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Winter 2007 Vol. V, No. 2

Alumni Happenings

Middle East

Abu Dhabi Chapter
October 5: The chapter held a suhur night at the Abu Dhabi Forces Officers Club, where AUB alumni and friends gathered to enjoy the food, smoke shisha, and play games and cards until the early hours of the morning.
October 9: Director of Admissions Salim Kanaan, in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Chapter, held an “open session” at the Abu Dhabi Sheraton Hotel for prospective students.
November 21: Dr. Mouna Fayyad gave a lecture at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation on “sectarianism versus nationalism.”
December 8: The Abu Dhabi Alumni Chapter organized a ‘Day Out’ at the Emirates Palace where many AUB alumni and their families enjoyed a day of outdoor activities.

Dubai and Northern Emirates 
The AUB Alumni Association Dubai and Northern Emirates has done it again! Its donation in 2004 was the single largest donation ever made to AUB by an alumni group in a single year, and this year they matched it again. Representing the association, Treasurer Yasser El-Hajj presented a $500,000 check to Acting President George Tomey, Provost Peter Heath, and Director of Development Imad Baalbaki in College Hall. Other members of the Dubai Committee leadership include President Raja Trad, Vice President Najat Zarour, and Secretary Amer Bibi. Since 1998, the AUB Alumni Association Dubai and Northern Emirates has donated more than $2.25 million dollars to the University.
The Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni Association decided to allocate its $500,000 gift as follows: $350,000 to the Dubai and Northern Emirates Endowed Scholarship and the remaining $150,000 to the Dubai and Northern Emirates Current Scholarship to be awarded to needy and deserving students in the 2006-07 academic year. The money raised by the Dubai alumni is the result of yet another successful year of social, cultural, and fundraising activities that included a spectacular gala dinner in Dubai in May under the theme “Together We Build Lives”—a theme that is particularly appropriate when the event’s proceeds are earmarked for financial aid.

Eastern Province - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Chapter members recently met with the managing board and owners of NAPCO (National Paper Products Company) to discuss issues regarding extension programs, the Executive MBA program, and seminars to be held in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon for their employees. AUB Director of Admissions Dr. Salim Kanaan attended the meeting which ended with the chairman of NAPCO presenting AUB with a check for 50,000 SR for AUB’s Scholarship Fund.
The chapter also met with a former ARAMCO employee who plans to involve AUB in an agreement with the ARAMCO Executive Vice President on petroleum engineering.
Oct 5: Lebanese MP Bahia Hariri was the guest of honor at a suhur night (“Al-Khobar”) attended by more than 550 AUB alumni of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and their friends. Dr. Salim Kanaan updated alumni on AUB’s aid efforts during the recent war in Lebanon, providing specific information about initiatives undertaken by AUB and AUBMC for the affected communities. MP Hariri spoke about the difficulties the Lebanese have been facing in rebuilding the country, as well as the Hariri Foundation’s role in supporting more than 30,000 students who are pursuing degrees in higher education. The proceeds from the event benefited the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia Scholarship Fund at AUB, which has paid the tuition of six students in various faculties.

Greece Chapter
Around 250 alumni and friends attended the AUB Alumni Association Greece Chapter’s annual gala dinner at the luxurious Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel. Master of Ceremony Rana Labban Mhanna (BS ‘97) led the program which included speeches by Huda Shashaa Khalidi (BA ‘65), president of the Greece Chapter, VP Steve Jeffrey, and Lebanese Ambassador (and AUB parent) HE William Habib. Huda Khalidi stressed the importance of financial aid by relating a story about a classmate who would not have been able to continue her studies had she not received a scholarship. VP Jeffrey spoke about AUB’s new alumni association and the current fundraising campaign. He mentioned in particular the CCC gift to establish a new Scientific Research Building. Both Khalidi and Jeffrey expressed special thanks and appreciation to Hassib Sabbagh, Said Khoury, and the CCC family for their strong support for AUB. Ambassador Habib spoke about AUB’s role in Lebanon and the region and the values of freedom and truth that it

instills. The evening’s activities included a film, dinner, dancing, and a raffle. All proceeds of the event will benefit the Greece Alumni scholarship funds that will be used to help needy and bright AUB students.

