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 AUB News
  Women and AUB
 The Elements of Design
  Developing Technologies
  The Roots Run Deep
  CAMS: Fast Track to Prominence
  Avenue of Exchange
  Campaign Update
 Alumni Profile
 Alumni Activities
 Class Notes
 In Memoriam
  Previous Issues

AUB News

Reflections on Critical Thinking at Founders’ Day
You, the students of AUB, receive some of
the best knowledge our region can offer. As students, now is the time to acquire some of those faculties of cognitive, deductive, analytical, and comparative thinking that will enable you to set trends—not merely follow them—throughout your lives. Now is the time to decide that you will think outside of the box…You are the vanguard of the coming Arab generation that will be challenged to help shape, and adapt to, the new politics and new economies of the 21st century,” said Keynote Speaker Rima Khalaf Hunaidi (BS ’76) in
her address.

Strong and inspiring words marked the December 2002 Founders’ Day Ceremony. The ceremony’s theme this
year was critical thinking.

Darine Abdelahad, a third year computer and communications engineering major, read her award-winning essay on the values of critical thinking. She defined a critical mind as one that has a “skeptical awareness of the world” without being excessively negative and that regards truth as “endlessly dynamic and refuses immutable packaged doctrines.” Abdelahad concluded, “Critical thinking, as fostered at AUB, does not only enhance students’ personalities from an academic point of view, but also promotes their consciousness as citizens and parents.” President Waterbury handed her the $500 prize and a copy of the UNDP Arab Human Development Report, noting that the latter was more valuable.

Assistant UN Secretary General and Regional Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States Rima Khalaf Hunaidi followed with a rousing address. “To me, critical thinking is associated most of all with risk taking, creativity, and constructive dissatisfaction with the status quo. The founders of our great University would have understood this very well in their own time.” She made acute observations on the Arab World and asked students to make a commitment to be the region’s leaders for the 21st century: “So, as Arab citizens, be ready to claim and fill that public space to which you are entitled but which our societies do not readily offer. Be curious about how you are governed, ask questions about your rights and exercise them to the full…We also need you to keep the hope for liberation and Arab unity alive and turn it from dream to reality.”

President Waterbury Awarded Honorary Doctorate
by American University in Cairo

On February 6 President Waterbury delivered the keynote address and received an Honorary Degree
of Doctor of Humane Letters at AUC’s 81st midyear

Dr. Waterbury advised the graduating students “to plan their future with humility and always be open to chance and opportunity.” He reflected on his own personal experiences, explaining how signing up for a beginning Arabic class as an undergraduate at Princeton University shaped his life and career. “Forty-five years ago I made a decision that changed my life and I am here today.” He advised students, “Your education here has been an opportunity and a privilege that creates responsibilities, though it may take time to recognize that.”

He said of AUC and AUB, “We are American institutions, inspired by the values that have made American higher education great, but our roots go deep into the fertile soil of the Nile Valley and into the majestic mountains of Lebanon.”

AUBMC Named Best Regional Medical Center
AUBMC received the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for the Best Medical College Institute or Center in the Arab World on October 21 in Dubai. Dr. Nadim Cortas, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Faculty of Medicine, accepted the award on behalf of all past and present medical faculty, staff, and students who made the honor possible.

International Exchange with George Washington University Established

AUB recently entered into a formal agreement for the exchange of graduate students with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, DC. In effect since August, the agreement permits graduate students from GWU to study at AUB, and AUB graduate students to study at GWU. Peter Leddy of Washington, the first GWU student to benefit
from the program, studied at AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern studies during the first semester of 2002-03. A second exchange student from GWU, Babylonia Marcus, arrived on campus in February. The agreement covers admissions procedures, administration, coursework, research collaboration, faculty exchange, visas, financial arrangements, housing, and health insurance. The Eliott School will accept nine hours of coursework completed at AUB toward its master’s degree in international studies. AUB will determine which courses of the Elliott School will be accepted for academic credit in its various graduate programs.

Peter Leddy said he was fortunate to be able to study in his field in an actual Middle East setting and hopes he took full advantage of the opportunity. “I met interesting people, got to travel, and studied under the people I’d read about in the US.” Leddy, who cited scholars like Professors Judith Harik, Nizar Hamzeh, and Farid el Khazen, found the variety of courses available in the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration particularly stimulating. Leddy will finish his master’s degree in the spring semester at GWU by satisfying Arabic language proficiency requirements and completing his thesis project in conflict resolution in collaboration with the United States Institute for Peace.

