Class Notes

Vol. XXII, No. 1, 2024

Fakhruddin Khalil (BA Economics ’56, MA Economics ’58) is the founding president of the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA), which currently has more than 600 members and celebrated its 40th anniversary in June 2023. Khalil was a general representative of Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises (UBAF) for the Middle East and North Africa and a board member of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) in Beirut. He is currently involved in financial and business investment and consulting. An active alumnus, Khalil was president of the AUB Alumni Association of North America (AANA) between 1981 and 1983.

Mona Khauli (BA Psychology ’59)has been national executive director of YWCA of Lebanon since 1977. In July 2023, the Baptist World Alliance presented her with the Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award for “significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore, or preserve human rights.” She writes, “I want to acknowledge classmates I have known since elementary school: Nazli Hamadeh, a model for her steadfast pursuit of higher education through loans faithfully settled; Nadia Murad Tamari; Salwa Khoury Awad; Leila Salamoun Khalaf; Sylvia Dumiani Haddad; and many others with whom we have rich memories.”


Usama Al-Azm (BA Economics ’60, MA Economics ’64) writes, “I arrived at AUB after attending Victoria College, an elite boarding school in Alexandria, Egypt. It was a ‘boys only’ institution and as such my first impression of AUB’s campus was the abundance of coeds. The second realization was the very active political life on campus, catalyzed by the tripartite invasion of Egypt that so energized Arab nationalism that tens of AUBites volunteered to go to Syria for military training in solidarity with Egypt. My years at AUB were among the most enjoyable of my life and led to my meeting and marrying my beloved wife, Murshida Shaaban, a brief business program graduate. I sincerely believe that the late 1950s and early 1960s were the most precious years for Lebanon in general and Beirut in particular.”

Christos Kaltsos (BBA ’62) writes, “Charalambos Maragos (BBA ’62), Christos Alexiou (BBA ’62), and I are all Greek alumni living in Athens. We share fond memories of our lives at AUB and look forward to hearing from other members of the BBA Class of 1962.”

Mary Haroz Tamm (MA Psychology ’63), pictured at historic Princeton Cemetery, writes, “My husband, Manfred Dieter Tamm, is buried at this cemetery. There is a Lebanese cedar on his gravestone. We met at the Shangri-La Resort in the Lebanese cedars in 1962 and were married for 50 years. As a master’s student at AUB, I worked with Professor Prothro. I earned a PhD in clinical psychology at the Universidad Autónoma in Mexico City and then did a post doctorate in child clinical psychology at the Devereux Foundation in Devon, Pennsylvania. I had a clinical practice in Princeton, New Jersey, and raised two children. I was also president of the board of the New Jersey Special Olympics. I am now retired. I have wonderful memories of the elegant Casino du Liban, Hotel St. Georges, Byblos, Baalbek, and so many other beautiful sites in Lebanon.”

Meguerditch Hagop Bouldoukian (MBA ’64), PhD, writes, “AUB has been an educational hub for our family for many years: eight of us graduated from AUB between 1961 and 1994. I was deputy governor of Banque du Liban, 1985–90, just one of many positions I held during my 60-year career in banking and finance (1961–2021). I also held academic positions, including with AUB’s Off-Campus Program, and authored 18 books, including several award-winning titles. I served simultaneously as central banking consultant to five Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries (1992–93) and have been a keynote speaker at international conferences since 1977. I earned my PhD in banking and finance in November 2022 from the International University of Fundamental Studies, part of the Oxford Educational Network.”

Murad Jurdak (BS General ’66, MS General ’68) writes, “In June 2023, I retired as full tenured professor at AUB after 50 years of uninterrupted service. (I joined the AUB faculty in 1973.) I spent three years as an undergraduate (1963–66) and two years as a graduate mathematics student (1966–68). All in all, I have been at AUB for 55 years, more than one-third of the life of AUB. This is my greatest achievement and most cherished honor. I carry two cards that define my identity: my Lebanese ID, which documents my birth in Jdeidet Marjayoun, and my AUB ID card, which I carried throughout my adult life as an AUB professor.”