Europe

UK Chapter
The AUB Alumni Association UK elected a new Board of Directors in October 2006. The leadership of the new board is as follows:
Talal Farah, chairman (BA ‘62, MA ’70), Hisham El Solh, vice chairman (BA ’61),
David Abdo, treasurer (BAr ’85),
Carla Harrak-May, secretary (BBA ’02),
Maya Abou Zeid (BA ’02),
Bassam Fattouh (BA ’95),
Mona Al-Khatib (BA ’80),
Zeina Nazer (BE ’98), and
Randa (Khayyat) Pettifor (BS ’80)

North America

Cardiology Chapter
The gathering of AUB alumni cardiologists took place at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago on November 12 when several AUBites got together at Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House, just off Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile. Attendees enjoyed an evening of delicious food and great company. This event built on the successes of previous gatherings of AUB alumni cardiologists, the first of which also took place in Chicago, at the American College of Cardiology meeting in March 2003.
Those interested in future meetings of AUB alumni cardiologists and other activities of the professional chapter for AUB alumni cardiologists should e-mail Dr. Samer Dibs at samerdibsmd@yahoo.com or Eva Klimas at klimas@aub.edu.

Michigan Chapter
November 12, 2006: The Michigan Chapter of the AUB Alumni Association was pleased to present a concert by the international renowned Lebanese pianist Waleed Howrani to benefit the American University Medical Emergency Fund (MEF).  Howrani generously contributed his artistic talents in support of Lebanon and the ongoing relief efforts.
A highlight of Howrani’s recital was the performance of one of his own compositions, “Exotica for Saxophone and Piano,” which was inspired by the events in Lebanon, and “juxtaposed tragedy and festivity” according to a review in The Washington Post following its world premiere at the Kennedy Center. Joining him on the saxophone was prize-winning soloist, Daniel Loudenback. Other compositions included popular works by Chopin and Mozart; the event culminated with Liszt’s dazzling Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. About 70 people attended the event, which raised a little over $5,000 for the MEF. The chapter was delighted that the Consul of Lebanon from Detroit, Michigan, Bachir Twak, was able to attend the concert.

Midwest Chapter
The Midwest Chapter in Chicago hosted its annual banquet on September 30 at the same time as it held new elections. Outgoing president Dr. Issa Muasher spoke about his good feelings towards AUB, while newly elected president Dr. Ara Tekian updated the more than 80 people in attendance about the tragic events that had occurred during the 33-day war in July. He emphasized the important role that AUB had played and provided an update about the status of many projects at AUB and the progress that has been made so far. The event was a great success!

Atlanta Chapter
On Sunday December 3, 2006, the Atlanta Chapter had a family style brunch at Ray’s Brickoven Restaurant in Roswell, Georgia. AUB alumni and friends got together to celebrate AUB’s 140th anniversary. Chapter President Nadine Chamseddine thanked the attendees, auctioned lunch coupons, and distributed souvenirs. It was a great celebration of AUB’s anniversary.

Greater Washington and Baltimore Chapters
The Greater Washington and Baltimore Chapters celebrated AUB’s 140 Founders’ Day on Monday, December 4 at the French International School in Bethesda, Maryland. Around 120 alumni and friends of AUB shared their memories of AUB and watched a documentary, “Memories of Ras Beirut, Wish You Were Here”, as well as a short film about the University. Chapter Presidents Mrs. Zaynab Yafi Shatila and Dr. Elias Ghandour welcomed the guests and thanked the volunteers who donated their time, effort, and food. AANA President Dr. Hikmat Nasr briefed the audience on the activities of the University this past year and updated them on the establishment of the WAAAUB. In addition to enjoying great food and wine, guests were very pleased to receive souvenirs commemorating AUB’s 140th anniversary.

