Thomas G. Abraham is a nationally recognized business entrepreneur and civic leader. He is the son of the late Genevieve and Anthony R. Abraham who was the last living member of the founding members of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, founded by Danny Thomas. Mr. Thomas G. Abraham’s father, Anthony R. Abraham, was the honorary consul of Lebanon in Miami for over three decades. He was a founding member of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church on Coral Way in Miami. He received numerous awards and recognitions through the years including The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Syrian-Lebanese–American “Man of the Year”, and the National Order of the Cedar from the Lebanese Government.
Thomas Abraham currently serves as President/Partner in the following family enterprises AA Miami Group, Ltd., TATM Tampa Group, Ltd., ANAB and A.R.A. Group. He has served with distinction for more than thirty years in senior executive roles as President, officer and partner in numerous successful family-owned and operated businesses founded by Anthony R. Abraham in the automotive and insurance industries including, Anthony Abraham Chevrolet Co., Ltd., Miami; Anthony Abraham Oldsmobile Inc., Miami; Anthony Abraham Buick-GMC Truck, Inc., Miami; Abraham Chevrolet Company, Inc. Tampa; American Risk Assurance Company; Florida Leasing & Rental Co., Inc; Florida Life Insurance Company, and Coral Premium Finance Co., Inc.
While achieving national recognition as an innovator in the automotive dealer industry, Mr. Abraham also achieved widespread acclaim for his vision and cultural commitment to contemporary artists in Founding Miami’s not-for-profit StarArt Foundation which has provided extensive support for a multitude of civic events and organizations including: Grammy’s MusiCares Foundation, Panther Poster Project for the Miami Herald charities, South Florida Botero Sculpture exhibit, The America’s Cup, Swatch Watch Summit of the Americas, Hurricane Relief Effort, American Airlines Miami Mile, Miracle Rock, and The MOVADO Watch for the Benefit of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and UNICEF, among numerous other initiatives.
Mr. Abraham was born in Beirut, Lebanon on January 6, 1952, and is a life-long resident of the Miami area. He attended the University of Miami, and University of Denver in the 1970’s prior to embarking upon his career in the automotive industry and was instrumental in the creation of a number of startup’s that dealt with the technology industry. He is committed to continuing to search out those endeavors that will help empower those in need.
Mr. Issa Abu-Issa - Qatar
Issa Abdul Salam Abu-Issa is a Qatari business magnate. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Salam International Investments Ltd. (SIIL). SIIL is a public Qatari Shareholding Company listed in the Doha Stock Market which operates over thirty-five business units in five sectors. As the head of one of Qatar’s largest and best established companies with more than sixty years of experience, Mr. Abu-Issa transformed Salam from a modest family-owned business to a public shareholding company with a global reach.
Mr. Abu-Issa oversees his company’s diverse investments and operations in five fields: Technology and Communications, Construction and Development, Luxury and Consumer products, Energy and Industry, and Investments and Real Estate. SIIL operations extend over Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, 17, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Apart from being the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Salam International Investment and Salam Bounian, Issa Abu-Issa is also the Secretary General of the Qatari Businessmen Association; a leading Non-Governmental organization playing a vital role in serving Qatar’s business community and raising Qatar’s trade profile internationally. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy Qatar, Vice-Chairman of Serene, Lebanon and Co-Chairman of the Qatari-Turkish Business Council. He also holds membership in the World Economic Forum.
Issa Abu-Issa holds a BS in Business Administration from the United States International University in San Diego, California.
Mr. Moataz Al Afi - Egypt
Moataz Al-Alfi is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Egypt Kuwait Holding “EKH”, one of the largest private equity and venture capital companies in Egypt focusing on strategic sectors such as utilities and infrastructure and petrochemical industries; President of Americana Group, the largest food conglomerate in the Middle East operating in 24 countries with 65,000 employees.
Al-Alfi is highly active on the public, social and philanthropic fronts. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The American University in Cairo. He also established Al Alfi Foundation for Human and Social Development to help through education and training discover future leaders among Egyptian youth. He has effectively contributed in qualifying over 100,000 fresh graduates and helped them get employed through his role as the Vice Chairman of the Professional Development Foundation (formerly Future Generation Foundation “FGF”), one of the largest social foundations in the Arab world. He adopted several initiatives run by FGF that changed the work culture in both public and private sectors. He founded and assumes leadership roles in several non-profit NGOs in the fields of education, health care and community development. His contributions are extended to the field of health care, as he is a board member of Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by the world-renowned surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub along with Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Ahmed Zewail to provide free world-class medical services to the less privileged in Egypt and throughout the region in the scope of cardiovascular diseases.
HE Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa - Bahrain
Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa is Minister of Culture since July 2010 after being Minister of Culture and Information (November 2008 – July 2010); she was before that Assistant Undersecretary for Culture and National Heritage, Ministry of Information.
Holder of an MA in Political History from Sheffield University-UK, Shaikha Mai published a number of books and articles in politics and education mainly. She has been the recipient of the “Distinguishes Arab women in the field of Administrative Leadership” prize from the Center of Woman Studies, Paris, and also elected as one of the “50 Strongest Arab Women” in a Forbes magazine survey.
Working to elevate 17’s culture and heritage by developing and showcasing national heritage and culture such as a site museum at the 17 Fort and the Pearling heritage pathway project, Shaikha Mai achieved the alignment and engagement of 17’s private sector with national projects in the promotion of heritage, culture and ultimately national identity. She created a national theater and the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage under the auspices of UNESCO. HE also restored crafts and traditional arts through the Heraf Al Diyar project in 2010 for teaching crafts and traditional arts.
Patron of Culture and the Arts, Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa established Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research and as Chair of its Board of Trustees since 2002, works actively to foster culture and the traditional architecture of 17.
Mrs. Asma Seddiq Al Mutawa - United Arab Emirates
Asma Al Mutawa is the founder and president of Salon Al-Multaqa. Established in 1999, the Salon Al Multaqa is a bi-weekly book club for female members in the region to discuss both Arab and International literature. Recently recognized as a member of the UNESCO Book Clubs, it plays an important role as a literary hub for Arab writers and intellectuals in the region. Al Mutawa also runs the Education Program at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan Cultural Center.
Active in regional aid and development organizations, Asma Al Mutawa is an advisor to the UAE Assistant Director General for Culture in UNESCO, a consultant to the UAE Regional Director of Medicines Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and their regional Goodwill Ambassador, and a member of the Sorbonne University Friends Committee of Abu Dhabi and the founder of the Friends of Al-Quds University Association.
