Date of death27 May 2022
Journalist and Editorialist
Dr Assaad Toufic Rizk
Date of death: Friday, 11 December 2020
Number of Readers: 0
Known asDr Assaad Rizk
Date of birth23 July 1931
Date of death11 December 2020
"Dr Assaad Rizk's life will always serve as a source of inspiration for LAU and an incentive to sustain and enhance our commitment to quality education and health care in Lebanon and the region."
With deep sadness and a profound sense of loss, Dr. Michel Mawad, President of the Lebanese American University (LAU) mourns, together with the entire university family, the passing away of Dr. Assaad Rizk who died this morning after a long and exceptionally productive life of service to the medical profession, and to Lebanon in a broad range of areas.
Dr. Rizk spent many years running Rizk Hospital, one of the country’s medical landmarks that later became the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital where his son, our dear colleague Sami Rizk, currently serves as CEO.
Dr. Assaad Rizk was born in 1931 and graduated as an MD in the early 1950s, did his training in Paris before returning to Lebanon in the mid-1960s to teach and practice Urology at USJ until the mid-1990s when he became Professor Emeritus. During that same period, he served as overseer of Rizk Hospital that grew in leaps and bounds under his leadership.
The late Dr. Rizk was also a member in a variety of French, American, and international medical societies. The list is long and it includes the French Urological Society, the French Surgical Society, the International Urological Society and the American College of Surgeons. He also chaired the Franco-Lebanese Cultural Association, and was a founding member of the World Islamic-Christian Cooperation Council.
Dr. Rizk was also called upon repeatedly to serve as cabinet minister in Lebanon. His portfolios included Education, Labor and Social Affairs, Agriculture, Industry and Oil between the years 1976-2005. In recognition of his distinguished services, Dr. Rizk was decorated by the Italian and French Governments. He was a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.
The Lebanese American University is deeply bereaved by the departing of Dr. Rizk who embodied the finest ideals of medicine, culture and community service. His life will always serve as a source of inspiration for us and an incentive to sustain and enhance our commitment to quality education and patient care in Lebanon and the region. Dr. Rizk was a rare breed of men who left the world considerably better than it was before him.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the President’s Cabinet, the Council of Deans, Faculty and Staff, LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, Alumni, and the entire LAU family I extend to his esteemed family heartfelt condolences and sincere sympathy. May his soul rest in peace and may our dear colleague Sami Rizk and the family find solace in celebrating his life as they mourn his death.
Michel E. Mawad, M.D.
Lebanese American University
A great man has left our traditional setting to reappear in another of his dimension and authenticity.
Assaad, you are the Lord whose life testimony enriches mankind and humanity. I recall a medical visit I had made to you, our beloved and eminent professor, in Paris, as recommended by the late President Charles Helou, when you had asked me "Madam, you have a treasure trove of medicine in your country and you come to us?"
You founded a medical empire: a refuge for all those altered in their physical and moral health. Your love was therapy, your treatment was medical, your discipline was healing.
Your footsteps alone reminded the family of the hospital to lead and fulfill their duty ethically and competently.
You performed miracles in your surgeries. As your late Papa Toufic used to say: "This hand that will operate on a metastasized patient is the hand of the Good Lord ... that blesses you in your medical journey."
The many footprints you leave are eternal.
The great builder that you were, you faced the bombs, the mavericks, while protecting the workers and your colleagues. You, yourself, escaped death and received a serious injury to the eye. What perseverance, what assiduity. The word ‘rest’ was banned from your vocabulary, from your way of life.
While you were a Minister of Education, I once heard someone exclaim: "It is a great thing to work with the Minister. A man of exceptional culture and finesse and above all endowed with a lively wit.”
Assaad, you showed exceptional physical endurance. How can you forget the time you left mid-way through your dialysis in order to keep your appointments.
The hospital has become an official site in Lebanon. It is part of our heritage. The sale of the hospital did not eclipse your dream: In your journey of loyalty and exemplary constancy your goal had been to preserve its high standing, so that it may remain this distinguished place where the hands of doctors intersect to rescue, heal and save the life of man. And he lives, thanks to all those who have taken over: with wisdom, science and conscience.
To dear Colette, Sami, the director of the hospital, his sister Mona, his brothers, both doctors, and all his family, our sincere condolences.
Mona Daher Nehmé
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