Ottawa Chapter
December 9: The Ottawa Chapter celebrated the 140th anniversary of AUB with a sold-out dinner at the historic Lord Elgin Hotel under the auspices of the Lebanese Ambassador to Ottawa, HE Mr. Baaklini.
The evening featured an extensive program that showcased the talents of some chapter members and the children of chapter members. It began with an a cappella performance of the AUB anthem by Maria Ghazzaoui, and went on to include poetry readings by alumni authors Nouhad Hammad and Fatima Sadek, engaging story telling by alumnus Rafic Ashcar, young dancers Rima Moussalli and Marya Zarkout (daughters of Elie Moussalli and Bassam Zarkout respectively), and young cellist Ruqayyah Bobatt.
A documentary about AUB and a presentation by Chapter Vice President Fadi Otary sparked conversation throughout the evening.
Distinguished guests included representatives from two Canadian universities: Dr. Danielle Morin and Dr. Wahab (Concordia University) and Mr. Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer (Carleton University). Toronto Chapter President Maha Zabaneh and Montreal Chapter President Mona Ghazzaoui also attended the event. The evening’s keynote speaker was Paul Kingston, assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
Guests left with gifts commemorating AUB’s 140th anniversary and the words of Chapter President Nada Tamim as mementos of this enjoyable evening: “May this institution remain a beacon of light, one of hope but most importantly, a promise for the future, seeded in youthful hearts for years and generations to come. Our homework tonight is to make sure this message is passed on, despite our distance from campus.”

Midwest Chapter
December 17: Under the new leadership of Dr. Ara Tekian, the chapter organized a Christmas luncheon to celebrate the 140th Anniversary of AUB. This was a wonderful opportunity for alumni to get together and reminisce about their time at AUB. Dr. Serge DeBustros was the first to express his gratitude and reflect about his education and experiences, reminding everyone that their success in the United States was the result of the high quality education and training that they acquired at AUB. Almost everyone in attendance told stories that made the afternoon quite interesting and—at times—emotional. To round out this family-oriented event, a magician entertained the children. Building on this very successful event, the chapter is planning a major function in 2007 to celebrate their beloved alma mater’s fourteen decades of achievements!

Toronto Chapter
Nov. 24: The ballroom at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Toronto was abuzz with festivities as more than 120 Toronto AUB alumni and friends gathered to celebrate AUB’s 140th anniversary and the holiday season. The event was a celebration with a scrumptious meal, live entertainment and dancing to the beats of the band of Ali Al-Kurdi, a documentary on AUB, lots of door prizes, and many opportunities for guests to network. The primary reason that everyone came, however, was to celebrate AUB.
The theme of the gala was reflected in the evening’s keynote speech by the president of the committee, Maha Zabaneh, who called on alumni to keep up AUB’s “spirit of determination.” She noted in her talk that 95 percent of AUB students and faculty returned for the fall semester despite the recent strife in Lebanon. Zabaneh urged everyone to stay positive assuring the audience that “we pulled through before and will pull through again.”

Canadian Member of Parliament Omar Alghabra also dropped by the gala to show his support for the alumni community.

Next steps for the Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut (WAAAUB)

The AUB Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a new alumni organization for the University—the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB (WAAAUB)—in June 2006. MainGate met with Dr. Thomas Morris, chairman of the Board of Trustees, to find out more about the WAAAUB.

How have AUB alumni reacted to this new association?

Dr. Morris (TQM): The overall reaction has been positive. Some people have had concerns regarding the implementation process and want assurances that each chapter will continue to be independent and have a voice. In fact, that independence will continue and each chapter will have a voice through the new Alumni Council. Most alumni I have been in contact with are enthusiastic and optimistic about the establishment of a single worldwide organization.

How is the University’s relationship with individual chapters going to change as a result of the WAAAUB?

TQM: The goal of this new association is to provide each chapter with better access to existing university resources and to AUB alumni, and to do this in a more organized and visible fashion. We want our alumni to become aware of available programs, like those that provide employment opportunities and educational experiences. The on-line community already improves communication between alumni and chapters. We hope that through the worldwide association the University will establish even stronger relationships with chapters and alumni. In terms of support, chapters will have direct access to the University through its offices in Beirut and New York. In the last year, AUB has more than doubled the number of staff devoted to alumni relations; we have increased other resources as well.

How can WAAAUB be both independent and part of the University?