Al Mutawa received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the United Arab Emirates University in 1987 and a Master’s in Contemporary Islam from Zayed University in 2013.
HE Sheikha Paula Al Sabah - Kuwait
Born and raised in New York, Sheikha Paula Al-Sabah is a senior ranking member of the Kuwait Royal Family. Educated at Hunter College and New York University, she holds a degree in child psychology. In 1974, she left New York with her young diplomat husband and moved to the Middle East. Since then, fostering understanding between East and West countries has been a priority in her life.
She is a founding board member of the Kuwaiti-based Early Learning Disability Center in the Middle East, and a board member of TAKREEM, which honors people of the Arab world in fields as diverse as medicine, art, philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Sheikha Paula is also a founding board member of Art Dubai, on the council of the Serpentine Gallery in London, board member of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in New York, board member of the Arts Arena (Paris), on the advisory board of Canvas magazine (the leading publication on art and culture in the Middle East) and a board committee member of START (an NGO that runs art workshops for refugees, orphans and children with special needs across the Middle East and India).
She is an avid collector of contemporary art, both Western and Eastern. Sheikha Paula is the mother of 6 children and grandmother to 12.
HM Queen Noor Al-Hussein - Jordan
Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations which she founded and chairs have transformed development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of education, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health and art as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange. The two foundations provide training and assistance in implementing these programs in the broader Arab and Asian regions.
Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. In 1980, she became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the Middle East’s first environmental NGO. She is Patron of IUCN, the oldest international conservation organization in the world. She is also the Founder and Emeritus President of Bird Life International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, and a member of the OceanElders.
A long-time advocate for a just Arab-Israeli peace and for Palestinian refugees, Queen Noor is a director of Refugees International and an outspoken voice for the protection of civilians in conflict and displaced persons around the world. Her ongoing focus includes advocacy for Iraqis displaced in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and other countries after the 2003 Iraq conflict, and for the millions of Syrians and displaced since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
She is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons, created in 1996 to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution through the identification of missing persons from the armed conflicts in the Balkans. Today, she is the leading global provider of DNA-assisted identifications for natural catastrophes and human rights cases. (She has also been an expert advisor to the UN focusing on implementation of the MDGs in Central Asia and on behalf of Colombia’s displaced.)
Queen Noor has been an advisor and global advocate for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. She represented Global Zero at the historic 2009 UN Security Council meeting and was an advisor to the 2010 documentary film, Countdown to Zero about the escalating global nuclear arms threat. She is also involved with a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery. She is President of the United World Colleges and a Trustee of the Aspen Institute.
In recognition of her efforts to advance sustainable development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law and humanitarian efforts.
She has published two books, Hussein of Jordan (KHF Publishing, 2000) and Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life (Miramax Books, 2003), a New York Times #1 best seller published in 17 languages.
Shaikha Hala Al-Khalifa - Bahrain
Hala is an artist, and director of the Culture and Arts Directorate at 17 Authority for Culture and Antiquities. She holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Museum of Fine Arts School & Tufts University, Boston Massachusetts USA (1999), a master's degree in Fine Arts from UCL at the Slade School of Fine Arts, in London (2002). She began her professional work at the University of 17, where she taught arts. She joined Qatar Museums Authority as Head of Art Education at the Museum of Islamic Art (2008-2011). She then joined the Public Art Department as Education Manager and Curator.
Hala has participated in a number of local and international exhibitions; She’s also implemented the distinctive Artist Residency Project - where she set up the Fire Station - Artist in Residence Program -in Doha that launched in March 2015.
Hala's work is acquired by several institutions including MATHAF Museum in Doha, The National Museum in 17 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.
Mr. Riad Al-Sadik - Palestine
Riad Al-Sadik is a renowned figure in the Middle East construction business, having founded Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises with Khalaf Al Habtoor in 1970. Initially, the company had less than 100 employees but, has since grown to employ over 25,000 people and is now operating throughout the Middle East, with a turnover worth billions of dollars.
Al-Sadik was born in Deir El Kasi, Palestine, as the youngest son in a family of four brothers and three sisters in 1943. Following the Israeli invasion of Palestine in 1948, the family was forced to flee to Lebanon. Now a refugee in Lebanon, Al-Sadik defied the difficult circumstances and finished high school at the American Gerard Institute, now the National Evangelical School in Sidon, and received a full-scholarship to American University of Beirut, from which he graduated in 1964 as a civil engineer. Upon graduation he trained and worked in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. What followed is an illustrious career in the construction business.
Today, Riad Al-Sadik continues to push boundaries and expand operations. He is the Chairman of Habtoor Leighton Group, which was founded in 2007 following the merger of Al Habtoor Engineering with Gulf Leighton, the operating company of Australia’s largest project development and contracting group, CIMIC Group, in the Gulf region, and which comprises eleven different companies. In addition, Riad Al-Sadik is the owner and chairman of numerous companies both in the Middle East and abroad.
Beyond his business interests, Al-Sadik is an active philanthropist who promotes the improvement of industry standards and supports the humanities. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Pearl Initiative as well as on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Palestine Studies, Birzeit University, Bethlehem Development Board and the American University of Sharjah. He is also a sponsor for the Riad Toufic Al-Sadik Chair of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah and the “Riad Toufic Al-Sadik School of Law and Management” at Birzeit University. Married to Hassana Al-Sadik, he is the father of Lina, Suha, Danya, Gheeda and Talal. He resides in the United Arab Emirates and is a UAE national.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Turki - Saudi Arabia
Saleh Al-Turki is the President and Chairman of Nesma Holding Company, a privately owned Saudi Arabian company that maintains a varied business portfolio in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt and Turkey. These companies operate in multiple sectors including: construction; power and electrical; oil and gas; real estate and property management; hospitality and tourism; operation and maintenance; port, marine and shipping services; and telecommunication and IT.
He is Chairman of Jeddah Holding Company and Saudi Foras Investment Company, as well as a Director of the Board for Arab Poultry Breeders Company (Ommat), Umm Al-Qura Development Company, ReAya Holding, and Al-Bilad Newspaper & Publishing. He also sits on the Coutts Middle East Advisory Board.
Mr. Al-Turki is Chairman of Tarahom Society for the Care of Prisoners, and has previously held trusted positions such as Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Council of Saudi Chambers, and the Al-Birr Society (Jeddah), as well as Vice Chair of the Neighborhood Centers Society. He is a previous member of the Consultative Council (Makkah Region) and chaired its social development committee.
