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Abu-Ghazaleh Highlighted As One of the Most Prominent Living AUB Alumni

05-Feb-2015 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 7128
Abu-Ghazaleh Highlighted As One of the Most Prominent Living AUB Alumni
By Staff Writer
BEIRUT - HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), was highlighted as one of the most prominent living AUB Alumni in a book that tackled US relations with the Middle East and the challenges and efforts which led two families to build a great school with alternating audacity, arrogance, generosity, paternalism, and vision.
American Sheikhs by Brian VanDeMark, the author of Pandora’s Keepers: Nine Men and the Atomic Bomb and Into the Quagmire: Lyndon Johnson and the Escalation of the Vietnam War, tells the story of one of the greatest educational institutions - the American University of Beirut and the families who established and supported it for almost 150 years.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, a Palestinian refugee whose life is governed by “the principle of the blessing of suffering, for suffering can become the greatest blessing”, was the first student to get a scholarship from United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to study at the AUB for being the top student in Lebanon in 1956.
In 1980, he was called to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the AUB, an honor he accepted with pleasure.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh is joined by a list of high-profile AUB graduates in the book such as Walid Junblat, Joseph LeBaron, Taher Al Masri, Mohammed-Najib Mikati, Hanan Ashrawi, Mohammed Safadi, Ali Fakhro, Ali Nouami, Khaled Al Qusaibi, Fouad Saniora, Adnan Al Bajihi, Husa Sabah, Khaled Touqan, Wajih Owais and Maha Khatib in addition to others.
The book tells the story in an intense and narrative style of the history of the AUB which has been labeled as the most influential school in history for its comprehensive approach and futuristic vision.      
American Sheikhs received positive reviews by Pulitzer Prize winner Kai Bird calling it "A highly original contribution" and "VanDeMark has written a concise and highly accessible history of the American missionaries and their political and intellectual legacy." 
Meanwhile, Robert Dallek, US Presidential historian said:" An excellent study of a neglected subject. It should be of interest to anyone concerned about US relations with the Middle East and the continuing difficulties we face in the region."  
While, Ann Kerr-Adams, Former student, teacher, and member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut and author of Come with Me from Lebanon said: "With the fastidious care of a historian and the passion of one who understands the significance of the AUB to the United States and the Middle East, VanDeMark tells the fascinating story of the intertwining history of the university and its founding families with America’s diplomatic and political involvement in the region. In a style that is both accessible and absorbing, he concisely traces the evolution of one hundred fifty years of history that is a prerequisite for understanding America’s challenges in the Arab world today and posits that the AUB can still offer, rather than impose, the best of American values."

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