AUB in Dubai and the Northern Emirates
February 6, 2019
Thanks to the generous support we receive from our alumni and friends, the number of scholarship students at AUB has grown dramatically in recent years. One of these scholarship students is Hala, a fourth-year civil engineering student who is especially interested in sustainable infrastructure. “The WAAAUB Dubai and Northern Emirates Chapter scholarship made it possible for me to attend AUB. I couldn’t afford the tuition without it,” she says. The same is true of Dina, who is majoring in chemistry, and Hussein, who is earning a degree in computer and communications engineering and is looking forward to joining the “amazing world” of artificial intelligence after he graduates.
The Dubai and Northern Emirates Chapter, which was established in 1975, received the Outstanding Alumni Chapter Award in 2009. Two of its chapter presidents, Raja Trad (BA ’77) and Najat Zaarour (BA ’68), were elected to AUB’s Board of Trustees as alumni trustees in 2007-10 and 2010-13, respectively. Its members work in construction, advertising, media, the financial sector, oil and gas, education, and management consulting. While most AUB alumni in Dubai are originally from Lebanon, there are also many from other countries including Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and the UAE. The chapter, which has provided scholarships for hundreds of AUB students, raises funds for this and other AUB initiatives at its annual gala dinner. The most recent dinner was on November 8, 2018.
“Supporting scholarships at AUB has been a priority for the chapter for many years,” says Chapter Vice President Yasser El Hajj (BEN ’89). It all began, explains Yasser, in 1989 when the Dubai Alumni Chapter Committee launched “Dubai for 10.“ The goal was to raise enough money to provide scholarships for 10 AUB students who needed financial assistance and also to energize the alumni community. “We believed that the alumni community needed to be shaken up—to be reminded of AUB’s undeniable impact on their lives, what they have been able to achieve so far, and what they will accomplish in the future,” he says. It worked. “Dubai for 10” became “Dubai for 20” and just kept on growing. It is now “Dubai for 100.” Yasser says that donating for scholarships is something many alumni want to do. “Many alumni received scholarship support. Now that they have been successful and have financial resources, they want to give back to AUB,” he says.
Although the Dubai Chapter has been especially successful at fundraising, it’s not all it does for AUB. Chapter members also assist the Office of Admissions every October with student recruitment. They have also provided invaluable assistance to many AUB students who want to do internships at leading companies in Dubai and Northern Emirates. Some of these students end up returning to Dubai after they graduate. “Many students end up working in Dubai at companies where they did internships,” says Yasser.
In addition to the annual gala dinner, chapter members also get together throughout the year for cultural events and for family gatherings.
You’ll find a list of current AUB alumni chapters here.