October 21, 1951
1957-1962 grades 1 to 5
I live in London
Left SBS and Beirut in 1962 and spent 4 years in the US, then 2 years in Teheran at the Teheran American School. I then went to Columbia University in NY (BA in political science in 1972), the American University in Washington DC (Juris Doctor 1975).
I then practiced law in California, then London. Then entered investment banking in London, then Merrill Lynch from 1984-2001 in London, Brazil and New York. Then CEO HSBC Private Bank in NY for the Americas. Then Barclays private bank in London since 2006. I am currently Vice Chairman.
1. How was life in Beirut different in those days and what are your most vivid memories of that time?
I loved the school and my friends Chris and Roger Khayat, Joe Salem, Charlie Abyad, Michael Kelberer. I remember trips to Ajaltoun for the summer with the school, the fog in the evening in the mountain, Sanine, the hikes to Sanine and the natural bridge, the beautiful landscape of the country, ice cold water in the mornings before mass. I remember playing scoccer in the school field, the eucaplytus trees, Father Bias throwing tennis balls at us, Brother Dell and the scouts. Life was sweeter then. The age of innocence, before the troubles.
2. How do you think that the years of school in Beirut have influenced your later life?
The school gave me a love for history which I still retain, and for sports. I have wonderful memories of so much fun with the friends at school and how important good friendships are. I also was interested in religion and have followed this through studies in comparative religions.
3. Whom did you stay in touch with over the years?
Joe Salem and Chris Khayat.
4. Would you have liked to stay in Beirut after having finished school? And do you think your life would have been different?
I left Beirut in 1962. Many Lebanese and other friends stayed on and have great memories of their teenage years in Beirut in the “golden years” prior to 1975 so yes, I would have loved to have stayed. Of course, all my life would have been different: I have lived in many countries since.
5. Do you think you will return to Lebanon one day? And if so, or not, why?
I do return at least once every 3 months since my family and many friends are there. I have a house there and want to end my days there. It is home.
6. Are you interested in taking part in future reunions of ex-students?
I would certainly like to see old friends and teachers again.
7. What do you think of this website and how can we improve it?
The website is good. There should be more pictures for each class year and a better way of connecting classmates together, like Facebook.