In another memorable and dear moment for the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), student Sarah Shawqi Al-Sakkaf visited today Dean Iman Nuwayhid for the occasion of Giving Day to express her gratitude for this Faculty in her own special way, as she presented her first painting to the Faculty, along with her poetry book.
Coming from Yemen, Sarah joined the Masters of Public Health (MPH) program with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, under the Regional Graduate Scholarship. However, she is not new to AUB, or to the health field. Sarah's grandfather is a proud AUB alumnus, while both her parents, and two of her uncles are health practitioners.
Sarah's father is a doctor and a medical researcher with a main focus in ethics. Her mother is a midwife with a great role in Sarah's life. One of her uncles is a renowned public healh professor in Howard University, Washington, USA. She decided to carry on with the family legacy, drawing her own path in the challenging, curious, and rewarding health field.
Sarah sees working in health as a “way of giving".
“Giving takes many forms, and money is only one of them", stated Sarah, stressing that “giving is among the strongest shared values in our family".
Describing her experience at FHS, Sarah particularly recalls the skills and knowledge acquired, and the “multi-diversity and cultural exchange among the different students and professors coming from all backgrounds".
“The MPH program opened up my perspective to a new comprehensive approach of health. I now see health as a puzzle, with Public Health - being a multidisciplinary field; bringing the different pieces, such as medicine, socio-economic determinants, regulations and policies, and environmental contexts, together".
After praising the Faculty members' commitment and passion to public health, Sarah specifically described Dean Nuwayhid as “one of the best people I have ever met personally and professionally. He is a soft speaker, close to his students, very friendly to be around, and you always feel welcomed to approach him because of his genuine smile. He is a true idol. As a medical doctor, and public health practitioner."
As a passionate doctor, public health graduate, poet and newly-born painter, Sarah concluded with her message to other students: "when you have a dream, you have to pour your heart and soul in it in order to fulfill it. Not only your brain".
The Giving Day was an event that was held for a first time this year in AUB. It is a fundraising initiative aiming to engage alumni and friends, boost the visibility of the University, and increase revenue for funding priorities.
AUB's Giving Day took place on December 3, 2018 and was a special day for the entire AUB community, particularly FHS, who came on top in the friendly Faculty challenge, gathering the largest percentage of alumni donating to the Faculty, as well as the highest number of prizes offered. Named as FHS Ambassador, Dr. Lilian Ghandour earned her title firmly, as she excelled in mobilizing the FHS community, reflecting through her enthusiastic personality this dynamic Faculty in the best imaginable way.
For this occasion, Dean Nuwayhid thanked all members of the AUB communitee, FHS Alumni Chapter, the Faculty members and staff, students, and to the many Faculty friends who showed once again the true spirit of engagement, dedication, and cooperation “when duty calls."