Munib al-Masri

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Munib al-Masri
MunibCastle.jpg
Born Munib Rashid al-Masri
1934 (age 79–80)
Nablus, British Mandate for Palestine
Residence Nablus, West Bank
Nationality Palestinian
Alma mater An-Najah National University
University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Businessman
Philanthropist
Net worth IncreaseUS$ 5.0 billion (2013)[1]
Spouse(s) Angela Masri
Children Rabih Masri
Mazen Masri
Omar Masri
Leith Masri
Mai Masri
Dina Masri

Munib Rashid al-Masri (Arabic: منيب المصري‎), also known as the "Duke of Nablus", "the Godfather",[2] and the "Palestinian Rothschild"[3] (b. 1934), is a Palestinian industrialist, statesman, and patriarch of the al-Masri family, currently serving as chairman of the Edgo Group, a multinational energy and engineering conglomerate, and of PADICO, a holding company which controls thirty-five companies spanning industries as diverse as telecommunications, construction, tourism, energy, banking and other finance, and agriculture.[4] al-Masri is widely described as the world's richest Palestinian,[5][6][7] with personal holdings that reportedly account for a third of the Palestinian economy.[8]

Relatives of his include his cousin and fellow billionaire, Arab Bank and Paltel chairman Sabih Al-Masri, and nephews, developer Bashar al-Masri, and Jordanian prime minister Taher al-Masri.

One of Yasser Arafat's closest friends and supporters, al-Masri has served as a minister in the cabinets of both the Palestinian National Authority and Jordan,[6] and has on multiple occasions declined both the presidency and the prime ministership of the state of Palestine,[6] although he retains an elected seat in the Palestine Legislative Council. Alongside influential Israeli businessmen like tech mogul Yossi Vardi, al-Masri has forcefully advocated for a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the Breaking the Impasse initiative.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Masri was born in Nablus in 1934, attended the an-Najah National University, and graduated from the University of Texas in the United States. He was involved in establishing the al-Quds University.

His wealth is rooted in the oil and gas business, but much of his investments fall under the Edgo Group, his holding company based in London which operates in contracting, industrial development, trading, distribution and representation, project development, operation and maintenance. Masri is also the head of the Padico investment holding group, which controls 35 companies that include telecommunications (such as the Jawal mobile operator), construction, tourism (the Intercontinental Hotel Group), energy, environment, banking, finance and agriculture.[3]

Between 1998-2000 he built a house which he named "Beit Falasteen" or House of Palestine, inspired by Andrea Palladio, near Nablus [11] He is married to Angela Masri and has four sons, Rabih, Mazen, Omar and Leith, and two daughters Mai Masri and Dina.

Political career[edit]

Masri launched a political movement to rival Fatah and Hamas, called the Palestine Forum, on 16 November 2007.[12][13][14] He turned down an offer to become Prime Minister three separate times.

Peace efforts[edit]

Mr Masri has stated that he has been working for the last 40 years to bring about a long lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. He would like to see an independent Palestine living in peace and harmony with Israel.[15] Mr. Masri and high-level Israeli businessman high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi unveiled the Breaking the Impasse Initiative at the World Economic Forum held at the Dead Sea in May 2013.[16] The Forum was hosted by King Abdullah of Jordan and attended by John Kerry, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas. Breaking the Impasse initiatives goal is to encourage and support political leaders to work towards a two-state solution.[17] Mr Masri has stated that he will keep working towards achieving peace through the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative , which, like the Fez Initiative, offers Israel full recognition and normal relations with the Arabs in the context of comprehensive peace.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.worldcrunch.com/home-munib-al-masri-worlds-richest-palestinian/world-affairs/at-home-with-munib-al-masri-the-world-s-richest-palestinian-/c1s4014/
  2. ^ http://www.france24.com/en/20130510-reporters-middle-east-munib-al-masri-godfather-nablus-palestinian-territories-israeli-settlements-peace-process/
  3. ^ a b Kline, Brett (July 24, 2012). "Who’s selling peace in the supermarket?". Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ http://richlist.arabianbusiness.com/rich-list-2012/profile/17721/#.Uq_nvWRDvR8
  5. ^ http://www.worldcrunch.com/home-munib-al-masri-worlds-richest-palestinian/world-affairs/at-home-with-munib-al-masri-the-world-s-richest-palestinian-/c1s4014/#.Uq_nqWRDvR8
  6. ^ a b c http://www.timesofisrael.com/despite-reputation-as-peacenik-the-worlds-richest-palestinian-has-some-tough-love-for-israel/
  7. ^ http://www.jta.org/2012/11/13/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/from-his-west-bank-italian-villa-palestinian-billionaire-munib-al-masri-calls-for-peace
  8. ^ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/13/munib-masri-remembers-yasir-arafat-on-the-anniversary-of-his-death.html
  9. ^ http://www.timesofisrael.com/business-led-peace-bid-unveiled-in-jordan/
  10. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/business/israeli-palestinian-business-leaders-call-for-two-state-solution.premium-1.526282
  11. ^ Visiting a Palace in the West Bank BBC 14 May 2007
  12. ^ Kline, Brett (2007-11-15). "Haaretz, 17 November 2007". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  13. ^ Billionaire setting up political movement to challenge Fatah, Hamas
  14. ^ Kevin Peraino (2007-11-24). "Messiah On A Hill - Billionaire Munib al-Masri looks to capitalize on Palestinian anger". Newsweek.com. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  15. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d208790e-b636-11e1-8ad0-00144feabdc0.html#slide0
  16. ^ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/israel-palestine-economic-forum-business.html##ixzz3BFN1tKZx
  17. ^ Business-led peace bid unveiled in Jordan | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/business-led-peace-bid-unveiled-in-jordan/
  18. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-peace-conference/1.601984

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