TQM: The WAAAUB will be independent because it will have its own administrative structure and its own officers. The members of the Board of Directors who will be elected by the alumni will be independent. They’ll formulate the association’s programmatic initiatives. Each chapter’s independence won’t change at all. The WAAAUB will, however, provide chapters with the potential to have a voice in the affairs of a worldwide alumni organization, which is something they have not had in the past.

How is the leadership going to be structured, and how will alumni worldwide be represented?

TQM: There will be an Alumni Council that will include chapter presidents worldwide, as well as a number of at-large members, and three young alumni. The Alumni Association will also have a 15-member Board of Directors. Three alumni will be elected to sit on the AUB Board of Trustees, which actually already includes many alumni. This is going to give alumni an additional voice in University affairs. It’s an elaborate and extensive nomination and balloting process. We’ll have worldwide elections in which all alumni will be able to participate. In January we sent an e-mail to all alumni asking for nominations. We plan to mail ballots on May 15 and hope that the new Alumni Council and Board of Directors will convene for the first time in fall 2007.

Governance Structure: WAAAUB Board of Directors:

15 members elected by alumni Board elects its Executive Committee (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer)

WAAAUB Council:

130 Members who are:
- All current chapter presidents (total 58)
- At-large members from diverse geographic regions elected by alumni (total 69)
- Three recent graduates elected by alumni
The Chair of the Council is elected by Council members

Calendar of events for nominations and votes in 2007:

January Call for nominations e-mailed to alumni
March 1 Deadline for nominations
May 15 Paper ballots sent to alumni
June Results announced
October 1 New WAAAUB leadership takes office

WAAAUB CALL for NOMINATIONS

The governance structure of the new association includes both an Alumni Council and a Board of Directors.  All alumni are asked to suggest candidates for these two bodies, as well as alumni candidates for nominees to the AUB Board of Trustees.  A six-member Nominating Committee made up of AUB alumni will select the names of the candidates that will appear on the ballots.
We are looking for diverse candidates with strong ties with AUB alumni, a commitment to the University, and a desire to make the WAAAUB a success!

Do you know of a candidate or would you like to be candidate? 

Please send the following information:
- Name
- Contact Information (phone, email)
- Year of graduation and degree(s) earned
- A brief statement explaining why he/she is a good candidate

to the email address:  waaaub@aub.edu.lb
Deadline for submissions is March 1 2007.
This is your chance to make a significant contribution to the future of WAAAUB, your alumni association. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alumni Publications

Rafik Hariri wa Qadar Lubnan- Rafik
Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon
(Alef Press 2006)
by Marwan Iskandar
Marwan Iskandar (BA ’59, MA ’62) surveys the economic and educational contributions of Former Prime Minister and AUB Trustee Rafik B. Hariri. He examines how these contributions shaped the ‘fate’ of Lebanon before and since his death.

Rabi‘ Bayrut wa al-dawla al-naqisa
The Beirut Spring and the Incomplete Nation (An Nahar, 2006)
by Ziad Majed
Ziad Majed (BA ’92, MA ’99) surveys what he describes as a ‘three-fold’ formative period in the history of Lebanon. He interprets the shape of the country’s politics since the Intifada of Independence in March 2006, and examines the various factors that are currently molding Lebanese politics.

Anis Sayegh ‘an Anis Sayegh Anis
Sayegh about Anis Sayegh. (Dar Al Sayyad 2006)
by Anis Sayegh
Anis Sayegh (BA ‘53) has written his autobiography. In it, he describes his early childhood in Tiberias in Palestine, the diaspora years in Lebanon following the nakba of 1948, his efforts to help ease the Palestinian crisis, his membership of the Syrian Nationalist Party, and other important highlights of his political career.

Commemorating AUB’s 140th anniversary
The Moore Collection: Franklin T. Moore Photographs (1892–1902)

(American University of Beirut Press: 2006). Hardcover, 167 pages.This beautiful coffee-table book features turn of the century photographs of the AUB campus, science and medicine at AUB, and scenes from Lebanon and Syria. Dr. Franklin T. Moore began photographing the AUB campus in 1892.

Inquiries and orders: aubpress@aub.edu.lb