American University of Beirut

Achievements and Recognition


Awards and Recognition

Appointments and Honorary Memberships

 • SHBPP founding director appointed visiting lecturer at KHCC to enhance the KHCC ethics program (January 5, 2022). 

• SHBPP founding director served as ethics expert in the WHO COVID-19 Ethics and Governance Working Group (March 1, 2022).

 • SHBPP founding director served as bioethicist at International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) Ethics Committee (April 5, 2022). 

• Dr. Arawi became a member of the Genetic Discrimination Observatory (GDO), which is a unique network of researchers and other stakeholders dedicated to researching and preventing discrimination based on genomic and other omic data worldwide (June 2, 2022), and currently serves as an ethics expert at GDO’s International Expert Panel (IEP) (April 12, 2022) 

• Dr. Thalia Arawi launched the first Academics Against Poverty (ASAP) Pan –Arab chapter. ASAP is an international association focused on helping researchers and teachers enhance their impact on poverty. (April 20, 2022) 

• Dr. Arawi joins HealthCare Information For All (HIFA), which is a global social movement to improve the availability and use of healthcare information in low- and middle-income countries and protect people from misinformation. (June 29, 2022) 

• SHBPP founding director was selected among several bioethics experts to serve as an advisor to the board of Bioethics Open Research, which is the first publishing platform to provide the bioethics field with a FAIR data policy for open access publishing (October 3, 2022).

Student Achievements

• SHBPP is proud to announce that Mr. Joseph El Bachour, Med 2 student, president of SHBPP-Khelkhal and SHBPP student-researcher has been appointed Anera social ambassador in his capacity as Khelkhal president. (November 16, 2022).​


World Health Organization Collaborating Center Designation (January 19, 2021) 

The World Health Organization designated SHBPP at AUBMC as a WHO Collaborating Center on health ethics, rendering it as the first collaborating center on ethics in the Arab region and part of the global network of collaborating centers. The designation, effective from January 2021 till January 2024, marks a landmark recognition for the work and impact of SHBPP on Lebanon and the region, as well as internationally.


• Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award Awardee Presentations (September 22, 2021)

 The SHBPP was invited to present its program mission and achievements as a recipient of the 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award at the meeting of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society on September 22, 2021. 

aoa.jpg International Association of Bioethics World Congress

 In 2019, SHBPP had the honor of winning the bid to host the 16th International Association of Bioethics (IAB) World Congress of Bioethics which was planned to take place on June 23, 2022. Unfortunately, due to the compounding critical developments in Lebanon, the confluence of calamities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and amidst this climate of uncertainty, the SHBPP and the American University of Beirut had to withdraw from the event. It is with deepest regrets that this difficult decision was made as it would have been a huge step in shedding light on bioethics in Lebanon and the region. SHBPP is thankful to the IAB for granting this honorable opportunity. We sincerely hope that better circumstances will allow us to collaborate in the near future, and we look forward to seize such a magnanimous opportunity. We are certain that we would be more than eager and committed to making it a success.

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• Student Achievements

Masters Thesis Defense with SHBPP Supervision Tatiana Abou- Mrad (Med-1) student successfully defended her thesis in bioethics “Effet de la pandémie COVID-19 sur la relation médecin-patient dans le cadre des maladies chroniques au Liban” at the Université de Paris. (July 16, 2021).


SHBPP researcher and SHBPP-Khelkhal leader Mr. Bashar Hassan made us proud while taking his elective at the John Hopkins Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department. (October 3, 2021)


SHBPP Team Achievements

 • INARA Board member Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah co-authored a new study based on data collected from families we work with and focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on refugees in Lebanon (March 6, 2021)

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 • Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah defies borders to treat patients in Yemen. (October 10, 2021)

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 • Ms. Diana Mikati, SHBPP Program Coordinator, successfully completed the SHARP summer certificate program. (August 9, 2021) 


• Former SHBPP Post-Doc Bioethics Research Fellow, Dr. Mohamad Medawar successfully received his PhD in Healthcare Management from the Universite de Poitiers, France



