NOTRE DAME M I DDL E E AS T
TABLE OF CONTENTS 03 STUDENT PROFILES
11 ALUMNI PROFILES
NOTRE DAME | MIDDLE EAST
Jamal Al Hourani
Geroges Al Sankari
I chose Notre Dame because of the focus it has on undergraduate studies and student life. Unlike at other universities, the vast amount of resources go toward the undergraduate experience. When I visited, I also found Notre Dame’s community to be very supportive and collaborative, where everyone has others’ best interests in mind.
DANIA ABDUL DUBAI, U.A.E CLASS OF 2021 FINANCE AND ECONOMICS
So far, I have been a part of the Student International Business Council (SIBC), a student-run business organization where I’ve been able to learn about finance before starting my major next year. I have participated in several fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening diseases. I am currently on Badin’s interhall basketball team, where I have had the opportunity to meet new people and form a bond with other girls in my residence hall. My favorite experience at Notre Dame has been the football games. I found that they really highlight the family aspect of Notre Dame. Although I knew nothing about football coming in, I eventually became a fanatic. There was something magical about 80,000 people cheering for the Irish and embracing each other to sing the Alma Mater after the game. Week after week, these games remind me of the strong and supportive community that we have at Notre Dame.
I chose Notre Dame because it is one of those places that has a sense of community that you know will follow you everywhere you go. Every person you meet here – your fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni – are extremely welcoming and supportive, and reinforce that sense of family and community that makes Notre Dame so special.
GHISLAIN TRINIDADE ABU DHABI, U.A.E. CLASS OF 2021 ACMS AND ACTUARIAL SCIENCE
Since coming to Notre Dame, I have volunteered my time doing a weekly show for the WSND radio station. I am also a part of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, where we hold events to increase the students’ interest in math around campus. Lastly, I have participated in the Kind Club, where we hold events on campus every once in a while – from offering “free hugs” to writing fun messages on the sidewalks – to cheer up our fellow students. My favorite thing about Notre Dame has to be the residential life; it gives you countless opportunities to bond with other students and explore new things. At my residence hall, I have volunteered to teach at an elementary school in South Bend, participated in dodgeball and basketball tournaments, and helped plan events with the rest of my hall mates. My dorm became a sort of second home to me, and gave me the change to meet some wonderful people and make many great friends.
In high school, I was very passionate about Notre Dame because of the exceptional opportunities it offers in academics, service projects, and community life. Thanks to Miss Mary De Villiers, the international representative of Notre Dame in the Middle East, I was able to contact a few students who told me about their experiences and convinced me that Notre Dame was the place for me.
JAMAL AL HOURANI MADABA, JORDAN CLASS OF 2020 ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
In my first year, I have joined Notre Dame Chorale, a concert choir with a wonderful group of people who have become like a family to me. I also have been working as a student manager at the North Dining Hall since last year. This semester, I joined the Rocketry Club, where we have been building a rocket in cooperation with NASA and are launching it in April. I am also currently working on a research project on vacuum technology with Professor Gary Bernstein, who has been a great mentor and has enhanced my intellectual curiosity in this field. My favorite experiences at Notre Dame have been the tours with the Notre Dame Chorale. Last winter, for example, I traveled with a group of 50 students to perform in several East Coast cities. During this tour – from the long bus rides to the performance and after-performance gatherings – I had the opportunity to make some great friends and learn about other students’ experiences at Notre Dame. This type of experience really reinforces in me the Notre Dame identity.
I chose Notre Dame because I wanted to grow both academically and as a human being. Notre Dameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rigorous academics, strong sense of community, and religious identity set it apart from other universities, in the U.S. and elsewhere. The family you become part of at Notre Dame lasts far more than four years, and what you learn applies far beyond your career.
ALEXANDRE BOUREI JOUNIEH, LEBANON CLASS OF 2020 AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
During my first year, I joined the Notre Dame Rocketry Club (NDRT), which participates in an annual NASA-organized student competition. I have also been involved in undergraduate research with one of my professors, whose work lies at the intersection of aeronautics and chemistry, and I briefly worked as a tutor for student-athletes last semester. My favorite experience here has been living in Alumni Hall. The residential life here creates a supportive community of friends from diverse backgrounds with different ways who allow us to learn from each other day after day. The sense of community and family that living, eating, praying, studying, debating, and having fun with a group of friends creates remains even after some move off campus or graduate, and the traditions associated with each hall make them a lot more than mere buildings.
I came to Notre Dame because I wanted to be at a university with a unique sense of community. I’ve experienced it so strongly through friend groups, residential life, my academic department, and student groups. What surprised me most is that this community spans way beyond campus and acquaintances—simply put, if you are a Domer anywhere around the world; you are part of a family of strangers with Notre Dame in their hearts.
LAUREN BOUTROS BHAMDOUN, LEBANON CLASS OF 2019 INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND COMPUTRING AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES MINOR
I have been involved in several extracurricular activities, including singing at the Acapella Club and Liturgical Choir. I currently serve as the president of Notre Dame’s chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), where we plan events and get to exchange ideas with other designminded students. All of these experiences have allowed me to expand my learning beyond the classroom and meet some great people along the way. My favorite thing about Notre Dame has been exchanging ideas with some bright, enthusiastic professors. Last year, in the Intermediate Product Development design course, for example, I designed a wine bottle opener for people with arthritis. I had the opportunity to constantly interact with my professor as we bounced ideas off each other until I finally created a product that I was happy with. These opportunities to connect and collaborate with professors have bolstered my interest in design and allowed me to learn at an exponential rate.
