OSA 24th International Convention
on Aug 24 2016

OSA 24th International Convention – July 24 - 25, 2015

The 24th International Convention was somewhat different this year as it was held over 2 days, July 24 and July 25, 2015.

Commencing on Friday, July 24, 2015 with a Gala Dinner held at Al Bustan Hotel in Beit Mery at 8:00 pm with an ambience of soft music performed by Mabelle & her Band, while old scholars enjoyed a fine dining menu.

The highlight of the evening was the commemoration of the classes of ’64 and ’65, as President Nazih Khattar ’66, presented 19 old scholars with shields, honouring their 50th Anniversary upon graduating from BHS. The event was crowned by cutting the cake, laughter, fun, sharing memories and dancing.

The following day started with the Brummana One Scouts Group opening ceremony, by saluting and raising the 3 flags and performing their scouts’ cheers.

Old scholars enjoyed a saj breakfast of “Manakeesh”, while they renewed their memberships at the registration desk before the General Assembly began.

The Meeting House had a blend of old and young scholars, in addition to some former and current BHS teachers who came to encourage and listen to our speakers of the younger generation, mainly graduates of the years 2004 – 2014.

Master of Ceremonies, Mrs. Tanya Nammour (former OSA GM) presented the speakers to the audience, after President Khattar had given a summary on OSA’s achievements for the first half of 2015, covering all events and reunions that had taken place.

Keynote speaker and beloved former BHS teacher, Mr. John Kirkbright spoke of his days at BHS, how they were etched forever in his memory and how fond he was of the school and Lebanon, his second home.

Our main speaker, Miss Joline Chakhtoura ’04, winner of many awards, student at NASA summer school, and dual PhD student at Delft University in the Netherlands and KAUST in Saudi Arabia, came to share her achievements with us. Throughout all of Joline’s grand achievements and continuous success stories, she remains a BHS student at heart, one who carries her journey with her wherever she goes. One who is thankful for everything her school has taught her and for preparing her for the life she now leads as an Astro-Biologist.

Representing BHS Principal, Dr. Walid El Khoury, Mr. George Rizkallah gave an update on the school’s most recent developments, physically and academically, such as the inauguration of the new infant building, The Rizkallah Extension Building, which is home for KG I, KG II and KG III students. In addition to forming the Khoury Hall, which is being used for assemblies, shows, and plays.  He also spoke of the new IB Programme which should be approved in the year 2016 by the British Ministry of Education. Among other updates was the renovation of the kitchen and the participation of BHS students in the MUN Programme at LAU, Beirut.

UK Chapter Head, Mrs. Nayla Tawil Cookson ’65, updated the audience on the UK Chapter’s activities and reunion held, which brought together old scholars of different age groups, who were very happy to meet, be reminded of their school and were dedicated to meeting regularly to help, support and promote BHS from miles away.

Other young achievers and speakers included Mr. Michael-Patrick Azar ’14 and Mr. Joe Halabi ’14, both of which spoke of their days at BHS and how their school prepared them for their journey in life. The values they learnt at school, academically and interpersonally, paved their paths by helping them cope with more diverse and different surroundings.

Our final speaker, the youngest one, Mr. Tarek Yared, is a current BHS student in Grade 9 and the author of the book “Phoenix”. Tarek spoke of his book writing experience, how it all started and what had inspired him to write this book at such a young age. His journey as a writer had just begun. Tarek was working on a new book “Paragon” (available in April 2016).

Mrs. Emily Kanaan Salem ’82, OSA Treasurer, presented the financial report covering 6 months from January 2015 – June 2015. After which the date of the 25th Silver Jubilee International Convention was announced (July 15 – 17, 2016) and the awards were presented to all speakers by President Nazih Khattar.

The best is always saved for last. We ended the 24th International Convention with our famous street party, bringing together old scholars of all age groups along with their families and friends. The one night where the streets of Brummana become exclusively car-free, where all visitors are welcome to join, dine, watch live entertainment shows on stage, mingle and have fun. The grand finale was lighting up the sky with the beautiful fireworks show and the samba dancers.

Until we meet again next year to celebrate 25 grand years of serving our school, our home and heritage, because “home is where the heart is.”


Mona Karam ’00
OSA Community Manager

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