As we are trying to continue to build this site, we realize how difficult it is to keep current and to publish as many pictures as possible. So please be patient and keep visiting us from time to time. Don't give up on us.
The 2002 year is marred with the side effects of last year's sad events. More wars, more hate, bad economy everywhere. Nonetheless, as I said earlier, and as my dad used to always say, ordinary life goes on and should go on. Hope must prevail.
2002 was basically our kids' year. As you all know from my previous posting, they were to graduate, one from college and the other from high school. Both had to decide what they want to do next with their life.
For Kamal, his way was almost paved. He had been already working for a high tech company, and he was promised to become permanent employee, as soon as he finishes school. But companies all around the world were laying off their employees..
In June, finally "the day" arrived. On the 15th, Kamal walked at the commencement (picture). That was really exciting and very emotional. Thousands of parents and friends flooded the football field to watch their loved ones as they walked to the podium to receive their diplomas (picture). Afterward there was lunch, music and dance. It was really a joyful event and a day to remember.
Since Kamal was short two units, he officially graduated in August. July and August were hard on Kamal ( and us ) as the decision by the company to hire him would not come. Finally, in September he officially became a permanent employee. Ufff , we are all relieved. (one down, one to go).
Karl started his journey for the future in October of 2001. This is when he started filling his applications to colleges of his choice. He had already decided to go for Electrical Engineering, and the next thing is to find out which of these colleges would accept him, and which one would he choose.
Karl was always an A student. He never had a B. His chances of getting into a good school were very good, so we were more anxious than worried. By end of February, 5 of six schools accepted him and he narrowed the choice to two : UCLA and Santa Clara University. We visited UCLA during the 2nd week of March (picture), it's a beautiful campus. However, Santa Clara gave him an offer he couldn't refuse : two beefy scholarships. He was well rewarded for his hard work. He would get a third but a small one, should he accept to join the honors class. He passed on.
The next two months for Karl would be a lot of fun. The prom endless parties. Why not, he deserved it.
May 25th was the day for Karl. 362 senior students were graduating. Those young men looked pretty in their blue robes (picture). Karl made us so proud as he raked 5 awards and honors. After the ceremony, we had a party in our backyard, where family and friends gathered for the occasion. (pictures)
Early this year, Marlene's mother, who lives with us, had to go, again, to the operation room, this time to replace a heart valve. While thru the operation, the doctors decided that she needed a bypass procedure, which they did spontaneously and successfully. She is doing fine at this time.
Other sad news: I turned 50 in April. It's not sad really. I am so grateful to be 50 and see my kids growing healthy and successful. I told my wife early this year, and I made it clear that I don't want a party, specially a surprise. Nevertheless, a couple of our friends convinced her that the occasion should not pass without any attention. They arranged for a little private surprise party at the house of one of them, a week after my birth date.
I thought we were just invited for lunch at our friends. I had no clue. When I walked in, my kids were there and they brought their grandma with them. I was in a complete surprise as the cameras and flashes were clicking (picture). It was great. Many thanks to the good friends , the Akikis, the Mubaraks and the Selwans. My wife got already what she deserves.
The other highlights of this year are the arrival of two new babies. In July the Mubaraks were blessed with the birth of their third boy and named him Roy. He's healthy, handsome and his head is full of beautiful hair ( more than I ever had when I was a teen).
In Paris, France, Dimitri and Carol Faddoul were blessed in August with the birth of their second girl, Alexianne. No body is happier than her sister Axelle. (see Events).
On the business front, this year we had a new landlord who gave us a four year lease at a very reasonable rent. In addition they granted us new paint and floor. We took advantage of this offer and had the theme and colors all changed. We hang up new pictures, mostly of Lebanon. Our clients were very pleased with those changes. We are committed (stuck) now to four years.
Before I close this newsletter, I urge our friends to get in touch with us, by email or otherwise, or at least email us some pictures. Those of you who get to see this web site, please forward it to other friends.
Next year we will try to update more frequently. Until we hear from you we wish everyone of you a very successful 2003 full of joy and peace.