Appointments and Honorary Memberships

SHBPP founding Director Dr. Thalia Arawi received a number of national, regional and international appointments in 2020:

  • Member of the WHO-COVID-19 Ethics Working Group (April 7, 2020)
  • Senior Fellow at the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Ethics, Global Foundation, USA (April 8, 2020)
  • Member of The World Emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Ethics (WeCope) Committee at the Eubios Ethics Institute (April 2020)
  • Chairperson of the International COVID-19 and Refugees Subcommittee "REACT: Refugee Action Group" of the World Emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Ethics Committee (WeCope) (June 3, 2020)
  • Editor in Frontiers in Medicine special section on Bioethics Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 19, 2020)
  • Member of the working group supporting the Ge2p2 Global newly formed Center for Informed Consent Integrity (July 20, 2020)
  • Member of the ministry of health national vaccination plan for COVID-19 committee. (December 15, 2020)
  • Member of the WHO Ad-hoc Committee on Ethics, Public Health, and Migration. (December 16, 2020)

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Awards and Recognition

  • SHBPP Founding Director Dr. Thalia Arawi received a Certificate of Appreciation and an award in the first "Regional Conference on Patient Informed Consent and Patient Confidentiality: Consultation of Medical Ethics" organized by the Kuwaiti Medical Association in collaboration with the World Medical Association and the Ministry of Health in Kuwait (February 7, 2020). 
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  • International Bioethics Association Service to Others Award (May 2020)
    Dr. Thalia Arawi was nominated for the International Bioethics Association Service to Others Award for 2020, which she later waved due to her coinciding commitment as Board Member of the International Bioethics Association.
  • Compassionate Use Advisory Committee 
    The Compassionate Use Advisory Committe (CompAC) was presented with the Innovations in Regulatory Science Award by the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr Arawi is a member of ComPAC, under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Caplan from NYU-Langone Health Medical Center  

Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award (December 8, 2020)
In recognition of the accomplishments and continuous contributions of the SHBPP on enhancing professionalism and ethics in the healthcare setting and education and promoting awareness on bioethics issues, SHBPP was honored with the distinguished Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Honor Medical Society Professionalism Award.

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Student Achievements

First qualitative study of its kind conducted in the region “Factors contributing to Moral Erosion among Medical Students: A Qualitative study. (February 13, 2020)

The study conducted in collaboration with medical student graduates Ramez Kouzy, Khalil Baddour, and Molly B. El-Asmar with Dr. Thalia Arawi under the title " Factors contributing to Moral Erosion among Medical Students: A Qualitative study" was presented at Clinical Research Open House organized by the Clinical Research Institute at AUBMC as the first qualitative study of its kind conducted in the region.



SHBPP Researcher of the Year (June 26, 2020)
SHBPP volunteer and contributing researcher Mr. Bashar Hassan (Med III) was recognized for being the SHBPP Researcher of the year. Mr. Hassan has co-authored a number of published articles through his dedicated work and contribution.


Book release by Rayah Touma Sawaya (November 6, 2020)
With the support and mentorship of the SHBPP, Ms. Rayah Touma Sawaya, med 4 student at AUBFM, published a book of short stories entitled Solace which narrates the journey of two medical students Richo and Richa. Richo and Richa are two fictional characters created by SHBPP to promote the SHBPP motto "M=EC2: Medicine is about Empathy, Caring and Curing." Solace aims to emphasize the importance of humanity in medicine through a series of relatable medical stories. The book was officially released at a book signing which took place at the AUB Saab Medical Library on December 22, 2020. It was made available for purchase online at Amazon and Kindle and at a number of local bookstores. Part of the proceeds of the book sale was donated by Ms. Sawaya to the SHBPP Medical Humanism Fund which is dedicated to help needy patients who present to the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).


