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 Class Notes
 In Memoriam
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Class Notes

Victor Aramouni (BA ’48) writes that since his retirement in 2000 after serving 50 years as the director of the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Program with Comptoir Agricole du Levant, he has become an author. He has published two books: Khatawat Insaniat in June 2000 and Hikayat Muzareen in May 2002. Each had book signings under the auspices of HE President Emile Lahoud and HE Minister of Agriculture Ali Abdalla respectively. Aramouni also reports that his six children—three boys and three girls—are all enjoying great professional success.

Farid Haddad (BA ’41, MD ’48) published a new book, Twoscore and Ten Years of Urology, which takes a critical look at prostrate cancer and introduces new urological concepts such as bladder efficiency, annual doubling rates of tumors, effects of cystectomy on urine volume, and orchidoma. Haddad, author of more than 1,136 articles and 52 books, resides in Arizona. For book ordering information, please contact Haddad at

Peter Teel, MD (YAB ’46-48), son of a former faculty member, recalls the years his family lived on campus as among his happiest. He returned to Beirut for the first time in September 2002 after having left for the US in 1948. Teel writes he was warmly greeting by the Visitors Bureau and Associate Director of Development Sadik Al-Assa’d. He noted that “Beirut has, of course, changed greatly since 1948. AUB has changed, outwardly at least, somewhat less…; the beautiful flowers, shrubbery, and trees; the AUB beach and athletic field; the campus cats; and the beautiful views over the sea.” He notes that he is proud to be an AUBite and to see how well AUB has prospered, especially during
difficult times.

Nadim H. Shwayri (BA ’56;
MA ’59) writes that he has devoted his life to public service and charity. Upon graduation, he left a lucrative position at a financial company to devote his life and fortune to serving the poor and destitute. At the age
of 21 he started a small leather factory in one of the slums of Beirut in which he employed the handicapped of the neighborhood in the area. By 1972 the company grew to 170 employees, all handicapped, delivering quality leather goods to 10 American and European destinations. Shwayri’s mission is to prove that any person, regardless of a handicap, can be productive and contribute to economic wealth for society when given the training and opportunity. “Potentials, not Handicaps” became the mission statement of AL-KAFAAT. For his community work, he received the Order of the Cedars, the highest distinction from the President of the Republic in 1972. AL-KAFAAT has now developed into a foundation and in 46 years has served over 23,000 handicapped and socially disadvantaged members of Lebanese society. Shwayri writes that his elder daughter, Roula, earned her fellowship in pediatric neurology at AUBMC in 1998 and practices with her neuropediatrician husband Michel Fayad (MD ’84) at Children’s Hospital, Harvard University. His fourth child, Myriam (BE ’96), is currently the director of Communications and Public Relations of the AL-KAFAAT Foundation.

May Rihani (BA ’68), a member of the AANA Board of Directors, received the prestigious Said Aqkl Award in September 2002. The award ceremony was held at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut. Syndicate President Mohammad Baalbaki spoke about Ms. Rihani’s literary work and highlighted her achievements as the continuation of a rich tradition that began with her uncle, Ameen Rihani. Said Aqkl then discussed the many dimensions of Ms. Rihani: the poet, literary figure, and the professional woman who works in international education development. He also stressed her important “unofficial” role as “ambassador” of Lebanon in the United States through her efforts in promoting Lebanon’s unique cultural heritage.

After more than 20 years with the division of reproductive health at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States Hani Atrash (BS ’72, MD ’76) joined the National Center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities at CDC as an associate director for Program Development in July 2002, after more than 20 years with the Division of Reproductive Health at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States. He writes that while this is a new challenge, it is also a great
professional opportunity.

