Volume XXI Number 1    Alumni Newsletter of the American Community School of Beirut, Lebanon
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Editor's Corner
President's Report
Report from ACS
Dues and Fund Raising

Editor's Corner
by Jon Stacey '61

This is the first time we've tried to publish the Pot on both the AA/ACS Web Page, as well as in hard copy. Since about 23% of "found" ACSers have email, we are deducing that most of them can also access the web page at http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/370/371/acs/index.html Since funds were not available to print the Pot as of April 10, 1999, we've chosen to publish it first on the web, thanks to an agreement with Webmaster Børre Ludvigsen '64 and significant help with HTML conversion fromMatt Hunt '70. Thanks, guys!
Our annual dues mailing went out in late January, but only 469 ACSers have paid their dues as this issue goes on the web, as compared to 660 at the same time last year. As 80% of your dues go towards printing the Pot, please do what you can to help us out


  • A Trip to Sidon by Bill Isely '43
  • Selected Poems by Allen West '48
  • The BD and Tight Regulations by various authors
  • Father of the POT by John Woods '56
  • How I Found AA/ACS compiled by Jon Stacey '61
  • These Drivers Are Dogs! by Borre Ludvigsen '64
  • Reports from ACS by Catherine Bashshur (Fac)

Ideas for columns, features, and articles? Call me! Want to write an article? Call me collect! Check the upcoming hardcopy version of the POT for details!

President's Report
by Mike Sena '62

As I am sure every one remembers, it is a beautiful time to be in Beirut. The sun shines, the people smile, ACS holds its high school graduation and all of the dormies return to whichever country and city they had come from. It is still the same, except that there is no dorm and therefore no dorm students.

There is no question that Beirut has changed. However, I did enjoy seeing that the basic essence of the Lebanese has not changed. They are still a warm, welcoming and industrious people. As you stroll or jog along the Corniche everyone smiles and says "hello". The downtown area will be as beautiful soon as it once was, in fact it will be somewhat expanded given the land reclamation that has been done along the shoreline. And yes, there is a Hard Rock Café - Beirut (in fact there are two). The airport is well on the way to being as modern and complete as any in the world. The views from the shore to the mountains and the reverse are still beautiful, as they were in years past, albeit a lot more traffic, many more people and much new construction. The road to Sidon will soon be a 4 - 6 lane super highway.

The local chapter of the ACS Alumni Association is very active and looks forward to participating and help sponsoring the AA/ACS 2005 Reunion. As everyone is aware this will also be the year that ACS celebrates its 100th anniversary - a nice time for a reunion and a family vacation. Regardless of your year of graduation they made you feel welcome and one of them.

Front of the ACS school building taken from up the hill. Note the additional floor under construction on the top of the building. Photo courtesy of Paul Arnold '65

ACS is looks and remains as it has been for many years. A floor has been added to the main building and contains the library. The dormitory now houses the kindergarten (in the old cafeteria location), administrative offices and staff apartments. A new wing (parallels the old dormitory wing) houses more classrooms for the lower grades. The soccer field, parking lot (old tennis courts) and basketball court has been reclaimed and are in continuous use. There is a fine riding facility south of the city, and an excellent facility in the mountains at Faqra. The school is doing well, the administration and staff is top-of-the line. Your continuing contributions to the ACS Annual Fund will go a long way to ensuring that the superb all-around education provided by ACS will continue into the future. There are close to 1000 students (K - 12), with those who graduate receiving the Lebanese Baccalaureate, the International Baccalaureate or the American High School Diploma. The standards are high and there is a waiting list for entrance to the school at all levels. The graduates all continue on to successful careers or continuing education throughout the world and they leave after an impressive awards and graduation ceremony held in the chapel at AUB.

This is as it was in summer 1998, I'm sure 1999 will be the same. Regretfully, I will not be able to attend this year's graduation ceremonies. To this year's graduates - Congratulations and I look forward to meeting you in the future.