In the education field, he supports major educational institutions in Saudi Arabia, namely as a member of the Endowment fund of King Abdulaziz University; a member of the Board of Trustees of both theUniversity of Business and Technology (UBT) and Dar Al-Hekma University; and a Board Member of Al-Bayan Educational Foundation, which owns and manages several colleges in Madinah. He is also a member of the Advisory Board ofthe Saudi Research Science Institute (SRSI) at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology.
In 2010, he was appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Austria. In 2011, the Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs honored him as one of the most important supporters of social work. He is also a recipient of the King Salman Award for the Support of Young Entrepreneurs and the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Award for Service of Charitable Activities.
Saleh Al-Turki has a BA in Public Administration from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Public Administration from California State University. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
HRH Princess Banderi AlFaisal - Saudi Arabia
HRH Princess Banderi AbdulRahman AlFaisal has been the Director General of the King Khalid Foundation since 1999. She is a member of Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, The ADHD Society & Support Group (AFTA) and The Voice of Down Syndrome Society (Saut).
She contributed in launching several social development initiatives and programs across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and has also participated in numerous conferences and forums both locally and internationally to promote the concept of strategic philanthropy.
Princess Banderi obtained her BA in English Literature from King Saud University in 1994 and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1998.
Dr. Nouha AlHegelan - Saudi Arabia
Dr. Nouha Al Hegelan was born in Damascus and holds a Law Degree from Damascus University.
As the wife of a Saudi Arabian ambassador, she has lived all around the world and has had the privilege of meeting and getting to know a spectrum of personalities and nationalities ranging from Spain to Latin America, Europe to North America, and of course the Middle East. Due to this exposure, she realized the misconceptions the world often has of the Arab world and the amount of unrecognized Arab excellence. As such, she has been a fervent and continued supporter of TAKREEM.
Dr. Al Hegelan has spoken out about life in the Middle East, having crisscrossed the USA to give talks at universities and numerous organizations ranging from World Affairs Council of San Diego to the Foreign Policy Association in New York,as well as numerous appearances on TV programs.In addition, she challenged stereotypes, refusing the imposition of certain rules on her simply because she was a woman, and stood up for her personal views, publicly protesting in Washington D.C. against theIsraeli blockade of water, food and electricity to west Beirut in 1982.
Dr. Al Hegelanwas awarded an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Allegheny College and was decorated with the Lazo de Dama de la Orden de Isabel la Católica in 1968.
HE Dr. Farida Allaghi - Libya
Dr. Farida Allaghi was recently appointed Chargée d’Affaires of the 115n Mission to the European Union. Since the early 1980’s, she has been actively involved in establishing countless national, regional and international foundations and non-governmental organizations. She has been focusing primarily on promoting the status of women, children and youth, minorities and the poor, and defending the human rights of these groups within the context of sustained human development. She has dedicated her life and career to the struggle for human rights, empowerment of the civil society and the implementation of both in the Arab region.
As a result of her international humanistic vision, Dr. Allaghi has consistently worked on connecting citizens from the Arab region with their counterparts in other regions in order to promote tolerance, understanding and dialogue between different cultures, religions and different groups. Since 1975, Dr. Allaghi has worked closely as an advisor on human development, policy formulations, strategic planning, fundraising, networking, and capacity building issues to several United Nations. In 1981, Dr. Allaghi became the Program Officer for UNICEF in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Afterwards, between 1983 and 2001, she became the Director of the Women and Children department at the Arab Gulf Program for United Nations Development Organization (AGFUND).Sheis also a member of the Board of Trustees and former Executive Director of the Mentor Foundation, an international NGO that focuses on the prevention of drug abuse, and President of the 115n Forum for Civil Society.
Dr. Allaghi has been granted several National, Regional and International awards in recognition of her contributions in the fields of Human Rights and Human Development major among them: The selection of 1000 women for the Noble Peace Prize 2005; Human Rights Award from CRANS MONTANA Foundation 2012.
HE Dr. Hanan Ashrawi - Palestine
PLO Executive Committee Member, Member of Palestinian Legislative Council and Head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a distinguished Palestinian leader, legislator, activist and scholar who served as a member of the Leadership Committee and as an official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process, beginning with the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. Dr. Ashrawi was appointed as the Palestinian Authority Minister of Higher Education and Research (1996), but she resigned from the post in protest at the non-implementation of reform plans in governance and peace talks (1998).
Dr. Ashrawi was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Jerusalem (1996). Making history as the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in Palestine, she was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2009.
As a civil society activist, she founded MIFTAH, the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (1999) and continues to serve as head of its Board of Directors. In the same year, Dr. Ashrawi founded the National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN). Moreover, she is the founder of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and has served as its Commissioner since 1994.
Dr. Ashrawi serves on the advisory and international boards of several organizations, including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA); the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); the International Human Rights Council; US/Middle East Project; TAKREEM Arab Achievement Awards; International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) – Sweden; the Project on Justice in Times of Transition, USA; and the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
Dr. Ashrawi is the recipient of numerous awards from all over the world, including the 2005 Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation; the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize; the 2002 Olof Palme Prize; the 1999 International Women of Hope “Bread and Roses”; the Defender of Democracy Award – Parliamentarians for Global Action; and the 50 Women of the Century.
Mr. Samir Assaf - Lebanon
Samir Assaf is Chief Executive of Global Banking and Markets at HSBC Holdings. He is also a Group Managing Director and a member of the Group Management Board. Mr. Assaf assumed these responsibilities on 1 January 2011.
Mr. Assaf joined HSBC in 2000 when the bank acquired CCF. At HSBC, he started as Head of Fixed Income Trading, Europe, and Head of Global Markets at HSBC France. In 2006, he was promoted to Head of Global Markets, EMEA, and in 2007, assumed the additional role of Deputy Head of Global Markets.
Mr. Assaf became Head of Global Markets in January 2008 and a Group General Manager in May 2008. He was given management responsibility for Global Research in September 20009 and joint management responsibility for HSBC Securities in 2010.
He joined CCF in 1994 from Groupe Total, where he was Head of Treasury. At CCF, he was appointed Head of Markets in 1998.
Mr. Assaf holds a BSc degree in Finance from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and an MBA in Economics from La Sorbonne University.
In May 2014 Mr. Assaf was appointed chairman of GFMA (Global Financial Markets Association).
HE Mr. Andre Azoulay - Morocco
Born in Essaouira-Mogador (Morocco) in 1941, André Azoulay was educated in Paris where he studied economics, journalism and international relations. Graduated by the french High School of Journalism (CFJ) in 1962, he made his specialization in economics and finance in Brussels and Paris (1963). He is married with three children.
