I was surprised to see LAU & AUB presidents featured in Fouad Makhzoumi‘s latest electoral video, as it looked like some sort of endorsement for the candidate. However, AUB president Fadlo R. Khuri clarified the matter today, starting that “the discussion is virtually identical in content to ones that the two of us have had with a large number of Lebanese business and political leaders, and should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of any particular political platform”, and I expect LAU president to follow suit.
I’m not really sure if it was done intentionally or it was some misunderstanding, but Makhzoumi definitely benefited from such publicity as LAU & AUB students looks up to their presidents. If anything, it caught my attention and made look up his electoral program, which are still general guidelines without a detailed plan.
Here’s the full statement:
Dear AUB Alumni,
It has come to my attention that a video has been circulating of an unscripted discussion that was held between a prominent Lebanese businessman with LAU President Joseph Jabbra and myself approximately one year ago. This has been interpreted by some as an endorsement for a potential candidate. It is clear from the content that the video is an appeal for greater collaboration between this country’s major universities and the private sector in order to enable enhanced employment in this increasingly challenging job market. As such, the discussion is virtually identical in content to ones that the two of us have had with a large number of Lebanese business and political leaders, and should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of any particular political platform. The American University of Beirut, and I personally, have not and will not be endorsing any candidates in local, national or international elections.
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD