Munib al-Masri

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Munib al-Masri
MunibCastle.jpg
Born
Munib Rashid al-Masri

1934 (age 83–84)
ResidenceNablus, West Bank
NationalityPalestinian
Alma materAn-Najah National University
University of Texas at Austin
OccupationBusinessman
Philanthropist
Spouse(s)Angela Masri
Children6, including Mai Masri

Munib Rashid al-Masri (Arabic: منيب المصري‎), also known as the "Duke of Nablus", and "the Godfather"[1](b. 1934), is a Palestinian industrialist, politician, and patriarch of the al-Masri family. He is the chairman of Edgo Group, a multinational energy and engineering conglomerate, and of PADICO, a holding company which controls thirty-five companies spanning industries including telecommunications, construction, tourism, energy, banking and other finance, and agriculture.[2] al-Masri is widely described as the world's richest Palestinian,[3][4][5] with personal holdings that reportedly account for a third of the Palestinian economy.[6]

Relatives of his include his cousin, Arab Bank and Paltel chairman Sabih al-Masri, and nephews, developer Bashar Masri, and Jordanian former 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,[4] and has on multiple occasions declined both the presidency and the prime ministership of Palestine,[4] although he retains an elected seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Personal life[edit]

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.[7]

Between 1998 and 2000 he built a house which he named Beit Falasteen or "House of Palestine", near Nablus, inspired by Andrea Palladio's Villa Capra "La Rotonda".[8]

He is married to Angela Masri and they have four sons, Rabih, Mazen, Omar and Leith, and two daughters Mai Masri and Dina.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

al-Masri launched a political movement to rival Fatah and Hamas, called the Palestine Forum, on 16 November 2007.[9][10][11] He turned down an offer to become prime minister three separate times.

Peace efforts[edit]

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.[12]

In May 2013, al-Masri and high-level Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi unveiled the Breaking the Impasse (BTI) Initiative at the World Economic Forum held at the Dead Sea.[13] [14] At the launch, al-Masri stated, "It’s not for us to iron out the details. We are worried by the status quo. We want to change the status quo… Now the Israeli and Palestinian side [of the initiative] are very honest in their appeal: They want to break the impasse… They want the two sides to negotiate… to push all the parties to engage in real negotiations."[15]

The BTI 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.[16] 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.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fenwick, Gallagher. "REPORTERS - Middle East: Munib al-Masri, the godfather of Nablus". France 24. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130603062656/http://richlist.arabianbusiness.com/rich-list-2012/profile/17721. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "At Home With Munib al-Masri, The World's Richest Palestinian". Worldcrunch.com. 2011-11-01. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  4. ^ a b c Friedman, Gabe (2012-06-10). "World's richest Palestinian, long a strident peace advocate, slams Israel for 'giving us crumbs'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  5. ^ Sales, Ben (2012-11-13). "From his West Bank Italian villa, Palestinian billionaire Munib al-Masri calls for peace | Jewish Telegraphic Agency". Jta.org. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  6. ^ Anna Therese Day. "Munib Masri Remembers Yasir Arafat on the Anniversary of His Death". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  7. ^ Kline, Brett (July 24, 2012). "Who's selling peace in the supermarket?". Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Visiting a Palace in the West Bank BBC 14 May 2007
  9. ^ Kline, Brett (15 November 2007). "Haaretz, 17 November 2007". Haaretz.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Scott, Izabella (2012-06-22). "At home: Munib R al-Masri". FT.com. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  13. ^ Dalia Hatuqa. "Israeli, Palestinian Business Leaders Seek to Break Impasse - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  14. ^ "Breaking the impasse in the Middle East". 27 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  15. ^ Horovitz, David (26 May 2013). "Business-led peace bid unveiled in Jordan". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  16. ^ Friedman, Gabe (2013-05-26). "Business-led peace bid unveiled in Jordan". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  17. ^ "The Undisputed Truth About Israeli Occupation - Israel Conference on Peace - Haaretz - Israeli News Source Haaretz.com". Haaretz. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-02-05.

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