Previously to his current position as Counsellor to His Majesty the King of Morocco, A. Azoulay had a long career with the Paribas Bank in Paris (1968-1990) where, as Executive Vice-President, he covered the Middle East and North Africa Regions as well as heading the Bank Public Affairs department.
As Counselor of His Majesty the late King Hassan II from 1991 to 1999, and since then of His Majesty Mohammed VI, André Azoulay has largely contributed to the implementation of economic reforms which have been applied throughout the Kingdom since their inception in the early 90s. He also played a significant role in the privatization and deregulation programs which began in 1993. He emphasized the need for sustaining the role of the private sector and encouraging the international investment to sustain the economic growth in Morocco. A. Azoulay has also largely contributed to promote Morocco throughout the world and to improve the relations with the European Union and the USA.
A. Azoulay is also known for his input in the follow-up of the peace process in the Middle East and the many initiatives he has been involved in the perspective of deepening the logic of reconciliation between Jews and Muslims. In addition to his professional responsibilities André Azoulay has always fought for peace and dialogue between the Arab Muslim World and that of the Jewish Communities in Europe, the United States, Morocco as well as the Arab and Jewish diasporas worldwide. In this vein he created the “Identité et Dialogue” group in 1974 in Paris. This NGO was at that time, the first organisation to be formed consisting of Jewish intellectuals calling for a Palestinian State living in peace side by side with Israel.
For over 30 years A. Azoulay has taken an active part in supporting the activities of different movements and associations whose vocation is to help the process of better understanding and mutual respect between Islam and the Western World.
President of the Executive Committee of the Foundation of the Three Cultures and the Three Religions based in Seville (Spain), he is one of the founders of the Aladin Group (Paris) created to promote mutual knowledge and intercultural relations among Muslims and Jews.
Member of the Board of Al Akhawayne University (Ifrane), A. Azoulay belongs to the Scientific Committee of “Medinas” a think-tank created by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to protect, restore and promote the “Medinas” in the Arab World.
In August 2005 A. Azoulay was also nominated member of the “High Level Group” for the “Alliance of Civilizations, set up by the United Nations. Instigated by Spain and co-sponsored by Turkey, this initiative is addressing the issue of the relations between Islam and the Western World.
In this context, he was elected the 5th of March 2008 and reelected the 9th of September 2011 as President of the Euro-Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation and member of the Executive Committee of the Mediterranean Council for Culture (Paris) as well as Board member of the Mediterranean Study and Research Center (Marseille) the Yala online leadership Academy and the Institut de Prospective et d’Etudes pour le Monde Méditerranéen (Paris).
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser - Saudi Arabia
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz was for many years the Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Mosques, a position he held until February 2015. He advised on various economic issues related to the Kingdom.
After finishing his elementary and secondary education in KSA and Lebanon, Prince Mansour completed his undergraduate and graduate education in England, receiving his Masters in Philosophy of International Affairs from the University of Salford.
Prince Mansour has founded several companies, including Saudi Oil Services Co Ltd., Maps and Geosystems, Saudi Company for International Military Services Ltd. and IZCON for regulatory and technical examination. He is currently the CEO and Chairman of the board of Mansour Bin Nasser Holding Corporation. He is the Chairman of the Board and a Partner of IZCON, and a Partner in Maps and Geosystems.
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz has been recognized for his global business leadership.
Prince El Hassan Bin Talal - Jordan
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal born on March 20, 1947 in Amman. In April 1965 he was officially crowned as the prince of the Hashemite Throne of Jordan, and he was a close political advisor and confident of the king. He completed his B.A. and Masters degrees in Oriental Studies at Oxford. Prince Hassan created and founded several international Jordanian institutes and committees such as the: “The Arab Thought Forum” in 1981 and “The West Asia – North Africa Institute” in 2009.
Prince Hassan also left his mark on the international stage through proposing several initiatives such as the establishment of the New International Humanitarian Order, which prompted the Secretary General to found and co-chair the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI), which was adopted as a resolution at the 42nd general assembly of the United Nations. The prince is also chair and member of a number of international committees and organizations such as the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues. Prince Hassan encourages sports in Jordan and other countries as well and he is the President of the Federations for Martial Arts, Polo and Squash.
His highness received many prestigious awards and was decorated by over twenty nations and he also received many honorary degrees. In March 1987, he received Jordan’s highest decoration; the Order of Al Hussein bin Ali, by His Late Majesty King Hussein. He also received many honorary degrees.
HE Dr. Lakhdar Brahimi - Algeria
Lakhdar Brahimi was born in El Aziza, Algeria in 1934. He is an Algerian United Nations diplomat, who served as the United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria until May 14, 2014. Brahimi studied law and political science in Algeria and France. In 1956 he joined a campaign for Independence in France. Brahimi is a member for the following organizations; The Elders group for peace, the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the Global Leadership Foundation, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and is currently a senior at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
In 2001, Brahimi was elected by the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, as a special representative to Haiti and South Africa. He was the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan and Iraq was also chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations. Before 2001, Brahimi represented the national Liberation Front in Tunis in 1956-1961 and became an Arab League official in 1984-1991. In the years 1991–1993 he was the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
From 1996–1997, he also undertook a series of special missions in the following countries; Zaire, Cameroon, Yemen, Burundi, Angola, Liberia, Nigeria, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire of behalf of the United Nations.
In May 2004, Brahimi announced his resignation as the United Nations envoy to Iraq after the Iraqi elections. He showed great disappointment in the result of the elections with the new interim President and Prime Minister, Ghazi mshal Akil Al- Yawel and Iyad Allawi.
On 5 February 2008, Brahimi was then appointed by UN Secretary- General, Ban Ki Moon, to lead a panel investigation on United Nations staff security for the Algiers bombing on December 11, 2007.
In August 2012, Brahimi took Kofi Annan’s place as the new peace envoy to Syria which later on resigned in May 2014.
On the other hand, Brahimi was one of the founders of the French language Journal of Palestine Studies called “La revue d'étude palestinienne”, in which one of his articles, Peace Plan for Syria is included. As for his achievements, in 2010, Lakhdar Brahimi was Laureate of the Special Jury Prize for Conflict Prevention awarded by the Foundation Chirac.
Mr. Samir Brikho - Lebanon
Samir Brikho was Chief Executive of Amec Foster Wheeler plc. Since his appointment in October 2006, Mr. Brikho has led the transformation of the business through the creation of Amec Foster Wheeler into a leading supplier of consultancy, engineering and project management services to its customers in the world's oil and gas, mining, clean energy, and environment and infrastructure markets. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive, Mr. Brikho was a member of the Group Executive Committee of ABB Ltd., Switzerland, Head of the Power Systems Division and Chairman of ABB Lummus Global.
