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PepsiCo senior executive Saad Abdul-Latif dies

Saad Abdul-Latif ’81, the CEO of PepsiCo’s Asia, Middle East and Africa Division and a member of Thunderbird’s Board of Fellows, died Aug. 19, 2013, while on vacation with his family in Italy. Abdul-Latif last visited Thunderbird in 2010, and he was featured in the fall 2010 issue of Thunderbird MagazineAbdul-Latif grew up in occupied East Jerusalem surrounded by poverty and violence, but he always remained mindful of his Palestinian heritage. “The first thing I do when I go back home is go through the neighborhood, and I buy gifts for the kids,” he said during his 2010 visit to Thunderbird. “That’s who you are, and that’s what you should never forget.” Abdul-Latif said most people he encountered in his youth showed sympathy for the Palestinian cause, but he found greater diversity of viewpoints at Thunderbird. He learned that people could disagree and still respect each other. “Thunderbird was one of the cornerstones that shaped my outlook on life — to have an open mind,” he said. “People could be different. People could have different opinions, and they still could love you.” Condolences may be sent to condolences@pepsico.com. All of the messages sent will be hand delivered to his family in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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