was generously cohosted by the Middle East and Middle East American Center (MEMEAC) of the City University of New York, and was a part of the AUB Daniel Bliss Society speaker series. For more on DBS membership and events, please contact AUB at email@example.com or (212) 583-7672.
More than 60 alumni and friends of the WAAAUB New York Metropolitan Chapter gathered for the third year at the Bryant Park Grill Restaurant, a wonderful spot in front of Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. The event aimed at bringing together AUB alumni and friends in the New York area and introducing new comers to the AUB community in the area. The chapter leadership is preparing other events this summer that they will announce on the chapter’s website at http://www.aub.edu/ymetalumnichapter
More than 23 men and women from the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) Near East Studies Class of 1968-69 gathered in Washington, DC over Memorial Day weekend. It was their second reunion since they left AUB and went their separate ways 40 years ago. Classmates Mary Neznek, Jeff Price, John Morrell and Carol Macadam teamed up to organize the three-day reunion of networking and guest speakers that provided many wonderful opportunities to reflect on shared memories and re-establish old friendships. Much of the weekend’s discussion focused on the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the last 40 years; at least half of the GLCA group has worked with issues involving the US role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The weekend’s speakers included former US Consul General in Jerusalem, Philip Wilcox; Grace Said, an active member of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace; and Jennifer Bing, the National Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Building Program for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization founded in 1917. The reunion was also joined by Landrum Bolling, former President of Earlham College and founder of the Great Lakes College Association and Professor Walid Khalidi, who taught Arab-West Relations to many members of the GLCA class in l968-69. Before they parted company on Sunday afternoon, the class commemorated their reunion by establishing an AUB scholarship for a student from Gaza studying in health sciences. The scholarship is in honor of Professor Anthony Bing, their former GLCA faculty adviser, a Shakespeare scholar who studied at Oxford and became the director of the Peace Studies Program at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Professor Bing directed a twenty year program in Peace Studies in Jerusalem and has made 34 trips to Palestine.
The Toronto Chapter organized a networking-focused seminar featuring motivational speaker Dave Howlett, at the Toronto Board of Trade on June 17, 2009. Chapter Vice President Lina Badih (BA ’97) welcomed the diverse and enthusiastic group of professionals who attended the seminar and urged them to participate in the chapter’s upcoming elections. During his presentation, Howlett offered advice about effective icebreakers and conversation starters, ways to build and reinforce relationships, and—most importantly—how to view others as “real human beings.” Dima Zreik (BBA ’98, MBA ’06) praised the event as did Jad Hreib (BE ’01). “Not only did I meet people from various domains and at different points in their careers, but the speaker was exceptionally talented and covered a subject that everybody was able to relate to.”
Save the Date
October 9–11, 2009
All North American Chapter Leaders and AUB Alumni
WAAAUB is pleased to announce the
Second North American Regional Gathering
Montreal, Canada | October 9-11, 2009
Hosted by the WAAAUB Montreal Chapter
The weekend will be an opportunity for North American alumni to come together to share memories and experiences and to socialize in true AUB style. There will also be time to learn more about WAAAUB and AUB, meet senior WAAAUB leadership from overseas, and for chapters to brainstorm and exchange ideas about their work-plans-successes.
Special hotel rates will be available at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont along with tours of Montreal's many attractions.
Please plan on coming to Montreal for what promises to be another memorable weekend for North American AUB alumni.
Director of Alumni Relations, New York
Tel. (212) 583-7674
Alumni Recently Published
Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond
(University of California Press, 2009)
by Anny Bakalian (BA ’73) and Mehdi Bozorgmehr
Bakalian and Bozorgmehr have written the first comprehensive analysis of the events that took place in the United States after September 11, 2001. Based on extensive fieldwork and interviews with community leaders, they trace how Middle Eastern and Muslim American community-based organizations in the United States responded to hate crimes, discrimination, and government policies while demonstrating “their commitment to the United States…and distancing themselves from the terrorists.
