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University of Balamand > Administration > Presidency > President Salem > Message28-06-10

Message from the President to UOB Alumni

June 28, 2010

In the presence of His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV and His Excellency Prime Minister Saad Hariri and members of the Community, the University of Balamand unveiled on June 12th, 2010 the founding stone of:

“The University of Balamand
The Rafic Hariri University Hospital.”

The idea of building a hospital at Balamand came originally from the authorities of the St. George University Medical Center in Achrafieh, Beirut, who felt the need for a satellite hospital in North Lebanon.

After extensive discussions between the University and the St. George University Medical Center, the idea of an independent hospital managed by the University, but maintaining close academic and professional partnership with St. George, replaced that of the satellite model.

The Sasaki Master Plan for the Monastery land of 2004 envisaged a hospital at Balamand close to the Tripoli-Beirut highway, for easy access.  Accordingly, His Beatitude the Patriarch set aside for the use of the University a plot of land of 140,000 m² in the area recommended by Sasaki.

For the past few years the University has been soliciting philanthropists to build a hospital at Balamand.  As the cost of building a hospital and maintaining it at world-class level soared, the chance of building it was decreasing.

Lately, the University, in consultation with Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mr. Farid Makari, contacted Mr. Saad Hariri for a donation.  Fortunately, Mr. Hariri responded by committing $20 million for the project.  The University in turn pledged to name the hospital after his father Rafic Hariri, for which he was grateful setting only one condition that it will be of the highest medical standard.

The architectural plan of the hospital is being developed by Architect Nabil Azar and other professional consultants.  The Hospital will be run by the University Administration under the supervision of the University’s Board of Trustees.  The University will run it as an administrative unit such as existing Faculties or Institutes.  The Hospital will consist of 200 beds and will occupy a lot of 23,000 m². 

The rest of the plot, which has become under the University control, will house in the future other medical and health facilities, in a unique health complex of medical excellence and health services.

I take this opportunity to thank our Alumni for committing themselves to building the Alumni Center on Campus which is designed by one of their members. I am sending you this letter in order to keep our Alumni informed of the major achievements of the University.

Elie A. Salem
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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278