Nizam Peerwani (BS Biology and Chemistry ’72, MD ’76) writes, “I completed my residency in pathology at Baylor in Dallas, Texas, in 1980. I am boarded in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology and was the chief medical examiner in Texas for 42 years. I led a forensic team investigating the fire deaths of religious cult members in Waco, Texas, after a siege by the FBI. As an advocate for human rights, I have investigated genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia as well as human rights’ violations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Bahrain, and Guatemala. I am married to Fadia Rashidi (BS ’72) from Beirut.”

Pornchai Suchitta (BA Sociology and Anthropology ’72) writes, “After graduation, I returned to Thailand and taught at Silpakorn University before going to the US to earn my master’s ’79 and PhD ‘93 degrees at Brown University. After teaching again at Silpakorn University, I joined USIS in Bangkok and then the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Thailand, Bangladesh, and Timor-Leste. I worked for UNFPA until my retirement in 2012. I now live in Bangkok with my wife and two children and keep busy writing articles on anthropology, history, and archaeology. I just published Timeline in Thailand since Prehistoric up-to Present Day. I look forward to visiting Lebanon again soon. I would love to hear from any of my AUB colleagues.”

Bayan Tabbara (BS Chemistry ’77, MA Economics ’80) writes, “I spent most of my career at the UN ESCWA office in Beirut. It was very interesting and rewarding. I was convinced that I was contributing to promoting social development in the region. However, when the so-called Arab Spring erupted in 2010, I felt that all my work was just ‘ink on paper.’ I took early retirement and enrolled in a seminar on meditation in India that made me forget all my grievances and discover a new ‘Bayan.’ I am now living in Beirut and spend my time supporting NGOs that actually contribute to social development in Lebanon and painting.”

Jamal Aomari (BEN Civil Engineering ’81) writes, “I taught structural engineering courses for three years at Khawarizmi University Technical College in Amman, Jordan. I was invited to teach the same courses at another local college during the summer 2023 session. I had a bad experience at the local college with students arguing that they were entitled to higher grades because they paid more for their courses. I left that college and am now looking for other opportunities in the region.”

Jack Wehbe (Certificate Health Sciences ’83) writes, “After graduating from AUB, I was fortunate to be able to move to the United States, where I completed my BS and MHA in healthcare administration at two California state universities (Dominguez Hills and Northridge). I met my wife in California. We later moved to Rhode Island, where we raised three sons. We just moved our youngest son (seen in this family photo taken at his graduation party) to college. I thank God for all the opportunities that I have had. AUB had a huge impact on my life. It taught me to work hard and move forward.”

Wakim Assaf (BEN Electrical and Electronics Engineering ’84) writes, “After graduating in 1984, I worked for a year as an assistant professor. In 1985, I joined Texas Instruments in Lebanon, where I later became technical manager. I worked with mini-computers and peripherals before joining CAP Computers and moving to networks and security. Other highlights: I got married in 1987 and established my own IT company, Netalive, in 2002. It’s an IT support company serving small and medium-sized businesses. We are Microsoft partners and hope to raise high the reputation of AUB along with devotion to excellence in our professional and personal interactions with clients.”

Kamal Kamaleddine (BS Computer Science ’90) writes, “I have moved back to the Middle East and North Africa region after three decades of working in different countries and regions around the world, including Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. I was most recently in Panama City, Panama. I am now based in Amman and am enjoying the beauty of Jordan.”

Abdul Jalil Shreim (BEN Computer and Communications Engineering ’93) writes, “Greetings from Dubai, UAE, where technology is sculpting a new horizon! From the classrooms of CCE to the boardrooms of Tawasol Solution and Services LLC, the journey has been both thrilling and insightful. Leveraging AI to reshape business strategies, I have pioneered multiple initiatives that have not only enhanced operational efficiency but also created novel opportunities. Beyond the professional sphere, my life is enriched by a medley of hobbies like yoga, scuba diving, and the pursuit of innovation. I find solace in exploring AI and technology literature, solving complex problems, and, most of all, in creating code that generates solutions.”

Nahida El Assi (MA Education ’95) lives in Montreal where she is an associate professor, ESL project manager, teacher trainer, and materials writer. She writes, “I recently designed and executed two projects funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and published two related research articles. I’m currently teaching advanced Arabic to Canadian diplomats. I am a public speaker and an active participant and presenter in a number of independent, secular, nonpolitical, and nonprofit cultural societies in Montreal. I am the mother of three children—Moe, who is a manager at Hitachi Energy; Hiba, a family doctor; and Daniel, a civil engineer—and have three smart grandchildren.”

