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Country

Lebanon

Sector(s)

Known for Being

The only woman MD (Medical Doctor) student in her class throughout medical school.

A public health advocate.

Major Accomplishments

Dr. Jamal Karam Harfouche was a 1935 America Junior College for Women graduate, a graduate of the American University of Beirut (AUB) with an MD in 1941, and a graduate of Harvard University with a PhD in public health in 1965. When she joined AUB, Harfouche was the only woman MD student in her class throughout medical school. When asked about her experience, she said, "I learned to depend on myself and cultivate a strong sense of determination." This strength of character served her well in a long and distinguished career.

Harfouche spent almost 40 years teaching at AUB in the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the Faculty of Health Science. Harfouche was the author of over 40 articles and four books. She was one of the preeminent authorities on maternal and child health, especially pertaining to Lebanon and the Middle East. Her expert advice was sought by many international organizations and she was an active member of numerous prestigious boards and executive committees. She was also a committed public health advocate and established a string of community health centers in Lebanon. Harfouche joined the AUB School of Public Health as assistant professor of maternal and child health. She was promoted to associate professor in 1962 and served as professor from 1967 until she retired in 1978. A strong public health advocate, Harfouche was presented with many awards and, upon her death in 2000, AUB President, John Waterbury, said in his memorial speech: "AUB is proud to count her among its illustrious sons and daughters. We feel fortunate that... we had an opportunity, albeit inadequate, to pay tribute to her outstanding contributions."

Last modified: 01/09/2019

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