AUB Announces Honorary Doctorate Recipients

Published June 2nd, 2009 - 01:29 GMT

AUB Announces Honorary Doctorate Recipients


The American University of Beirut announced today the candidates for four honorary doctorates to be awarded at a ceremony on campus, in Assembly Hall at noon on Commencement Day, June 27, 2009. This year’s recipients are Kuwaiti Abdalatif Yousef Al-Hamad, Egyptian Farouk El-Baz, Lebanese Majida El Roumi, and Algerian Elias Zerhouni.


Throughout his long career Abdlatif Al-Hamad has worked tirelessly to promote economic and social development in Arab countries. Al-Hamad has been Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Fund for Economic Development since 1985 and currently serves also as a member of the International Finance Corporation Advisory Group of the World Bank and of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in Tokyo. He was Kuwaiti minister of finance and of planning, and director general of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Throughout his career he has championed economic, scientific, and social development by promoting productive potential in Arab, Asian, and African countries. He has also worked with numerous investment and banking advisory boards and served as a trustee for several universities and institutes.


Egyptian born Farouk El Baz has been research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University since 1986. While working with the Apollo Space Program (1967-72), he applied satellite imagery to moon surfaces and chaired the Astronaut Training Group. He later studied the arid areas of the world and used his analysis of space photography to select areas for investigation on the ground in Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, China, and India. Much of his career has been spent applying space technology to geography, geology, archaeology, and the environment. He used his remote sensing technology to develop underground water resources in Egypt and to document the extent of destruction following the first Gulf war. He was recently appointed a member of the Committee on Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century.


Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi is known and respected throughout the Arab world, not only for her beautiful singing voice but also for her work as a human rights activist. Her singing career began with her youthful gold medal for best female singer on Tele Liban’s Studio el Fan talent show when she was only sixteen. Her first solo album in 1977 was followed by concerts throughout the Arab world and 12 albums. She has won prizes and awards throughout the Arab world for her singing. She was appointed ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and in 2007 became patron of the Lebanese Osteoporosis Prevention Society. In 2009 she was named ambassador for the Euro-Arab Environment Council.


Dr. Elias Zerhouni, world renowned radiologist, was director of the US National Institutes of Health, from 2002 to 2008, where he oversaw the passage by Congress of the NIH Reform Act of 2006, created a Roadmap to stimulate and facilitate more efficient research, and encouraged innovation, particularly in the area of high-risk research. Born in Algeria, Zerhouni came to the United States after receiving his MD from the University of Algiers in 1975, and pursued much of his original research in radiology at Johns Hopkins University, where he later became professor of radiology and bioengineering, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine, and chair of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. Recently Dr. Zerhouni joined the boards of directors of two foundations. On May 1 he rejoined Johns Hopkins as senior adviser in the School of Medicine.


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