American University of Beirut

Hikma hurries to help Beirut – and AUBMC

Monday, September 21, 2020​​​​​​

Within hours of the explosion in the Beirut port on August 4, Hikma Pharmaceuticals Executive Vice Chairman and President of MENA Mazen Darwazah had arranged for a shipment of medicines worth $100,000 to be delivered to the AUB Medical Center. It was an especially timely gift. “They knew what we needed before we had a chance to survey our needs,” commented VP for Advancement and Business Development Imad B. Baalbaki. 

The relationship dates back to 1954 when Hikma Pharmaceuticals founder Samih Darwazah graduated from AUB with a BS degree in pharmacy. It was also at AUB that Samih met his future wife, Samira. After earning his BS degree, Samih worked in Kuwait and the US before returning to Jordan where he founded Hikma Pharmaceuticals in 1978. In addition to succeeding in business, Samih and his family are also generous philanthropists. They have made many charitable gifts including to AUB where they have supported a wide range of initiatives including scholarships, continuing medical education, and the AUB Nature Conservation Center.

In 2011, Samih’s four children (May, Said, Mazen, and Hana) established the Samih Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business to honor their father. In 2014, Samih Darwazah was awarded an honorary doctorate by AUB. He passed away in 2015. “The Darwazah family and Hikma Pharmaceuticals are long-time and generous supporters. We are especially grateful for their support now,” said Baalbaki.

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