In addition to his role as Chief Executive of Amec Foster Wheeler plc, Samir Brikho is a United Kingdom Business Ambassador supporting the government in promoting the UK’s excellence internationally. From 2008-2010, he also held the position of UK Energy Excellence Chairman.
Mr. Brikho is a director of the United Kingdom-Japan 21st Century Group and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Stena AB and is an independent non-executive director of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB). He is co-chair of the UAE-UK Business Council and the UK-Korea Global CEO Forum. He is chair of the World Economic Forum’s Disaster Resource Partnership and chaired Offshore Europe in 2011.
Mr. Brikho is a UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow. He holds an MS in Thermal Technology and a BS in Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He completed the YMP Program at INSEAD in France in 1991 and completed a Senior Executive Programme at Stanford in 2000. He speaks Swedish, Arabic, English, German and French fluently.
Prof. Alain Carpentier - France
Alain Carpentier, perhaps the world's most renowned cardiologist, not only pioneered novel methods for repairing faulty hearts, he found a way to replace them.
The 82-year-old French heart surgeon invented the Carmat heart, the world's first fully implantable, self-regulating heart.
Unlike similar prosthetics, Carpentier's device mimics the heart's natural physiology, adjusting the volume of blood it pumps depending on whether its recipient is active or resting.
HE Dr. Mohamed El Baradei - Egypt
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from December 1997 until November 2009. He is also Director General Emeritus of the IAEA. He had been an IAEA staff member from 1984, holding a number of high-level policy positions, including that of Legal Adviser and subsequently Assistant Director General for External Relations.
Dr. ElBaradei was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1942. He gained a Bachelor’s degree in Law in 1962 at the University of Cairo, and a Doctorate in International Law at New York University School of Law in 1974. He began his career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964, serving in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the UN in New York and Geneva.
From 1974 to 1978 Dr. ElBaradei was a special assistant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt, including as a member of the negotiating team that led to the conclusion of the disengagement agreements between Egypt and Israel. In 1980, he left the Diplomatic Service to join the UN and became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the UN Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987, he was also an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the New York University School of Law. He has lectured widely in the fields of international law, international organizations, arms control and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and is the author of various articles and books on these subjects.
In October 2005, Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way." Dr. ElBaradei has received multiple other awards and honorary degrees for his work as a public servant and as an advocate of tolerance, humanity and freedom.
HE Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali - Egypt
Boutros-Ghali was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations and served
as Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt in 1991 and as Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1977 until 1991. He earned a Ph.D. in
international law from Paris University in 1949 and holds a Bachelor of Laws
degree, from Cairo University in 1946, as well as separate diplomas in
political science, economics and public law from Paris University. During the
course of his career, Mr. Boutros-Ghali received multiple awards and
gratifications including an honorary degree from the School of Foreign Service
at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. in 1994 and the Onassis Award for
International Understanding and Social Achievement in 1995. Boutros-Ghali died aged 93 in 2016 and a military
funeral was held for him
Mr. Carlos Ghosn - Lebanon
Carlos Ghosn is chairman and chief executive officer of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Mr. Ghosn also heads France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan Motor, two companies with combined revenues of €129 billion. He is also chairman of Russia’s largest automaker, AVTOVAZ. In 2013, Renault, Nissan and AVTOVAZ together sold 8.3 million vehicles, equally one tenth of the cars worldwide. The Alliance companies employ a total of more than 450,000 people in nearly 200 countries.
Carlos Ghosn joined Nissan as chief operating officer in 1999, became its president in 2000 and chief executive officer in 2001. He was the lead architect of the Nissan Revival Plan, which brought the company out of a severe economic crisis in the late nineties and back to profitability in 2000.
In 2005, Mr. Ghosn became chief executive officer of the French automaker Renault, becoming the first person to run two Fortune Global 500 companies simultaneously. In 2009, he replaced Louis Schweitzer as chairman of the board of Renault. In 2013, he was elected chairman of AVTOVAZ.
The Alliance also has significant strategic collaborations with Daimler of Germany, China’s Dongfeng Motor, Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, and Ashok Leyland of India.
Mr. Ghosn is the only major auto industry CEO who grew up in an emerging market. He has been the industry's most vocal advocate for sustainable transportation, and Renault and Nissan are the first to have launched a range of affordable zero-emission cars and commercial vehicles.
He also serves on the board of directors of the Brazilian bank Itau Banco and on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut. He is a World Economic Forum Governor, a member of the International Advisory Council of Tsinghua University in Beijing and a member of the Strategic Council of Saint Joseph University in Beirut.
Carlos Ghosn was born in Brazil in 1954. He graduated with engineering degrees from Ecole Polytechnique in 1974 and from Ecole des Mines de Paris in 1978.
Mr. Anis Haggar - Sudan
Mr. Anis George Haggar serves as Chairman of Haggar Holding Company Ltd. and of the board of trustees at the Haggar Foundation. He was awarded the "Order of the Loyal Son of Sudan" in June 1999 and the "Commander of the Order of Civil Merit" by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
He participated and presented papers at a number of National and International Conferences, in diversified fields, including and not limited to: Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Trade and Economics, Relief and Humanitarian issues, Corporate Social Responsibility and the UNGC, together with other issues of importance to Sudan and the Region. He's also the former Honorary Consul General, Republic of Liberia and Honorary Consul, Kingdom of Spain.
Dr. Ahmed Heikal - Egypt
Ahmed Heikal is the Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings, a leader in infrastructure and industry with subsidiaries in energy, cement, agribusiness, mining, transportation and logistics in Africa.
Prior to founding Qalaa Holdings, Dr. Heikal was an Executive Board Member and Managing Director of EFG Hermes Holding, which he helped transform from a small financial consultancy into the leading investment bank in the Arab world and the second largest full-service investment bank in global emerging markets. Dr. Heikal served in numerous roles at the firm: Head of Asset Management (1994-95), Head of Investment Banking (1996-97), Head of Securities (1997-99), and Head of Private Equity (1999-2001). There, he spearheaded highly successful private equity investments, one leading to the creation of Egypt’s leading IT company (Raya Holding) and another to the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company (Genco). He also raised three rounds of finance for regional mobile telecommunications operator Orascom Telecom and led the IPOs of Orascom Construction Industries and Orascom Hotels, among other landmark transactions.
