From top to bottom: 1) Raghida Dergham gives a lecture called “Daring to Differ” on April 23; 2) Violinist Hanna Khoury (L), Poet Nathalie Handal (third from left) and tabla player Hafez Kotain (R) join LAU’s Lina Beydoun and AUB’s Justin Tessler following a performance of music and poetry on April 30; 3) NYU film students in front of the panel exhibit at LAU NY on April 8. To read more about the Arab American Experience Series, click here.
Dancers from LAU and Stockton University came together at LAU NY for a presentation and performance on May 28.
On April 16, LAU attended the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) dinner in Washington, D.C. Seated: Ed Shiner, Director of Alumni and Special Projects, alumna Pascale Hayek, Marla Rice-Evans, Vice President of University Advancement; standing from left to right: Jay and Maria Ghazal, alumnus Anwar Aridi, Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter Vice President Suzanne Nader Soubra, ATFL friend, Wissam Yafi, Mona Yacoubian (ASHA) and husband, John.
The Toronto Alumni Chapter gathered for a dinner at Mezza Garden Restaurant in Ajax, Ontario on March 21. More than 100 members and friends of the chapter raised money for the LAU Scholarship Fund. Guests also enjoyed dancing, arghila and a raffle.
On March 14, the LAU Southern California Alumni Chapter enjoyed a potluck dinner at the home of Susan and Dr. Paul Qaqundah. Leila Blackstone co-chaired the gathering with Susan, and will host a similar gathering at her home in the fall.
My wife, Rowaida, our three children (Adam 7, Maya 9, and Sabeen 11) and I live in Mooresville, North Carolina. Mooresville is a small city about 30 miles north of Charlotte. I have been a dentist since 1998. I currently own and operate two dental offices in Charlotte. I left Lebanon to go the United States in 1988 after spending five semesters at LAU. The time I spent at LAU was short, but it was the period of my life that defined my whole future. As far as I remember, I always wanted to be a “doctor,” but where I come from that would have been a remote possibility.
How was your academic experience at LAU?
I joined LAU in 1987 with a promise of paid tuition from a third party. When that fell through, I had no choice but to drop out. However, because of the persistence of the LAU staff and the generosity of LAU donors, I was able to continue my trek onto a great future. Simply put, my time at LAU was the best time of my life. That was the time when I saw the world as it is meant to be seen.
During the graduation of 1988, I saw the love of my life who, after 12 years, became my wife. Her sister happened to be engaged to my best friend. My wife later attended LAU and graduated in 1992.
How did you get involved with LAU in North America?
I got involved with the alumni network soon after I graduated dental school. I do not consider what I give to LAU a “gift.” To me, it is a duty to give someone the same chance I got. I owe this institution my whole future. Giving back is the least I can do.
I consider myself an example of what financial support to LAU can do for a struggling student. There are many LAU students that are like me and we should support many more.
I am 49 years old and semi-retired in order to spend time with my family. I enjoy every minute with them. I also enjoy flying and building airplanes.