The American University of Beirut community is deeply saddened by the passing away of Dr. Musa Nimah. Dr. Nimah passed away on February 13, 2016. Nimah served AUB for almost forty years as a distinguished academic in agricultural research.
Nimah started his career at AUB when he left his hometown in the Kura valley to join as a USAID scholar to study Agriculture and receive his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Diplome d’Ingenieurs Agricole in 1963. He continued his studies to receive an MSc (’68) in Irrigation and Soils at AUB and then a PhD from Utah State University specializing in soil physics and water resource management. When he returned in 1973 he was keen to return to his Alma Mater; the faculty of Agriculture offered him a position, but he was committed to working for a US irrigation company in the Middle East so he decided to teach at AUB free of charge as a Courtesy Assistant Professor until 1977. In 1977, he was offered the position of assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1980 and professor in 1988.
Dr. Nimah is credited with establishing successful and innovative irrigation programs in Lebanon and the region and supervising over 50 MS students with research interest in water conservation and water productivity. He was member of the editorial and scientific committees of several journals and honorary, scientific, and professional societies, and was honored by the American Irrigation Association with the Crawford Reid Award as the “Irrigation Man of the year outside the USA”, and was named to the Hall of Honor by Utah State University.
He was known to find both aspects of his job, fieldwork and education, inseparable and spent much of his time at the AUB Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC) in the Beqa’a. As an educator, Nimah was passionate about the students and always made them his first priority, encouraging them to approach him at any time.
“Dr. Musa Nimah was a friend and a colleague who was known by generations of students as a devoted, deeply committed, welcoming, and helpful professor,” AUB President Fadlo Khuri told us. "He served this institution with passion for decades and was devoted to his Alma Mater. On behalf of our community, I extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family; may his soul rest in peace.”
Dr. Nimah resided in Ras Beirut but cherished spending time at his home in Kura. His greatest love was his family. He leaves behind him his wife Dr. Laila and his daughter Dr. Marienne Nimah Majdalani and one grandchild George.