FHS Heading up AIDS Prevention Program in the Arab World

The Health Education and Resource Unit (HERU) in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) recently began a regional project, Incorporating Reproductive and Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention in Youth Programs in the Arab Region, funded by
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project aims to enhance the capacity of existing community based organizations involved in reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness efforts targeted at Arab youth. Current project activities include providing assistance to trainers on program design and evaluation, peer education, communication techniques, and material development. The project also provides training for management staff and health care providers in youth clinics. HERU will implement some of these activities and sub-contract others to consulting organizations.

In order to expand partnerships and networking among a wider range of youth—related organizations, HERU hosted the first regional planning meeting for the project on December 2 and 3, 2002. Nineteen participants attended from various regional offices including the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Ministry of Health in Tunis, the International Planned Parenthood Association, and the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations represented by the Lebanese Medical Student International Committee.

Citibank Team Leads Banking Seminar
Citibank, N.A. hosted a seminar, Commercial Banking Products and Risks in Emerging Economies, for graduate students in the School of Business. The program was part of the graduate school’s credited curriculum program courses that analyze contemporary financial issues. Organized by Citibank 30-year officer Art Grandy as well as other representatives including Senior Vice President and Head of Global Country Risk Management Douglas Smee, the team presented contemporary financial issues and case studies to students. Elia Samir Samaha, Citibank’s general manager for Lebanon, said the seminar was an important introduction to banking, and School of Business Dean George Najjar commented that the program bridged the gap between the corporate and academic worlds. Citibank has been a longtime supporter of AUB and the team noted that the University has been an important recruitment source for the bank.

The Results are In! Student Elections Deemed a Success
At the ninth consecutive elections for Student Representative Committees (SRCS) held on November 4, 2002, 243 candidates competed for 92 positions after two weeks of tough campaigning. In subsequent elections 17 students were elected to the University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) where they will serve with seven faculty members with President Waterbury as chair. The elections were supervised by a committee headed by Dean of Student Affairs Maroun Kisirwani, who described the process as “democratic.”

President’s Club Honors Members at Marquand House Reception
The President’s Club frequently organizes receptions to honor the efforts of its members and introduce prospective members to the activities of the club and this year was no exception. Members and special guests gathered at the Marquand House gardens on October 23 for a special evening. AUB President John Waterbury and Leila Baroody,
chairperson of the President’s Club, greeted guests, while students from the Visitors Bureau distributed AUB planners and programs.

Mrs. Baroody addressed the audience by recounting the many projects and activities the President’s Club funds to increase the quality of student life. The next speaker was an AUB student, who expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to the members for their generosity, noting that the new air conditioners in Kerr Hall donated by the club are a great comfort. Throughout the speeches, a slide presentation displayed the many projects funded by the club. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a delicious buffet donated by Bechara Nammour at a table decorated with flowers from Samar Khayat of Garden City. The soothing sounds of a student musical ensemble made the evening complete.

Moore Photography Collection Captures Campus Life a Century Ago
Franklin T. Moore arrived at AUB in 1891 and soon afterward began photographing the campus. His photos show the buildings of upper campus in various states of completion, the Lee Observatory, Dodge Hall before its extension, and the Assembly Hall.

The AUB Art Center digitally transformed the old negatives for the exhibition of Moore’s work in Issam Fares Hall in December. Restoring and preserving these historic photos that were discovered abandoned 50 years ago and were neglected for years after was a time-consuming job. The images have now been digitalized and stored in the AUB archives. Among those who helped restore the
collection were Raif Nassif, Marwan
El-Sabban, Arno Jihanian, and Cesar Namour
of the AUB Art Center, along with AUBMC photographers Antoine Sarrou and Hasan Nisr, Special Collections Archivist Asma Fathallah, and Director of Information and Public Relations Ibrahim Khoury. Print copies can be purchased at the Visitors Bureau.