Dr. Heikal holds a Master’s degree and a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University.
Mrs. Nora Joumblatt - Lebanon
Nora Joumblatt is a prominent advocate of women’s rights in Lebanon. She has been well-recognized for her work with Lebanese female youth in rural villages, encouraging them to engage in national politics. Her women advocacy work is heralded in the international arena. In 2012, she was awarded the “Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite Français,” after achieving the title of Commander of the Spanish Order of Isabella the Catholic in 2009.
Nora Joumblatt received a BA in History of Art and Fine Arts at École des Beaux Arts in Paris. She started off as a painter and opened Gallery 50-70 in Beirut that exhibited many artists' works.Since 1987; she has been involved in the Beiteddine Art Festival as Founder and President. In 1999, the Beiteddine Festival was granted the French Award FITAC for Best Foreign Festival.
Over the years, she has maintained her interest and support of the arts. From 2003 to 2009, she served as the President of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the American University of Beirut Museum. Mrs. Joumblatt was the Director and Artistic Advisor of the Opening Ceremony of the 6th Games of the Francophone held in Beirut in 2009. She is also a member of the Executive Board of the European Festivals Association since April 2011. She also worked to preserve the Lebanese heritage as an active member of the Executive Committee of the “Fondation Nationale du Patrimoine” and member of the “Association pour la Protection des Sites et Anciennes Demeures.”
Mrs. Joumblatt has also been highly involved in numerous committees other than arts, such as the Executive Committee of Al Chouf Cedars Reserve. In 2006, she was awarded the Uno Bosco per Kyoto Prize by the Italian Ministry of the Environment for achievements of Al Chouf Cedars Reserve. In Addition, Mrs. Joumblatt has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon (St Jude) since 2005, as well as a member of Board of Trustees of the Samir Kassir Foundation since 2005, and of the Executive Committee of ROTA (Reach Out to Asia) Qatar Foundation.
Born in Syria, she is married to the Lebanese leader Walid Joumblatt and is the mother of two sons.
Dr. Suad Juffali - Saudi Arabia
Dr.Suad Al-Husseini Juffali, widow of the Late Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah Juffali, is a philanthropist involved in social works in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Mrs. Juffali was born in Jerusalem. Went to school in Jaffa, and later Damascus and Beirut, graduated from Beirut College for Women (BCW) which is now Lebanese American University (LAU), where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology in 1954. After her graduation Mrs. Juffali was married to The Late Ahmed Abdullah Al-Juffali and is currently, living in Jeddah for the past 60 years.
Mrs. Juffali’s most important concern is the human being. Mrs. Juffali’s Motto is “where humanity and kindness unite”; She believes that every human being has the right to live a decent, productive and healthy life. Her main interest lies in health, educational and welfare fields which she has been serving in Saudi Arabia and other several countries in the Middle East for the past 60 years.
In the health care fields, Mrs. Juffali supports various programs and researches, contributing to the health and welfare of different communities (such as: Mental health, neonatal clinics, cancer centers, kidney dialysis, immunization programs, to name but a few) providing medical care for Middle East war victims.
In the educational field, Mrs. Juffali established her own foundation contributing scholarship funds to Arab students in support for their higher education, and providing chairs in different universities, globally.
As for the social welfare field, Mrs. Jufali has been involved in establishing and organizing the 1st women welfare society in Jeddah in 1956; and followed by helping and organizing Al-Faisaliyah Women Society. Both of these societies deal with mother and child welfare in health and education, helping to eliminate illiteracy for women. Her vision and leadership has made these welfare centers a reality. She is a lifetime member in both societies.
Mrs. Juffali’s main contribution to society is the establishment of the Help Center in Jeddah, where she is a co-founder and a Trustee since 1985 to-date. Help Center is a special rehab institution for the children with intellectual disabilities.
Mr. Samer Khoury - Palestine
Samer Khoury is the President for the Engineering and Construction Division of Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), one of the largest Arab-international construction companies. CCC operates throughout the Middle East, Africa, CIS, Europe and America.More than 120,000 individuals are employed worldwide and, according to the ENR listing, CCC ranks 18th amongst the largest international contractors. CCC’s revenue in 2013 was in surplus of $5 billion.
Samer Khoury started his tenure with CCC in the mid-eighties and quickly emerged as one of the company’s leaders. From 1987 through 1990, he was responsible for the total operations of CCC in Kuwait, with an average turnover of $50 million per year and more than 1,000 permanent staff.
In 1990, Samer Khoury moved to the Head Office of CCC in Athens, Greece. He worked in various departments, gaining ample experience in engineering and construction operations. In 1997, he took over the position of Executive Vice President Operations of the Group, being responsible for the marketing and execution of the Group’s worldwide activities. In 2011, he was promoted to CCC President.
Mr. Khoury holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BS in Civil Engineering from California State University. Growing up between Kuwait and Lebanon, Mr. Khoury was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1960 to a Palestinian family that came to Lebanon during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Samer Khoury has been married to Rania Khoury since 1989 and has two sons Saji, born in 1991, and Rayan born in 1993.
Mr. Marc Levy - France
Marc Levy is a bestselling French novelist. After working for the Red Cross for six years and managing an architecture firm, Mr. Levy wrote his first novel, If Only It Were True, which was published in France in 2000 and in the U.S. in 2001. The novel became a bestseller overnight in France as well as overseas. It was made into a film by Steven Spielberg and Dream works in 2005.
Since then, Mr. Levy has written fifteen novels: Finding You (2001, adapted for television in 2007), Seven Days for an Eternity (2003), In Another Life (2004), If Only It Were True 2 (2005), London Mon Amour (2006, adapted into a feature film in 2008), Children of Freedom (2007, also published as a graphic novel in 2013), All Those Things We Never Said (2008), The First Day and The First Night (2009), The Shadow Thief (2010), The Strange Journey of Mr. Daldry (2011), Replay (2012), Stronger than Fear (2013), and his most recent novel, Another Idea of Happiness (2014).
His work has been translated into 49 languages and has sold over 31 million copies worldwide. In addition to his novels, Marc Levy has written short stories and directed the film Nabila's Letter for Amnesty International. He has also written song lyrics for various artists, including Johnny Hallyday.