SHBPP Team Achievements

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah's Contributions and Book Release
Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, SHBPP Steering Committee Chair andChairperson of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at AUBMC was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery. As Acting Director of the SHBPP and Chair of the SHBPP Steering Committee, as well as collaborating faculty instructo, Dr. Abu-Sittah has had a number of contributions to the SHBPP among which include the establishment of the Ghassan S. Abu-Sittah Bioethics & Medical Humanism Library at SHBPP, leading grant seeking initiatives for the program, and co-editing the AMA Journal of Medical Ethics Special Issue on Healthcare in Conflict Zones along with Dr. Thalia Arawi. Dr. Abu-Sittah has also given  a number of talks on the medical ethics in areas of conflict and war to AUBFM medical students.In 2020, Dr. Abu-Sittah published a number of articles and special-issue chapters in peer-reviewed publications (listed above).In late 2020, Dr. Abu-Sittah ended his tenure at AUBMC to move to the United Kingdom; however he reprises his role as Chair of the SHBPP Steering Committee and Acting Director of the program. He also continues to be a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. He serves as a reviewer at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR-UK) and is on the Board of Advisors at its Global Research Group on Burn Trauma. We wish Dr. Abu-Sittah all the best in his new journey, and we hope to continue our ongoing joint endeavours and collaborations. Our sincerest appreciation to his dedication, love of truth, humanism, selflessness and moral courage. 

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  • Masters Thesis Defense with SHBPP Supervision
    Ms. Nathalie Zananiri, Curricular Development Unit Manager at AUBFM, successfully defended her thesis under the title "Exploring the understanding and experiences of professional behaviors in relation to 3rd and 4th year medical students at AUB" for her Masters degree in Health Professions Education, Accreditation and Assessment at Keele University. Ms. Zananiri had completed the work for the thesis with the support and supervision of SHBPP. 
  • Book release by Dr. Thalia Arawi (April 27, 2020)
    Dr. Thalia Arawi published her first book under the title "Towards a Post-Flexnerian Revolution: Graduating the Virtuous Physician" with the support of the AUB Press, which was released for online purchase (in eBook form) via Amazon (Kindle App) and Neelwafurat (iKitab App) on April 27, 2020. The book presents a much-needed reminder that the medical profession is intrinsically a moral venture, and calls on the broader medical community to recognize and remedy flaws in the moral education of its medical school graduates.  ​

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Congratulations to SHBPP for achieving these milestones in 2019!

Fundraising Kickstarter for the Ghassan S. Abu-Sittah Bioethics & Medical Humanism Library

SHBPP launched a kickstarter online campaign to raise funds to support the establishment of the Ghassan S. Abu-Sitta Bioethics & Medical Humanism Library at AUBMC - American University of Beirut Medical Center named for Dr. Abu-Sitta who exemplifies the highest standards of medical humanism. The Ghassan Abu-Sitteh Medical Humanism and Bioethics Library aims to spread the spirit of humane medicine, train healthcare practitioners in humane medicine and patient-centered care with appreciation of the values and wishes of each patient, which are unique to every patient. Let us make a revolution in medical practice and honor this role model, empathetic and humane physician.

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For that purpose, SHBPP organized a meet-and-greet with Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, in collaboration with Dar Al Musawwir, on April 15, 2019 for the public. A video showcasing his humanitarian work and experiences in Gaza was screened, and Dr. Abu-Sittah also shared his personal reflections on these experiences and the importance of humanism in medicine.

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International Honors and Recognition

SHBPP Founding Director Dr. Thalia Arawi received numerous regional and international honors in 2019, by being named:

  • Senior Fellow at the ge2p2 global foundation for governance, ethics, evidence, policy, practice
  • Honorary Member of the Egyptian National Ethics Network
  • Member of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB) Board of Directors


Dr. Firas Kreidieh receives recognition Award

SHBPP family member and colleague Dr. Firas Kreidieh, recipient of the SHBPP Humanism and Professionalism Award in 2017, was recognized with another award from the Nursing Unit for his excellent caring skills on May 9, 2019.

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Dr. Rico Franses publishes book

Dr. Henri (Rico) Franses, Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Art History at AUB and instructor of the “Art and Medicine" module in the PPS-1 course, released his book “Donor Portraits in Byzantine Art. The Vicissitudes of Contact between Human and Divine", a Cambridge University Press publication. 