I chose Notre Dame because of its unparalleled school spirit and community. Every time I talked to a student or alum, they passionately told me about all the wonderful experiences they had at Notre Dame. It always seemed to me like, at Notre Dame, the undergraduate experience was much more than an academic formation, and I was really excited about that.
GEORGES AL SANKARI ZAGARTA, LEBANON CLASS OF 2020 COMPUTER SCIENCE
I currently work at the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, helping conduct surveys and proposing solutions to increase the teaching practices at Notre Dame and beyond. I am also active at Stanford Hall, where I am both a Multicultural Commissioner and a member of the Cross-Country team. I have really been able to grow through these different activities: I am now a better researcher, event planner, and athlete thanks to the many opportunities available at Notre Dame. My favorite experience at Notre Dame has definitely been the football games. There’s something special about cheering for an institution you’re a part of, with all your friends around you – singing the Alma Mater, dancing to the cheers, and doing push-ups when we score. I also enjoy the pre-game activities such as tailgating and participating in the Knights of Columbus Stake Sales; they’re a great way to meet new people and contribute to causes that I care about.
At Notre Dame, there is a core ideology behind absolutely everything whether it is in the residence hall, the dining hall, the classroom, or the gym. You always feel like you belong to something greater. I was excited about becoming part of the Notre Dame family, where I could learn from a talented and supportive group of students and alumni.
MOATAZ BASHIR CAIRO, EGYPT CLASS OF 2020 ARCHITECTURE AND ITALIAN
Over my three years at Notre Dame, I have been extensively involved with the School of Architecture. One of my highlights was representing Notre Dame at the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) conference in Los Angeles. At this conference, I was able to meet some prominent architects, interact with other students, and learn about numerous trends in this field. It was a great way to learn tangible skills outside of the classroom. As architects, we get to spend our entire third year in Rome, Italy. I really enjoy how, in Rome, the city is the classroom; we get to learn directly from architectural masterpieces, such as the Colosseum or the Roman Forum. I have also had the opportunity to travel Europe with my friends: we have gone wine-tasting in Orvieto; gone to Lisbon for Fall Break; and been immersed in new cultures while walking around Madrid and Barcelona. Studying abroad has been a great way to get out of my habitat and learn by exploring.
JILL BOUTROS CLASS OF 1988
ECONOMICS BHAMDOUN, LEBANON
My husband and I replanted historic vineyards in his war-torn ancestral mountain village and founded a winery, restaurant, and boutique hotel to rejuvenate village life and protect a heritage of viticulture at risk from development. Our work has provided an economic vehicle which supports dozens of individuals in the village through jobs and rental income. I also volunteer as a college counselor to students at our Jesuit high school who seek admission to American and British universities. My goal is to help provide access to life-changing college experiences for worthy students who cannot afford to hire expensive college consultants.
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND INTERNSHIPS
FAVORITE THING ABOUT NOTRE DAME
Two things come to mind: first, Domers smile at each other as they crisscross the quad, choosing friendly engagement over isolation every time; and second, I never found a mass experience which could begin to compete with our warm and intimate celebrations of the Eucharist at Notre Dame.
HOW NOTRE DAME CHANGED ME
I met my husband at Notre Dame and we committed to living our life together in service to others. Though we came from very different backgrounds, the values we cultivated under the Golden Dome provided the foundation upon which we built a family and rebuilt a village.
At Notre Dame I sang in the Chorale and the Folk Choir and served as a cantor in the Basilica, regularly leading the singing at five to seven masses a week. I volunteered with the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) and participated in a wonderful inner-city experience as part of a summer service project.
FRANÇOIS BOUERI CLASS OF 1983
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING JOUNIEH, LEBANON
FAVORITE THING ABOUT NOTRE DAME
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND INTERNSHIPS
HOW NOTRE DAME CHANGED ME
I am currently based in Dubai, where I recently set up Sustainable Environmental Engineering Solutions, a boutique consultancy, in 2015. Prior to that, I had a successful multinational career, in various and interesting positions as an executive in McQuay International and later on as the Middle East and Africa president for Daikin. I have worked in 13 different cities across the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.
While at Notre Dame, I was president of the International Student Organization. During my tenure, we launched the first International Food Festival with music and dance. I also remember opening the international student lounge (basement of La Fortune at the time) for hot chocolate and middle-of-the-night breaks, including snow football during exam week! I also belonged to the Lebanese American Club and am a proud founding member of the unofficial famous Latino party group in the mid 80’s.
My favorite thing about Notre Dame is the school spirit that binds us together. This is something that you witness across campus – on the quads, the Grotto, the library and, of course, the stadium – and that really makes the undergraduate experience exceptional. Few colleges offer such a tight community and a sense of family like Notre Dame does.
Notre Dame is a great alma mater with a transforming power – not only for the education it gave me but also for the values it instilled in me and for the friendships I made during my years under the Dome. The biggest blessing, however, was meeting Marijean Moran (SMC ’82) in the study lounge of Grace Hall in October 1979. We both still remember that moment vividly and count our blessings for having met. We married in 1987, and have three wonderful children, Kevin, Patrick, and Grace.