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It Runs in the Family

February 3, 2019

A three-generation alumni family shares AUC memories and reflections.

For Farkhonda Hassan (MSc ’67), the phrase “mother knows best” takes on an entirely new meaning.

Hassan, professor emerita in the School of Sciences and Engineering, has been teaching at AUC for 55 years. Her extensive list of students includes Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan ’91 and Nabil Fahmy ’74, ’77, Egypt’s former foreign minister and founding dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Yet, she has some particular students she especially enjoyed teaching at AUC — her children and grandchildren.

Hassan’s daughter, Wegdan Lot ’79, ’91, was previously an adjunct faculty member at AUC’s Department of Chemistry and had taught her own children as well, including Omar Khalifa ’09. “He got a B minus in my class,” Lot said jokingly.

Khalifa also reflected, laughing, “Most of the people I meet say, ‘Oh, your mother is Wegdan; your grandmother is Farkhonda. She taught me; she taught me!’”

As AUC’s centennial approaches, Hassan, Lot and Khalifa sat together in the living room of Hassan’s home, surrounded by photographs and family mementos, and reflected on what this centennial means to them as a multigenerational family of AUCians.

Hassan, who was present for the University’s 75th anniversary in 1994, said she can’t believe the centennial is this year. “I have been at AUC for more than half a century. I never imagined that I would make it to the centennial, but I really feel happy to be here,” Hassan said. “I feel like I am part of AUC and AUC is part of me.”