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SHBPP Sponsored Attendance of the “Humanitarian Law, Policy, and Human Rights in Armed Conflict"

Dr. Mohammad Ali Jardaly, Family Medicine Resident at AUBMC, was selected to receive SHBPP sponsorship to attend the “Humanitarian Law, Policy, and Human Rights in Armed Conflict" training provided by the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP) in Beirut on July 8-10, 2019. 


• Dr. Thalia Arawi elected as a fellow at the ge2p2 

​Dr. Thalia Arawi, Founding Director of SHBPP, was elected as a fellow at the “global foundation for governance, ethics, evidence, policy, and practice” (ge2p2). The founding purpose of the ge2p2 foundation is to advance ethical and scientific rigor in research and evidence generation for governance, policy and practice in human rights action, humanitarian response, health, education, heritage stewardship, and sustainable development – serving governments, international agencies, international NGOs, civil society organizations (csos), commercial entities, consortia and alliances!​

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The SHBPP at AUBFM-MC officially announced a Network Affiliate of the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health 
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at AUBFM-MC officially became a Network Affiliate of the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health (IAMEPH), founded this September in Paris. This Academy is headquartered at the Université René Descartes (Sorbonne Paris Cité). The network has 120 affiliated centers from different countries and renowned universities (McGill, Yale, Sorbonne, Oxford, Vanderbilt, Bristol, etc.). SHBPP is the first and only Network Affiliate from the Middle East. The IAMEPH works closely with the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) for the biannual congresses bringing together the international community of researchers, academics, practitioners and professionals in the field, whose wide-ranging perspectives provide for a comprehensive look at important law and mental health issues. The International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) is founded on the belief that issues arising from the interaction of law and mental health can be best addressed through multidisciplinary and cross-national approaches, drawing on law, the health professions, the social sciences, and the humanities. Every two years, the IALMH holds an International Congress on Law and Mental Health, 


 SHBPP recognized by the visiting JCI team 
“The information that was shared with us was simply fascinating in terms of a systematic approach to the fascinating field of Bioethics and its future development. So you [SHBPP] will be leading…you already are a Center of Excellence in our opinion.” - JCI Chair The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program are honored and proud to have received this heartening testimony from the Joint Commission International surveyor team during their last visit to AUBMC. We hope to continue our mission in further enhancing biomedical ethics, medical humanism and professionalism among future physicians, and continuing to spread this culture among physicians and the community in Lebanon and the Arab World. ​


Dr. Thalia Arawi was appointed on the Board of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB) and was elected as the First Chair of the Bioethics Network for Women’s Issues in the Arab Region (BiWIAR)!​

• Altawil, Z. and Arawi, T. (2015), Uterine Transplantation: Ethical Considerations within Middle Eastern Perspectives. Developing World Bioethics. doi: 10.1111/dewb.12085 A member of 2013’s first prize winning group in the Bioethics Documentary Award (part of the PPS course for third year medical students), Zaid Al-Tawil pursued the topic of the project “Uterine Transplant: Promising yet controversial” and presented a Grand Round under the same title in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Round, which was held on February 12, 2014 in SB101. After graduating, Dr. Al Tawil worked with Dr. Thalia Arawi extensively and ended up publishing “Uterine Transplantation: Ethical Considerations within Middle Eastern Perspectives.” Congratulations Dr. Zaid Tawil!
• Arawi T. and Berri, N. (2015) Einstein Revisited- Medicine’s New Formula: M=EC2 . Mededpublish. DOI: 10.15694/mep.2015.006.0003 Nasma Berri, Research Assistant at SHBPP published with Dr. Thalia Arawi an article that discusses the implementation of the “Physicians, Patients and Society 2” course in a curriculum that can provide future physicians with the tools to become healers in the art of medicine and not just practitioners in its science. The article carried the new formula that was coined by the founding director of the SHBPP
. • Congratulations to the LeMSIC-SCORA team in AUB for the success of their “Speak Up” campaign on the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 2015. The campaign revolved around quotes from faculty members, influential individuals in the society as well as students on what IWD means to them and on the importance of women embracing themselves and speaking up for their rights. 


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