A Campus at War: Student Politics at the American University of Beirut 1967–1975
(Dar Nelson 2009)
by Makram Rabah (BA ’03, MA ’07)
A Campus at War recounts the genesis of student activism at AUB while emphasizing the university student council in the light of the political scene in Lebanon and the Middle East. The 1967 Arab Israeli War and the Palestinian Revolution certainly “energized student activism on campus”, but Rabah argues that despite common misperceptions that the AUB student council was nothing but a mirror of the Palestinian Revolution on campus—receiving its orders from outside campus and thus reflecting the policy of the Palestinian Liberation Movement (PLO) and its Lebanese allies—the student council’s actions in fact diverted from the latter at many points.
Economics: A Bilingual Approach
(Epiphaniou editions, 2008)
by Ioannis M. Violaris (BA ’78, WAAAUB Board Member)
Violaris’ bilingual English and Greek text covers all the traditional topics on micro and macro economics, enabling students to study the text in the language they are more fluent. The textbook uses diagrams and examples to explain economic theory in a direct and simple way. It explains all the basic theories and is illustrated with many diagrams and examples. Violaris is an associate professor of economics at the Frederick University in Cyprus and the dean of the School of Economic Sciences & Administration.
(Syracuse University Press, 2009)
by Nazik Saba Yared; translated by Nadine Sinno (BA ’98, MA’00)
Set during the Lebanese Civil War, the novel chronicles the splintering of the Al-Mukhtars, a Lebanese family whose love and trust for one another is strained by the mounting economic, social, and psychological tensions that surround them. As the once idealistic couple becomes increasingly isolated and disillusioned, the family battles the corrupting effects of war.
WAAAUB 2009 Election Results
Alumni from around the world overwhelmingly chose to vote electronically this year and we look forward to future elections being totally virtual. The WAAAUB Nominations Committee is delighted to announce the results of the 2009 elections:
WAAAUB Board of Directors
Mahmoud Abdul Baki (BE ’60, ME ’66), Lebanon
Samir Abou Jaoude (BS ’58), Lebanon
Muheiddin Doughan (BS ’80, MS ’82), Lebanon
Ricardo Karam (BS ’91), Lebanon
Abbas Khalaf (BA ’55), Lebanon
Khalil Makkawi (BA ’54), Lebanon
Maha Zabaneh (BA ’84), North America
At Large Member of WAAAUB Alumni Council
Leila Sami Alameddine (BA ’85, MMB ’88)
Hala Alayli (BBA ’06)
Hiba Talal Bitar (BE ’99, MEM ’05)
Tarik Nabih Bolbol (BBA ’05)
Firas Nazih Bou Diab (MEN ’05)
Ghina Sabra Dandan (BA ’90, MMB ’94)
Jihad Halaby (BBA ’96, MMB ’00)
Tony E. Harrouk (BEN ’91)
Lamia Husseiny (BA ’94)
Abdul Razzak Itani (BBA ’05)
Abdo Jurjus (BS ’72, MS ’74)
Lena Kelekian (BS ’81)
Tala Mahfouz (BBA ’04)
Iskandar Moussa (EE ’94)
Makram Rabah (BA ’03, MA ’07)
Christine Sabieh (BA ’82, MA ’86)
Alain Sabri (BS ’88, MD ’92)
Elie Salloum (BBA ’05)
Khaled M. Traboulsi (BS ’93)
Zeina Kardahji Zeidan (BS ’86, MPH ’91)
Nabil Z. Boulos (BEN ’66)
Roula Fakhoury-Harb (BA ’80)
Wadad El Husseiny (BA ’88, TD ’91)
Haya Mohammad Imam (BBA ’99)
Raja Afif Khouri (BA ’74)
Randa Nazmi Nabulsi (BSC ’77)
Elias Abou Samra (BA ’03)
Jihad Tayara (CCE ’96)
Roland Abi Nader (BEN ’02)
Hiba Al-Ali (BS ’83)
Fadia Elia-Estefan (BBA ’80)
Rana Hajjeh (BS ’84)
Nada S. Tamim (BA ’90)
Recent Graduate of WAAAUB Alumni Council
Fadi Shafic Shayya, Lebanon (MUD ’07)
Class Reunion 2009
Welcome back to the classes of 1954, `59, `64, `69, `74, `79, `84, `89, `94, `99 and 2004!
