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|Born||Munib Rashid al-Masri
1934 (age 82–83)
Nablus, Mandatory Palestine
|Residence||Nablus, West Bank|
|Alma mater||An-Najah National University
University of Texas at Austin
Munib Rashid al-Masri (Arabic: منيب المصري), also known as the "Duke of Nablus", "the Godfather", and the "Palestinian Rothschild" (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. al-Masri is widely described as the world's richest Palestinian, with personal holdings that reportedly account for a third of the Palestinian economy.
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, and has on multiple occasions declined both the presidency and the prime ministership of Palestine, although he retains an elected seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council.
al-Masri was born in Nablus in 1934. He 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. al-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.
Between 1998 and 2000 he built a house which he named Beit Falasteen or "House of Palestine", inspired by Andrea Palladio, near Nablus. He is married to Angela Masri and has four sons, Rabih, Mazen, Omar and Leith, and two daughters Mai Masri and Dina.
al-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. al-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. 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. al-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.
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