AUB’s Self-Made Marathon Man Runs in Las Vegas
Ibrahim Itani, distinguished athlete and member of the medical supply staff, participated in
the Las Vegas International Marathon on February 2. “Thanks to AUB President John Waterbury, a good runner himself, the University sponsored my trip,” says Itani.

Itani finished 7th in the 30 to 35 year old
category and 97th place overall. The weather was against the runners, with harsh winds of 45 mph. “It was a tough run, but I finished,” says Itani. “I can still taste the sand!”

The 33-year old Itani has been an accomplished runner since childhood and has
participated in 12 international marathons.
His greatest success to date was ranking 14th among 23,000 runners in the Berlin International Marathon. Itani ran in the New York Marathon in 1999 and placed 7th in the 30-year age group. Upon his return, he gave one of his medals to AUB President John Waterbury. He hopes to compete for Lebanon in the 2004 Olympic games.

Unlike many professional runners who enjoy sponsorship from their government or corporations, Itani must work full time to support himself and his sport. His schedule does not permit much time for training. To stay competitive, Itani runs a total of 160 km every week and follows a strict diet in order to keep in shape. He also competes in many marathons at his own expense.

US Congressional Task Force on Campus
During a tour of the region, the US Congressional Task Force on Lebanon delegation visited campus on November 12, 2002. The delegation, composed of assistants to congressmen from different states in the US
as well as staff members of the House Committee on International Relations, were greeted by AUB deans and administrators. The visit included a meeting with representatives of congress and AUB, as well as a campus tour guided by students from the Visitors

“Dynamic” Workshop at CAMS
Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS) organized a workshop on Dynamics and its Application that was attended by mathematicians from around the world. Provost Peter Heath, French Cultural Attache Joel Lascaux, Viviane Baladi from the Institut Mathematique de Jussier in Paris, and CAMS Director Ali Chamseddine spoke at the panel. However, it was not all work and no play as CAMS organized trips to Harissa and Byblos for participants, ending with a dinner by
the sea.

Regional Meeting at Jafet Library
Librarians from the Arab world gathered at Jafet Library on October 30 for an event aimed at strengthening ties between colleagues. On the agenda was a tour of the library and an overview of its services for students and the academic community. Many noted the high quality of electronic resources and the library collections. Guests included International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions President Christine Deschamps and Arab Federation of Libraries and Information President Walid Gdoura.

Getting the Scoop: Journalists’ Workshop
The Reuters Foundation held a workshop at the Reuters Newsroom in the School of Business for 15 journalists from different countries in the Middle East. The session, Writing and Producing TV, stressed different approaches and techniques in emphasizing TV news, along with the practical aspects of research, writing, camera, and editing.

Recently Named Scholarship Funds Will Assist Needy Students
Two named scholarship funds were established in 2002. The first was from AUB
alumnus Shafic Melhem Shabshab, who received a BA in business administration in 1937. Sixty-six years later, he generously acknowledged his Alma Mater by making a gift of $500,000 to the scholarship program for needy and qualified Lebanese students. Shabshab joined AUB in the early forties in the Office of the Hospital Comptroller. Later on, Shabshab moved to the Department of Internal Audit where he stayed until his retirement in 1977. In 1979, Shabshab volunteered to help out at the Office of Development and continued to work there for more than a decade, free of charge. This scholarship fund will be named the Shafic Melhem Shabshab Endowed Scholarship Fund. Dr. Waterbury expressed his gratitude for Shabshab’s
loyalty, confidence, and generosity.
To honor the memory of Antoine Hamra (BE ’77), who passed away in August, a new endowed scholarship fund has been established through the efforts of his classmates, friends, and relatives, particularly Ramzi Kteily, Hamra’s brother-in-law and former President of the AUB Alumni Association, Abu Dhabi Branch. With generous donations from Samir Rashed, Najib Hamra, Elie Salloum, Ava Khanoyan, Sami Sidawi, and Ramzi Kteily, $30,000 was raised. The AUB Engineering and Architecture Alumni Chapter made a gift of $1,000 and pledged to contribute the same amount annually to this fund.

The newly established Antoine Hamra Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund will assist needy and qualified students from Marja’youn, the birthplace of the late Hamra. Additional funds will be solicited from his classmates, business associates, and generous donors from the Marja’youn area. For more information, contact the Office of Development at or 961-1-340176.