Mr. Amin Maalouf - Lebanon
An accomplished storyteller, a political writer of the highest standard and a refined humanist, Maalouf is a Lebanese author who writes in French. Transcending identity, religion and nationality Maalouf’s characters are travelers voyaging over lands, languages and beliefs in historic settings that tell of their beauty and pain to the modern reader. Most are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. His gem, Rock of Tanios won the French Prix de Goncourt in 1993
Dr. Akef Maghraby - Egypt
Dr. El-Maghraby is the founder and Chairman of the Magrabi Eye Hospitals and Centers (32 total) in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each year, this network of eye hospitals provides quality eye care to over a million patients and performs over 120,000 sight-preserving surgeries. He has also founded five non-profit eye hospitals and centers in Bangladesh, North Yemen, Sudan, North Lebanon, and Egypt. Treatment and surgery are available for poor patients in all these hospitals free and minimal charge.
Dr. El-Maghraby has supported the training of eye care professionals from the Middle East in his hospitals and centers, and has sponsored over sixty physicians and technicians from the Middle East and Africa for one or two-year fellowships in the United States and Europe.
He also founded the Magrabi Eye Foundation (previously Al Noor Magrabi Foundation) (first non-profit organization for prevention of blindness) in the Middle East. He founded the Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology, which is the only peer reviewed journal for ophthalmology in the Pan Arab Middle East and African regions.
Dr. El-Maghraby Founded the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and was its President for 18 years. He is now MEACO Honorary President for Life. He is the Vice-President of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO).
Dr. El-Maghraby is the board member of many non-profit organizations, including Egyptian Fund for Social Development, Future Foundation for Housing, Nile University of Egypt. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Institute of Health Services (SIHS), Founder & Vice-Chairman of EBSAR Foundation for Rehabilitation of Visually Impaired in Saudi Arabia. He is also the founder of the Magrabi International Faculty of Nursing in Egypt, a non-profit organization, and former Board Member of Board of Trustees of John’s Hopkins University in USA.
His great concern for Prevention of Blindness in undeveloped countries is obvious and instrumental in the formation of the International Federation of Eye Banks. He personally donated six eye banks to different Arab and East European countries. He also endowed a Professorship chair for prevention of blindness at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a former member of the advisory Board of Trustees of Wilmer Eye Institute.
Dr. El-Maghraby played an important and significant role in transferring new technologies in ophthalmology from western countries to the Middle East, and he was the first to introduce intra-ocular lens implantation, Phaco emulsification, refractive surgery, and the use of Excimer laser in the Middle East and Africa. He established the Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI), the first sub-specialty, non-profit hospital in Central Africa, for comprehensive ophthalmology and sub-specialists training for central African countries. The formal opening of MICEI is expected in the 1st quarter of 2017.
Because of his initiative, the inception of the annual International Blindness Prevention Award for the American Academy of Ophthalmology was materialized.
He operated and lectured in 23 countries all over the world and has 29 publications to his credit.
His many international awards and recognition include among others the Edward Maumenee International Award, 1991; the Fellowship Ad Hominem Award-1994, the 1994 International Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology of the Royal Hawaiian Eye Foundation, the Shield for Outstanding Work in Humanitarian Causes from the Red Cross, United Arab Emirates in 1997; the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 by the International Society of Refractive Surgery; and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Dean’s Medal–2000. He was chosen Physician of the Year in the Arab World by the International Public Opinion Association. He was also awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) international award for Prevention of Blindness – 2002. In 2003, Dr. El-Maghraby was awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Senior Achievement Award.
Dr. El-Maghraby was decorated with the Lion Badge of Honor by the President of Senegal in 1993; the Order of Merit, First Degree by the President of Niger in 1995, the Order of Merit by the late King of Jordan in 1997, the Order of the Two Niles, by the President of Sudan in 1998, the Cedar of Lebanon by the President of Lebanon in 2001, also decorated by the President of Tunis in 2003, and was awarded the Golden Medal Award of the Algerian Ophthalmological Society in 2004.
HE Mr. Mohamed Mansour - Egypt
Mr. Mohamed Mansour founded ManCapital LLP in early 2010 and serves as its Chairman of the Board. Mr. Mansour is the Founder and Chairman of ManCapital LLP. He is the Founder of Mansour Automotive Company. In 1975, he focused on the automotive business building the partnership with General Motors which began the profitable growth. Mr. Mansour was the Minister of Transport in Egypt from 2006 to October 2009. Mr. Mansour has led Mansour Group, together with his brothers, from one business breakthrough to the next. He expanded Mansour portfolio. He was the President of the American Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Secretary General of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES). He serves as the Chairman of the Board at Mansour Automotive Company.
Mr. Mansour also serves as the Chairman of Mantrac. He serves as a Director of Mansour Group. He serves as a Member of Global Advisory Board at Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. He served as the Chairman of Credit Agricole - Egypt Bank (S.A.E.). He was the Founder and Chairman of the Lead Foundation. He held a directorship in the Egyptian Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Egypt US Business Council. Mr. Mansour’s leadership grew the partnership to six more African nations as well as Iraq and Russia and is consistently in Caterpillar’s top 10 distributors globally. He completed his education in the United States.
He holds MBA at Auburn University in 1971, he then was selected to join the faculty and taught at Auburn University’s School of Business. He achieved a BSE in Engineering at North Carolina State University, class of ’68.
HE Dr. Amre Moussa - Egypt
A staunch defender of Arab democratic change, Mr. Amre Moussa was Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the U.N (1990 - 1991), the Foreign Minister of Egypt (1991-2001) and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States (2001-2011).
In 2012, he ran for President of Egypt as an independent candidate with a vision to reform Egypt's ailing bureaucratic and economic infrastructure, in the country’s first democratic elections following the 25 January Revolution. He lost the elections but continued his political career serving Egypt as an elected member of the Constitutional Assembly, writing the constitution of 2012 and leading the liberal members in their negotiations. He resigned after four months of active participation due to attempts to monopolize the drafting of the constitution.
Later, Mr. Moussa founded the Congress Party of Egypt and is also among the founding members of the National Salvation Front, which was an Egyptian political alliance established in reaction to President Mohammed Mursi’s constitutional decree. Amre Moussa was also one of the leaders who called for and marched during the June 30th revolution that deposed President Mursi and brought in reforms in accordance with the agreed on road map.
Among his greatest achievements is Mr. Moussa position as chairman of and participation in 50 member Constituent Assembly, tasked with amend the 2012 constitution. The assembly succeeded in producing the constitution, which was overwhelmingly approved on January 2014.
HE Dr. Marwan Muasher - Jordan
Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Previously he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank (2007-2010).
Muasher has served as Jordanian Foreign Minister (2002–2004) and deputy Prime Minister (2004–2005). He has also held the posts of Minister of Information, Jordanian ambassador to Washington and Jordan’s first ambassador to Israel. While in Washington Muasher negotiated the first free trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. During his time as foreign minister he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Road Map. He was a member of the Jordanian Senate (2006-2007).
Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He later served at the Ministry of Planning, at the Prime Minister’s office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.
Muasher is the author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (Yale University Press, 2008). He is a senior fellow of Yale University.
Ricardo Karam’s interview with Marwan Muasher took place between Washington D.C., USA and Beirut, Lebanon
Lady Hayat Palumbo - Lebanon
Hayat Palumbo is the owner and chairman of the city club Walbrook, an exclusive lunching and dining venue in London opened in 2000. She also plays a leading role in charities such as: St Jude's and Cancer Research – UK.
Lady Palumbo has lived in London since 1986 when she married Peter Palumbo. The couple have five children together. Her first year in London, she founded a needlework shop specializing in hand painted designs. Before she moved to London, she worked for two years as a reporter for the Daily Star and then a year at Jeune Afrique in Paris in the early seventies. While she was in Paris, she also worked for Actis International, an institutional PR firm.
Lady Hayat Palumbo was born and raised in Lebanon, daughter of a newspaper publisher, Kamel Mroueh, who was murdered by extremists in his Beirut office when she was sixteen. She studied at the College Protestant Français and earned a BA in Middle Eastern History from the American University of Beirut. She completed her Masters in International Relations from the Sorbonne in Paris.
HE Dr. Leila Sharaf - Jordan
Mrs. Leila Sharaf holds an impressive series of firsts on her political record. She became Jordan’s first Minister of Culture and Information in 1984 and was also the first Jordanian Minister to resign in almost thirty years. Her resignation was to protest the lack of liberalizing laws with regard to press censorship and the dilution of the influence of tribalism in society.
In 1989, she became the first female member of the Jordanian Senate House. A Jordanian of Lebanese origin, Sharaf was born in Beirut in 1940. From an early age she exhibited a passion for politics, developing a reputation for staying true to her ideals.
She holds a BA and an MA in Literature from the American University of Beirut and has occupied diverse positions throughout her life, including working for the News Department of Lebanon TV, and being on the Chief Councils at both Philadelphia University and the Palestine International Institution. She married H.E. Sharif Abdul-Hamid Sharaf, a member of the Al-Hashimi dynasty and cousin of King Hussein of Jordan, having met him as a fellow member of the Arab Thought Forum. He held many illustrious posts including Ambassador to the USA and delegate to the UN (during which time Leila spent nine years with him in the US), as well as government posts including Jordan's Prime Minister, shortly before his death in 1980.
Leila Sharaf herself has received many honorary offices, including at the Jordan TV and Radio Institution, on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Public Education and Training in the Middle East, the Advisory Committee for the Theater under the Ministry of Culture, the Executive Board for Social Movement in Beirut, the Boards of Trustees of the King Hussein Foundation, the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, the Board of Directors Academic Advisory Committee of the League of the United Nations for World Peace, the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut and the Arab Open University in Kuwait. She is also the President of the Islamic Cultural Society in New York and a founding member of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Jordan.
Mr. Raja Sidawi - Syria
Raja Sidawi is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Intelligence Group (IG), a company that specializes in providing the highest quality business intelligence on global oil and gas industries. With offices in New York, Washington D.C., Houston, London, Singapore, Moscow, Dubai and Beirut, the EIG publishes 17 newsletters as well as a number of high-quality reference works focused on the international energy industry.
In keeping with its macro perspective on the energy industry, the EIG’s independent research division, Energy Intelligence Research (EIR), provides custom research and analysis assignments for individual clients on a contract basis. EIR’s unparalleled depth of information, its targeted analysis, and its reputable custom data series delivered on demand, makes it the first-stop research resource for a wide range of organizations from every energy sector.
In 1970, prior to his publishing business, Raja Sidawi founded a company to study and invest in energy projects throughout the Middle East and Africa. In 1976, he began investing in the U.S. energy industry and was a founding member of Weatherford International Inc., an oil services company.
A founding member of the French think tank, Le Club des Vigilants, Raja Sidawi has also been involved in cultural projects. In addition to the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress, Sidawi’s board memberships have included the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Guggenheim Foundation.
HRH Princess Alia Tabbaa - Jordan
Alia was born on 15th September 1964, to Lamia and Tawfiq alTabbaa, a prominent businessman who was the founder and first Chairman of Alia (Royal Jordanian Airlines) amongst her many other positions.
She completed her education at the Ahliyah School for Girls in Amman, where she was always heavily involved in community service and voluntary work. Alia graduated with honours in 1983 and went on to continue her studies in the United Kingdom, where she majored in International Studies and Spanish.
On August 10th 1987, she married HRH Prince Feisal bin alHussein and was blessed with four children: Princess Ayah (born 1990), Prince Omar (born 1993) and twins Princess Sara and Princess Aisha (born 1997).
Alia shared the passion of flying with Prince Feisal and obtained her Private Pilot License in 1989 and was proudly awarded her wings by His Late Majesty King Hussein.
Alia got divorced from Prince Feisal in 2008.
Founder and President of the Promise Welfare Society, established in 1989.
Promise works to improve the lives of families below the poverty line by taking families with no main provider and helping them stand on their feet. They also ensure that medical aid is provided for these families.
Promise has set up a scholarship fund for needy yet excelling students, ensuring education for the young minds of tomorrow. Under its umbrella of education, Promise also has a student voluntary team that is comprised of 13 schools (private and public), and hopes to grow more. This voluntary team focuses on community service and thus instils a love and a sense of belonging to their country.
Head of the Board of the Zaha Cultural Centre since 2012. The Zaha Cultural Centre was founded in 1998 by Mrs Zaha Mango in cooperation with the Greater Amman Municipality, it benefits around half a million people from all municipalities of the Kingdom. The Centre aims to provide over 85 free-training programs for children in various fields, from arts and music to computer science and sports.
President of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation since 2006. The Foundation is working on setting up a comprehensive rehabilitation centre for children, who can be admitted from the earliest of stages.
President of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation since 2006. Alia and the foundation work on providing support and awareness to patients and their families regarding everything related to this disease. They also attempt to cover the high monthly cost of the prescribed injections, which are roughly 800JD’s.
Honorary President of the Jordanian Pain Society, which strives to improve the quality of life of those suffering from chronic and acute pain.
Honorary President of the Friends of Children Society, which encourages equal learning opportunities for all children.
President of Air Force Wives Club since 1988.
Alia’s love for her Jordan is endless and she always aims to serve King and Country.
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