REVEALED: Most powerful Egyptians

See photos of some of the most influential Egyptians of the year
341 Sayed Badreya.jpg
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341 Sayed Badreya
\nUS (Egypt)
\nArts & Entertainment
\nEgyptian-born filmmaker and actor Sayed Badreya always wanted to be a star. His dream came true when he won roles in major Hollywood films such as The Insider, Three Kings, and Independence Day. After attending New York University film school, he moved to Hollywood and worked in the film industry, first as an assistant to actor/director Anthony Perkins, then with director James Cameron on True Lies.

\nSee the full list of the 500 most influential Arabs in the world here
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323 Alaa Al Aswany
\nArts & Entertainment
\nEgypt's most famous author was also one of the most prominent protestors during the revolution to overthrow Hosni Mubarak in 2011. His best-known novel, The Yacoubian Building, addressed widespread social taboos and the issue of corruption, and was made into a big-budget film.
\nAl Aswany's works have been translated into 31 languages. He is currently working on his latest book, The Automobile Club of Egypt, and was named in first position in Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers in 2011.
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305 Omar Sharif
\nArts & Entertainment
\nThe star of Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia is the Arab world's most famous movie star.
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303 Mohammed Al Fayed
\nFormer owner of Harrods
\nUK (Egypt)
\nBanking & Finance
\nBillionaire Al Fayed still resides in the UK, where he is the owner of Fulham Football Club.
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290 Yusuf Qaradawi
\nCulture & Society
\nHis TV programme — Sharia and Life — is broadcast on Al Jazeera and has an estimated audience of 40 million, and he is also the founder of the IslamOnline website.
\nIn 2008, Foreign Policy magazine rated Al Qaradawi at number eight in its list of the top 20 intellectuals worldwide. Al Qaradawi was imprisoned by King Farouk in 1949, and was jailed three times during Nasser’s rule. He returned to Egypt shortly after the revolution. Despite his popularity in some areas of the Arab world, Qaradawi’s views are considered controversial in the west.
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271 Dr Ahmed Heikal
\nChairman and founder
\nCitadel Capital
\nBanking & Finance
\nBefore establishing Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital, Ahmed Heikal served as an executive board member and managing director of EFG-Hermes, a firm he helped transform from a small financial consultancy into one of the leading investment banks in the Arab world.
\nPrivate equity firm Citadel Capital controls investments of $9.5bn and in energy, transport and logistics, agriculture and food, mining and cement manufacturing. The firm controls companies investing in fifteen countries including Egypt, Kenya, Sudan and South Africa.
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241 Mahmoud Mohieldin
\nSpecial Envoy for President of the World Bank
\nUS (Egypt)
\nBanking & Finance
\nMohieldin is the Special Envoy for the President of the World Bank. His responsibilities include coordinating the World Bank Group agenda on the Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 process; supporting the work on financial development, including long-term finance and financial inclusion; and coordinating the World Bank’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with the UN, multilateral development institutions, and the G-20.\nPrior to joining the World Bank, Mohieldin held numerous positions in the Government of Egypt and served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector.
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237 Ahmed Zewail
\nUS (Egypt)
\nOne of the Arab world’s most successful scientists, Ahmed Zewail makes the power list again. In a competitive landscape, Zewail – best known for winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry – has also bagged the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Tolman Medal, and Egypt’s highest state honour, the Grand Collar of the Nile.
\nHe has been a scientific advisor to US President Barack Obama, and backed by the White House, became America’s first science envoy, visiting Muslim countries to promote the sciences.
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219 Nashwa Al Ruwaini
\nUAE (Egypt)
\nCairo-born Nashwa Al Ruwaini is the CEO of the UAE-based Pyramedia and director of the Middle East International Film Festival. She started her career on the radio in Qatar at the age of 15, before becoming a TV presenter on Qatar TV.
\nShe later moved to London where she worked with MBC, before moving back to establish the channel’s Cairo office. In 1998, she finally established her own production company Pyramedia, which is now one of the largest in the Middle East.
\nShe has earned the title “Oprah of the Middle East” after hosting her self-titled chat show, during which she discusses numerous sensitive topics including the role of women in religion, AIDS and child abuse. Al Ruwaini also brought Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to the region.
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209 Dalia Mogahed
\nExecutive Director
\nGallup Center for Muslim Studies
\nUS (Egypt)
\nThe Gallup Centre for Muslim Studies is a non-partisan research centre that provides data and analysis on Muslims and coordinates a large-scale survey of Muslims worldwide. As head of the centre for nearly a decade, Mogahed, is regularly called upon to comment on behalf of Muslims and to provide insights.
\nShe was selected by US President Barack Obama to advise the White House on Muslim-West relations and is a board member and leader in several organisations, including the Crisis in the Middle East Task Force of the Brookings Institution, the Executive Board of Women in International Security, the leadership group of the Project on US Engagement with the Global Muslim Community, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arab World. She is also a nonresident senior public policy scholar at Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.
\nBorn in Cairo in 1974, she immigrated to the US aged five and has American citizenship.
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198 Magdi Yacoub
\nHeart surgeon
\nUK (Egypt)
\nBorn and educated in Cairo, Sir Magdi Yacoub is recognised as being one of the best cardiothoracic surgeons in the world.
