Helping others “while being far away”
Hala and Mohammad Finj have pledged to give back to LAU where their late son and LAU alumnus Ahmad spent the best days of his life, courageously facing his rare bone disease.
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Hala and Mohammad Finj have recently pledged to give back to the institution where their late son and LAU alumnus Ahmad spent the best days of his life, by establishing an endowed scholarship fund in his name this month, as well as naming a bench after him on the Beirut campus.
Ahmad suffered from a rare bone disease that caused continuous fractures and kept him disabled for most of his life, but that illness did not stand in his way.
Ahmad graduated with an A.A.S. in Business Management in 2003. During his four years at LAU, he made many friends who truly loved him for who he was, and to this day he is missed and remembered well in the hearts of all who knew him.
“LAU is a fruitful land and Ahmad was one of its fruits, and LAU equally was proud to have him as one of its graduates,” says Mohammad Finj.
What set LAU apart from other universities was how it did not go by the book for Ahmad, Mr. Finj adds.
He says he is forever grateful for the physical changes and exceptions made by LAU to help his son continue his studies smoothly and earn his degree, including changing the rooms of Ahmad’s classes to make sure they would be on floors that were reachable for him.
LAU also built a ramp around the Beirut campus for Ahmad, something that has helped a good number of disabled people join LAU and study here after him.
LAU “would also have someone assist Ahmad during his exams, to read questions for him and help him record his lectures because of his poor eyesight,” Mrs. Finj remembers.
“This was a way to show that disabled people also have the chance to succeed academically,” she adds.
Ahmad was a very bright student, a great listener, and many say he was quite a comedian. People remember him as always telling jokes and making others laugh, not to mention how great he was at helping his friends overcome their personal issues.
Regardless of his medical complications, Ahmad considered his university studies as highly important and he always wanted to go to his classes even if he was feeling ill.
He also enjoyed working at his father’s company, and wanted to eventually open up his own business.
“He loved life so much and never wanted to miss out on gaining knowledge and having fun!” Mrs. Finj says.
Ahmad passed away in 2006 after being in and out of hospital for so many times.
In July 2010, his parents named a bench after him. It is located on the upper gate area of the Beirut campus, a place where Ahmad preferred to hang out with his friends.
“Ahmad’s name shall live at a place so dear to his heart, at LAU, and he will continue helping people [through the endowed scholarship fund] even while being far away. He is to this day … our inspiration to be patient, to love, and to always give,” says Ahmad’s mother.