Bachir Saghir (BS Agriculture ’96) writes, “I was happy to reconnect with the AUB alumni relations team during my visit to campus in May 2023. I am currently Doha-based and working with Ibtikar Technology Solutions as a business development manager. Technology nowadays has tremendously eased the way we communicate. I look forward to connecting with alumni through the AUB Online Community platform.”

Hasan Al Ali (BA Public Administration ’98) writes, “I am currently a consultant to the Planning, Quality, and Innovation Department at the Ministry of Justice in Qatar. My company, Optimus, provides, designs, and delivers trainings and business development solutions of all kinds. We have expanded into many countries in the Gulf and the Far East.”

Jean Elie Tabbal (MD ’98) is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at Duke University Hospital. He writes, “I worked at Saint George Hospital University Medical Center for almost 17 years. The August 4 Beirut blast, however, was a turning point in my life! It did to me what a 20- year civil war could not do: make me leave the country for good. Luckily, my family and I were able to move to North Carolina. We love it so far. We still love our Lebanon very much. I hope one day we learn how to love our country and respect it more than anything else in the world.”

May Awar Ammar (MA Public Administration ’99) has been managing research grants and intellectual property rights protection at AUB, her second home, since 2005. She is the Title IX deputy for the Equity and Title IX Program under the Office of the President. The program provides an avenue for AUB community members facing discriminatory harassment. She has also been part of the university team working on the accreditation of the American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo in Pafos, Cyprus. May is currently enrolled in the doctorate in business administration program at the Université IAE Nice and École Supérieure des Affaires, conducting her research on the evolving role of research offices in academia.

Wassim I. Antar (BA Political Studies and Public Administration ’99) writes, “I worked at Thomson Reuters for several years before moving to Cedar Rose International Services, where I have built my expertise in the integrity, due diligence, and compliance industry. I am currently the product manager for due diligence solutions at the company. I have also earned an MBA and became a certified fraud examiner. My beautiful career- oriented wife and I have two children and live in Cyprus. I recently met with the leadership of AUB Mediterraneo in Pafos. I am extremely excited and thrilled to witness the expansion of our great university allowing more students to live the AUB experience!”

Aline Assaf (MMB Money and Banking ’01) writes, “2020 was a turning point in my life as a series of unprecedented challenges emerged. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and braved the pandemic-induced global lockdown and Lebanon’s deepening financial crisis. The devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4 compelled me to depart from my job at AUB and start anew in California. Enduring these trials, I conquered my health battle and transitioned to the role of a systems analyst. Meanwhile, a beacon of pride shines as my daughter undertakes engineering studies at UC Berkeley, a testament to our collective resilience.”

Hassan Aboulhoda (BEN Civil Engineering ’03) writes, “I have spent many years in the UAE at different international companies, first as a junior civil engineer and eventually as project manager. In 2012, I established A & A Engineering Contracting Company LLC specializing in G+4 turnkey projects including buildings, fit-outs, maintenance, and project management. I am now the operations manager, a position I share with my partner. I recently appeared on Emarati, a TV show in the UAE, as part of a program about entrepreneurs.”

Marwa Abou Daye (BA Public Administration ’05, MA Public Administration ’08) writes, “A few years ago, I took on a new challenge alongside my full-time job in consulting: establishing a sunset resto-bar in Koura. I wanted to create a place that would remind people that even in the face of difficulties, the sun sets every evening to shine on the next morning, bringing with it rays of hope and better days. In April 2021, Tallé Koura opened its doors for the first time. It’s only 75 minutes from Beirut and 20 minutes from Tripoli. Looking forward to having you visit, support, and, together, embrace new challenges and opportunities in beautiful Lebanon.”

Nizar Estatie (BEN Civil Engineering ’05) writes, “The post- COVID period was a challenging time to transition from working in the Gulf to starting a new career in Germany. It is not easy to learn a new language as you approach the age of 40, but I have no regrets. I admit though that language is not the only barrier that one has to overcome. There are obvious cultural differences in Germany as well. I have recently assumed the role of procurement and logistics manager at an international company. Thank you to God, and to my parents and family, who supported me during the ups and downs.”