\nHe initially came to the UK in 1961 after graduating from Cairo University Medical School in 1957 and returned in 1968 after a stint as a junior assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He’s performed bypass surgery on Egyptian actor Omar Sharif and Saudi Arabia’s Adnan Khashoggi. Yacoub is the founder of the Harefield Heart Science Centre (Magdi Yacoub Institute) and oversees over 60 scientists and students in the areas of tissue engineering, myocardial regeneration, stem cell biology, end stage heart failure and transplant immunology. Yacoub established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1991.
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185 Mohammed Nasr Abdeen
\nUnion National Bank
\nUAE (Egypt)
\nBanking & Finance
\nAbu Dhabi-based Union National Bank is one of the UAE’s largest lenders, with 49 locations across the country.
\nIt is headed by Mohammed Nasr Abdeen, who has steered the bank through the economic crisis with a conservative approach to lending. Abdeen is also vice-chairman of the bank’s new Egypt operation. The bank reported a small increase in first quarter net profit, beating Reuters’ analyst forecasts, helped by an increase in net interest income and income from Islamic financing.
\nNet profits at the bank rose 3.2 percent to AED471.1m (US$128.26m) compared to AED456.36m in the year-ago period, UNB said in a bourse statement.
\nEarlier this month, UNB - Abu Dhabi’s fourth-biggest lender - said it had already repaid half the $871m in federal government loans it was paid in 2009 after the global financial crisis.
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130. Yousra
\nArts & Entertainment
\nYousra is perhaps the Arab world’s biggest entertainment superstar. She first started making films in the 1970s, and quickly developed a strong working relationship with the legendary Egyptian actor Adel Imam. Perhaps her best-known collaborations were with director Youssef Chahine, with whom she made three films. Yousra’s portfolio also includes a number of TV shows that have been popular during Ramadan, and a supporting role in the Yacoubian Building, which had the highest budget of any Egyptian film at the time it was made in 2006. She is also a well-known singer, and has worked as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
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122. Mohammed ElBaradei
\nFormer director general
\nCulture & Society
\nHe was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations, from 1997 to 2009. He and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also an important figure in the 2011 Egyptian revolution which ousted the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
\nElBaradei is currently the leader of Egypt›s Constitution Party, which aims to group the liberal forces of the country, in order to protect and promote the principles and objectives of the 25 January 2011 Revolution according to liberal ideals. He is a prominent figure of the Egyptian opposition.
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109. Naguib Sawiris
\nFormer chairman
\nEgyptian-born Naguib Sawiris was executive chairman of the telecommunications companies Wind Telecom and Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) before turning to politics in May 2011. The firm launched Mobinil, Egypt’s first mobile operator in 1998. OTH has 20,000 employees and manages eleven GSM operators around the globe. In the beginning, OTH’s strategy was to target underpenetrated high population markets. However, soon after it started to pursue more developed markets with the launch of Wind Mobile by its Globalive subsidiary in Canada in 2009.
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91. Amr Diab
\nArts & Entertainment
\nThey call him the ‘Father of Mediterranean music’ and Diab, perhaps Egypt’s most famous singer, has dominated the Arab music scene since the late 1980s. He has initiated a charity campaign “Masry Begad” (“Real Egyptian”), a social national programme aimed at serving and rebuilding Egyptian society. His online radio station Diab FM often presents talks and discussions about what Diab FM team can offer to the community as well as applying it practically by being present in different sites across Egypt. Diab is believed to be the best selling Arab recording artist of all time. He was awarded the World Music Award for Best Selling Middle Eastern Artist four times and has sold well over 50 million albums.
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72. Ayman Mohyeldin
\nUS (Egypt)
\nStill just 33, Ayman Mohyeldin has covered virtually every war, crisis and political development in what has been a tumultuous decade for the Middle East. Born in Cairo, Mohyeldin studied in the US before taking up a desk assistant position at NBC’s Washington bureau shortly after 9/11. He then moved to CNN, where he covered the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent uprisings in the country. Mohyeldin has also reported on Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, produced the first interview with Muammar Gaddafi after the Libyan leader announced that he would abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons, and covered the Egyptian presidential elections, also in 2005.
\nMore recently, he reported on the 2011 uprisings in Egypt for Al Jazeera, and was one of five journalists detained by Egyptian authorities after the Al Jazeera bureau in Cairo was closed down. Mohyeldin rejoined NBC in September 2011, and has since covered the uprisings in Syria.
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69. Bassem Youssef
\nTV personality
\nAs riots in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against president Hosni Mubarak took place, cardiothoracic surgeon Bassem Youssef was called into action to assist wounded protestors. But the doctor’s talents also lay in other areas. Youssef’s satirical news programme, ‘The Show’, has lampooned many of Egypt’s most prominent personalities.His Yutube channel has become one of the most popular in Egypt, and he was even invited to appear on the Daily Show, which is hosted by Jon Stewart. However, Youssef’s newfound popularity has come at a cost; he has been accused of defaming President Mohammed Mursi on two occasions.
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28. Mohammed El Erian
\nUS (Egypt)
\nBanking & Finance
\nEgypt-born Mohammed El Erian is CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO - the world’s biggest bond trader.
\nHe re-joined PIMCO at the end of 2007 after serving for two years as president and CEO of Harvard Management Company, the entity that manages Harvard’s endowment and related accounts.
\nEl Erian has published widely on international economic and finance topics. His book, When Markets Collide, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs 2008 Business Book of the Year and was named a book of the year by The Economist and one of the best business books of all time by the Independent. He was named to Foreign Policy’s list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.