July 3-5, alumni from Lebanon, the Middle East and further afield brought their families to share in the joy of being back on campus with their old classmates. Huge crowds attending a variety of programs around campus and the Beirut environs. 600 guests packed into Assembly Hall to kick off the weekend at the ceremony honoring alumni celebrating their 25th and 50th reunions. The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying good company over shared meals at brunch in the cafeteria, at a gala in downtown Beirut’s Buddha Bar, and during a family outing to Baskinta village. Alumni rediscovered the campus (especially the Hostler Center and the AUB beach), tackled the playing field for a game of football, and listened to lively debates at the resurrected Speaker’s Corner. But nothing could compete with Arab diva Majida El Roumi’s benefit concert on the Green Field to a crowd of thousands. Proceeds benefitted the AUB Student Scholarship Fund. Several “reunion-ing” classes held their own mini-gatherings: graduates of 2004 danced the night away at Bubbles in the Palm Beach Hotel; alumni from 1984 had a festive dinner at La Posta.
For more pictures from Reunion 2009, click on "Alumni and Friends" at www.aub.edu.lb.
“It was surely my time at AUB that established for me a vital perspective about the world and societies around us…I am honored that I can return here to celebrate what a special place this is and to do so with my fellow alumni.”
—AUB Trustee H.E. Leila Sharaf, addressing her classmates at the 50th class reunion ceremony
Celebrating Who We Are
“I am excited to be attending my 25th Class Reunion. My years at AUB taught me to be open to others, to appreciate differences in cultures and values and–last but not least–to analyze and critically evaluate situations. This is the knowledge that we all as AUB alumni share and value.”
—Mohamad Hout (BA, `84), chairman-director general of Middle East Airlines-Air Liban, addressing classmates at the 25th class reunion ceremony
During reunion, Dean Ibrahim Hajj (FEA '64) and his wife Rosangela invited his reunion classmates to a dinner at their home...on a terrace overlooking the concert given by Majida El Roumi on the Green Field, no less! The class surprised Dean Hajj by presenting him with a plaque naming a laboratory in the forthcoming engineering building for the Class of 1964 in his honor. The class raised most of the $100,000 for this naming opportunity prior to the dinner.
“Our class enjoyed a wonderful dinner, serenaded by the sounds of Majida El Roumi on campus. Being in Beirut, meeting with old friends, reminiscing about stories we hadn't heard in years, and looking forward to our next gathering, that's what Reunion was about."
Faculty of Medicine Class of 1959
WAAAUB President HE Khalil Makkawi welcomed Drs. Faruk Abuzzahab, Maurice Barudi, Adel Birbari, Alexander Geha, Raif Jaber, Samir Jahshan, Riad Khalifeh, Anwar Radwan, Michel Rubeiz, Alexander Sadik, Samir G. Salamoun, Antoun Salem, Caesar Shediac, and Wadi Suki—all members of the Faculty of Medicine Class of 1959—to a ceremony honoring them on April 22. Then VP and Dean Nadim Cortas, who is also an MD ’59 graduate, spoke for everyone when he thanked the group of distinguished physicians for “making a difference in the lives of people all over the world.” The event was a long-delayed—and much anticipated—reunion for some of these men who had not seen each other for many years, and an occasion to remember those who couldn’t be with them on this special day.
“I liked the orientation program done at both campuses for us to view the improvements that had been made at AUB, and to remind us of the times that we spent at this amazing institution, founded some 150 years ago...
Indeed, I prided myself in front of my two sons, on having been a previous student at AUB!”
—Sonia Dakessian Kastanian