Eileen Hadidian (BA ’72), a musician who plays the recorder, flute, and harp, was awarded grants from the East Bay Community Foundation and the Institute of Noetic Sciences for bringing healing music to hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using a combination of Medieval, Renaissance, and Celtic music, she and her musical partner, harpist Natalie Cox, create a peaceful sound environment, which promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety during stressful hospital stays and procedures. You can find out more about their work on their web site,


Nawriz Kardan (BS ’72), who majored in geology as an undergraduate, writes that he left the discipline long ago and is in marketing and administration. He worked with Royal Jordanian Airlines for 18 years and is now human resources manager with Aldeasa/Jordan Airports Duty Free Shops, a Spanish company. He notes that the late geology department Chair Ziad Baydoun was not only a great professional mentor, but was “the most humane and understanding person I ever met.” He notes that AUB taught him so many things that aided his career. “AUB is not just a University for acquiring knowledge, but also teaches one how to deal with life after the University.”

Leon G. Partamian (BS ’73, MD ’78), a board certified ophthalmologist, has been elected chief of staff of Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Woodland Hills, California for a two-year term. He has been in private practice and a member of the hospital staff since 1985. At Northridge Hospital, he has served as Division of Ophthalmology chair, Library Committee chair, Department of Surgery chair, and vice president of the medical staff.

Thelma Tajirian (BA ’78) has been in the US working in banking since 1978, and has been with Wells Fargo Bank for the last 18 years. Tajirian took a six-month paid leave of absence in the fall of 2002 and traveled to Yerevan, Armenia, to start the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. Working with the American University of Armenia and the Armenian International Women’s Association, classes ran from September to December, and finished with a business plan competition. The program was such a success that plans are underway to continue and expand throughout Armenia over the next three years. She also serves on the board of the Armenian International Women’s Association in San Francisco.

Award-winning New York-based fashion designer Reem Acra (BBA ’82), received much recognition for her designs dur ing the fall of 2002. Wedding Dresses Magazine named her the Designer of the Year (for the second consecutive year) as well as the Best Designer in the Glamour category. A Reem Acra wedding gown was chosen by the bride on the Oprah Winfrey show’s dream wedding episode, which aired in November. For the second year in a row, viewers voted for a Reem Acra bridal gown to be worn for the NBC Today show wedding, which is watched by nine million viewers.

Lina Jazi Barbar (BSEH ’89), member of the AANA Board of Directors and Houston Chapter president, writes that her company, Environmental Consulting Services, Inc. (ECS), was recognized by the Houston 100 as being one of the fastest growing companies in the area. The current 2002 rank for ECS is No. 36, up from No. 81 in 2001, and No. 87 in 2000. AUB alumnus Oussama H. Barbar is the co-owner of ECS, which is based in Houston and Dallas and provides nationwide environmental services.

Samer Dibs (BS ’85, MD ’89)
of Chicago, IL married Ghada Jawdeh on July 20, 2002 in Zahleh, Lebanon. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Rami Al-Khal (BBA ’80) writes that following a four-year retirement, he is back at work part-time at the Al-Khal Printers printing press in Beirut, that he owns but his brother has been managingr. Al-Khal plans to spend his time sea-side traveling and teaching scuba driving, saying the “sea is my life.” In 2002 Al-Khal took to the road to visit Kenya, Tanzania, and Senegal. A supporter of AUB, Al-Khal has donated a Handicapped Study Carrel at Jafet Library.

Patrick Kupelian (BS ’85, MD ’89) joined MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando in October as a radiation oncologist. He specializes in genitourinary and urologic malignancies. Kupelian completed his residency at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and had a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hadia Zuheir Shbaklo (BS ’94, MS ’96) received a PhD degree in pharmacology from Sherbrooke University (Canada) in 2001. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and works in the field of molecular genetics at the Genetics Research Laboratory
of the Chronic Care Center (Hazmieh, Lebanon). Rola, her sister (BA ’96, MS ’01) has been working at the General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi-UAE) as a population specialist since July 2001.

Sari Haddad (BME ’00) is now working at Banque Audi’s headquarters in Bab Idriss. She writes that MainGate is a great way for AUBites to stay connected.

Zeina Zuheir Shbaklo (BA ’02), the youngest of the three Shbaklo sisters, obtained a degree in public administration and is currently a graduate student in the Public Health Program, specializing in hospital management and policy.