Outgoing 2010-2012 President's Message

Greetings! On behalf of AIA Middle East we want to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. We also wish to thank you for your support this past year as we have seen our chapter grow to be the second largest of the five international chapters! With every end is a new beginning and we want to bring you up to date with some exciting changes in 2013.

In 2013 we look to bring you mo...re of the same interesting and professionally enticing opportunities that make being a member of AIA Middle East so rewarding. Soon we will announce a new events schedule so you can book your calendars ahead of time. 2013 also brings with it a new Board of Directors who look to continue to serve your interests with the same passion as the founding Board.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank outgoing President Thierry Paret and wish him good luck as he continues to serve the AIA with even greater zeal at an International level. Please join us in thanking Thierry, whose outgoing President's message is below.

On behalf of the 2013 AIA Middle East Board, we wish you all a successful 2013 as we all continue to strive to bring about positive change through the power of design!

Sherif Anis, AIA
2013 AIA Middle East President



Dear Colleagues:
As we come to the end of 2012 and my second term as AIA Middle East president, I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the major accomplishments of what we have done together over the past two years since the inception or our chapter.

The journey started in December 2009 when I received a communication from Tom Vonier, FAIA - (International AIA Director) and Marc DiDomenico, AIA - (2009 Continental Europe president) proposing that a small group of AIA architects based in the Middle East consider developing a new chapter in the Middle East. This initial group which included Steven Miller, FAIA, Sherif Anis, AIA, Loay Quota, AIA, and Hisham Youssef, AIA made the wholehearted commitment to work towards the objective of creating a chapter that would stretch from north-west Africa to the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Many By-Law drafts and meetings later we received the approval from the AIA National Board for the formation of AIA Middle East Chapter, the AIA's fifth international chapter. In the fall of 2010 we officially received our chapter's charter from AIA President George Miller, FAIA during an intimate dinner in Dubai.

During the following year we forged important and enduring relationships with both the leadership and administrative staff at AIA National in Washington DC. I cannot say enough good things about everyone I've met and worked with on both AIA Middle East and other AIA endeavors, their commitment and dedication to our organization's continued success at home in the USA and overseas is unparalleled. I must make a special mention to Tom Vonier whom without his unwavering support our chapter would not have come to fruition - he has tirelessly worked for the cause of the international chapters. I also had the great pleasure of meeting Robert Ivy the AIA's Chief Executive, Jay Stephens the AIA's Chief Legal Counsel, 2011 AIA President Clark Manus and Cedric Rush the AIA National Membership Director.

Our Chapter's growth has been meteoric going from a handful of members in 2010 to approximately 273by the end of 2012 making the AIA ME the second largest of the five International Chapters. This is largely due to our considerable efforts spent in providing continuing education lectures (CES), organizing conferences, supporting event partners, holding social events, outreach to local schools of architecture, public speaking engagements and continuous involvement with regional media.

We also worked hard to secure sponsors over the last two years and were fortunate to have found some truly great ones. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank the sponsors that have supported the chapter, namely: Intraco, Herman- Miller, Lundhs, Dornbracht, Otis, Foamglass and Hubbel Lighting without whom we would have been unable to service our members and would have been forced to have much higher membership fees. When appropriate, please make sure that you think of them when you are selecting products and materials for your projects.

In May of 2011I attended the AIA National Convention in New Orleans with Steven Miller where the AIA Middle East Chapter was first formally recognized with voting rights and had the opportunity to meet with International Director Tom Vonier, Presidents from the other International Chapters (AIA United Kingdom, AIA Continental Europe, AIA Hong Kong and AIA Japan), and AIA National leaders during the AIA International Committee Advisory Group meeting. I also had the great honor of making a presentation to a wider audience highlighting various aspects of our chapter which included our recent accomplishments, demographics and future plans.

I returned to the AIA National Convention in May 2012 held in Washington DC where I once more met with the AIA International Committee Advisory Group to the various issues facing the international chapters. I also attended other workshops and meetings with the two committees that I belong to, the AIA Board Community Committee and the AIA Membership Committee. These committees are made up of small groups appointed by the AIA President and are tasked to look at various aspects of the organization's overall operations and future direction. The AIA Membership Committee Chaired by Derek Webb with a diverse cross section of members, AIA National Staff and the organization's leadership including Helene Combs-Dreiling the 2013 Vice President-Elect and 2014 AIA President. During this same convention we supported Tom Vonier's campaign for Vice President and Helene Dreiling's campaign for First Vice President. It was a bitter sweet end result with the success of only one of our two candidates.

In October 2012 I traveled back to Washington DC for our second face to face workshop with the Membership Committee to continue our work focusing on the repositioning of the institute and membership growth for in the years to come. Our work from this session was fruitful and allowed us to provide recommendations to the AIA Board as to which proposed initiatives required further focus in terms of AIA resources. I will continue to work with the Membership Committee in 2013 to help finalize this very important work.

Whilst it would be easy to rest on our laurels and feel comfort with our accomplishment, we know that we need to reinvigorate our chapter with a strong new board which encompasses a mixture of tested board members and fresh faces that I expect will take us to new heights. Our next board led by the AIA Middle East's 2013 President Sherif Anis and Vice President-Elect Loay Quota (2014 President) will be charged with taking us to the next level with more conferences, more general services, developing our presence in Qatar and other countries and increasing our membership numbers. Our 2013 Board will consist of the following persons:

Executive Committee
President - Sherif Anis, AIA
Vice President /2014 President Elect - Loay Quota, AIA, LEED AP
Secretary - Mehdi Sabet, AIA, NCARB
Treasurer - Tannar Whitney, AIA
Past President (2010-2012) - Thierry Paret, AIA, NCARB, MRIAI, LEED AP

General Board Members
Fellowship Director - Steven Miller, FAIA, RIBA
Continuing Education Director - Professor Georges Kachaamy, Associate AIA, PHD
Events Directors- Richard Wagner, Associate AIA and Denny Dellinger, AIA
Membership Director - C. Anthony Elliott, AIA, IIDA, R.I.D., NCARB
Fundraising Director - Thierry Paret, AIA, NCARB, MRIAI, LEED AP
Communication Director - Hisham Youssef, AIA
University Liaison (Ex Officio) - Michael Hughes, AIA

At the end of this year, our most exciting development is that the AIA Board of Directors voted to create the AIA International Region encompassing some 2400 members (and growing) outside the USA. This was a great accomplishment by the group who worked in earnest to make this happen, I offer my congratulations to all those who worked so hard to achieve this. 2013 President Mickey Jacob has appointed a ten-member interim board led by Tom Vonier, FAIA as president. Steven Miller, FAIA and I will both have the honor of serving on this board as Directors.

Finally, I look forward to working with the new AIA Middle East Board in various capacities - I will remain on the chapter's Executive Committee and will also take on the sponsorship responsibilities to help secure more funding. I would ask that you please support your new board and get involved in growing your chapter by contributing with whatever time you have to offer.

It has been a true honor to serve as President during the last two years and I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
Best regards,

President 2010-2012
AIA Middle East Chapter

Treasurer I Director 2013
AIA International Region

Thank you for your continued support of AIA Middle East!