Afifa Shatila (MS Biochemistry ’05) is a research assistant at the AUB Medical Center and the mother of two beautiful daughters: Lara, who is 10, and Rania, who is eight years old. She loves to jog, read, travel, go to the cinema, and eat pizza. Her slogan in life: Never ever give up!

Georges Gharios (BS Agriculture ’07) writes, “I’m thrilled to share that I recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Scotland with a PhD in water law. My thesis delved into the traditional knowledge and sustainable development of water in Lebanon, focusing on reclaiming ancestral water management practices in rural South Lebanon. It was a profound journey of understanding and reconnecting with my roots. I’m eager to apply this knowledge and contribute to sustainable water solutions in our region. I’m looking forward to hearing updates from fellow alumni!”

Nabil Saleh (BS Medical Laboratory Technology ’07) writes, “I have enjoyed a rich and diverse 17-year career in the medical industry and stand as a testament to dedication and expertise. Having worked at various companies and in several countries, I have cultivated a deep-rooted understanding of the intricacies of healthcare across borders. Today, I proudly hold the position of training and education lead for structural heart therapies at Medtronic, overseeing the Central Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia regions. Outside of my flourishing career, I have also embraced the joys of family life, having married and become a loving parent to two wonderful children: an 11-year-old son and a nine year-old daughter who are a constant source of inspiration and motivation in my remarkable journey.”


Sahag Pailian (MFIN Finance ’15) is a seasoned finance professional with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He currently heads the US financial planning and analysis function at Lupin Pharmaceuticals, a multinational generic pharmaceutical company specialized in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of medications across the globe.

Mona Akra (BA Psychology ’14, MA Clinical Psychology ’17) writes, “I left Lebanon in 2017 to return to my other home country, Germany, after completing my degree in clinical psychology. I am in the process of getting training to become a licensed psychodynamic therapist. My German partner, Martin, and I plan to get married next year. This merging of two cultures has been quite the journey. Martin and his family accompanied me on my visit to Lebanon this year and loved the AUB campus. My alma mater is always in my heart and I love returning to it regularly.”

Ebrahim Karam (BEN Electrical and Computer Engineering ’17) writes, “I am currently working for Animax, an animatronics company in Nashville, Tennessee. I have been involved in a number of cool projects—including Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. I was also lucky to be a member of the committee for the SIGGRAPH 2023 Virtual Theater, which took place in Los Angeles on August 6–10, 2023.”

Cathrine Terro (BS Nutrition and Dietetics ’17) writes, “Being at AUB ignited a journey that continues to brim with excitement. After graduation, I ventured to Rome, where I earned my master’s degree in food security and human development. My journey has taken me around the world, allowing me to attend global conferences, disseminate my knowledge, and connect with profoundly inspiring individuals. A year ago, I was honored to be selected for the prestigious Marie Skłodowska- Curie Actions Fellowship program. I’m pursuing my doctoral degree in collaboration with several EU projects and academic organizations.”

Gina Barghouti (BA Political Studies ’18) writes, “I miss my time at AUB every day! After the August 4 explosion, I returned to Oregon to be around my family. I am now working with federal and state refugee resettlement programs serving newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Myanmar, and many other places as well. I provide employment support, English classes, housing assistance, food and medical care, and immigration legal services to our clients. I guide them as they adjust to life in the US. I’m proud of the clients I work with and of being a part of their success here in the US.”




Anthony Kettaneh (BBA ’21) writes, “Hi AUB, I miss you very much. I am currently working at Google as an account manager in the Dublin office. I joined Google in January 2022 after graduating. It’s already been almost two years since I left AUB! If you are reading this, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and let’s connect!”

Aya Khodr Haidar Ahmad (BBA ’23) writes, “I wish to express my profound gratitude to AUB for the pivotal role it has played in shaping my journey. The education and experiences I gained there laid a solid foundation for my achievements. As I stand on the threshold of a new chapter as a core assurance associate at the esteemed PwC company, I am acutely aware of the enduring impact of AUB’s influence. I’m about to embark on a new chapter filled with success and happiness. My message to all is to stay consistent, keep your dreams alive, and never give up.”