Reports from ACS
by Catherine Bashshur (Fac) (Trus), Head of School
Email dated December 10, 1998

We received the check for the Malcolm Kerr scholarship and I want to properly thank you and the many other generous alumni who contributed. We usually do not disperse the fund until January when we give out all aid. As we begin work on the building of scholarships we will shift the funding to the beginning of the year. I will let you know to whom the scholarship went and give a bit of a biography.

Thank you for the gift of "In Praise of Women," edited by your classmate Jonathan Meader '61. I sent it over to the library and asked the librarian to give her opinion. I have not heard to date but I thought the book was lovely. Thank you and thank you for your personal gift of the clock with the hours imprinted in Arabic.

We have had an incredibly busy Fall seemingly one social event after another on top of moving back into our apartment and office. The whole central administration area was gutted and redesigned so, of course, we were all dislocated for the summer and had to spend the month of September moving in again. I will have to shift all my office stuff again when the new furniture comes in at Christmas. The move back to the apartment was more difficult because it first a much bigger area and the whole place is so different. We still do not have curtains and all the pictures are not hung nor all the furniture in its proper place. I have given myself a year to settle in. You have no idea how difficult it has been taking things apart on an annual basis and trying to get them back in working order in 2 months.

The physical plant has had a very stressful and difficult job, not to mention the architect/ contractor. Of course, there is the usual work that accompanies the opening of school plus all the innovations. We have had three consultants for staff development this Fall -- all from the US. We have a wonderful staff -- a good blend of east and west-all very committed to giving their best. A thunderstorm just erupted outside. It is about time that we had some cold weather; the Fall has been much too warm and dry.

The past two days we have had a different kind of thunder over head. Israeli have had aircraft over head breaking the sound barrier at low level -- enough to rattle the glass and actually blow windows out if they are not partially opened. It has not been a one-time incursion. This kind of activity is constant in the south, but the last two days they have been over Beirut. Yesterday at 9 a.m. and at 11 a.m., ,then in the afternoon and evening and some time in the middle of the night. Again twice today. This does not frighten me - I was startled at first, followed quickly by rage at the injustice. Lebanon has no real capability to fight back because it does not have the aircraft. I think antiaircraft guns are basically useless. The Israelis seem to feel that humiliating a country and harassing and frightening the population is OK. The irony is that military action in the occupied zone in the south has abated in the last two weeks.

Yesterday we had a visit from the new US Ambassador, David Satterfield. He met with the student leadership. I was very surprised at how subdued they were. They are usually quite vocal about violations of territorial integrity particularly when it is occurring as they were meeting with the Ambassador. In spite of the events, we had a pleasant lunch together at our apartment.

Being a grandmother suits me. I do not understand why anyone would complain about being called Grandmother or Grandfather no matter what the age . What could be lovelier than holding the child of one's child and marveling all over at the wonder of birth. Zayn Ramzi Abounnasr (son of our daughter Maria Bashshur-Anounnasr '84) was born on October the 10th and he is the pride and joy of his grandmother(and a few other grandparents). I feel very fortunate to have him live so close and be able to see him so often.

Dues and Fund Raising

REMINDER - PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES!!! By this time in 1998, 660 ACSers had paid their dues - this year, only 469 ACSers have paid their dues by the same time.

Have you helped to "illuminate the path to knowledge?" We designed the campaign's logo above to show how close we are to reaching our $25,000 goal. As of press time, we have received many generous donations totaling $17,120, which means we need to raise $8,000 for the Annual Fund by August 1999. The money we raise will:
  • give $10,000 in Travel Scholarships for Athletic Teams
  • provide $10,000 for Music Department's instruments
  • increase by $5,000 the Library's computer capabilities.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Send your check to "ACS at Beirut Annual Fund," to the address shown in the printed version of the POT. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Questions or comments should be addressed to one of the following:
Donna Egan-Donahoo (Fund Development Chair)
Anne Bruder (70)
Matt Hunt (70)
Linda Handschin Sheppard (68)

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