Said Khoury, the Palestinian billionaire who founded Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), the Middle East construction giant, has died, aged 91.
Khoury, who died on Thursday in his adoptive home city of Athens, was ranked 10th in the latest Arabian Business list of the world's richest Arabs with a fortune estimated at $7 billion.
CCC is currently ranked among the top 25 international contractors, and is the largest construction company in the Middle East. It operates in 40 countries with over 130,000 employees and annual revenue of $5 billion.
Born in Safad, Palestine, Khoury moved to Lebanon in 1948 after the Arab-Israeli war and got his first job helping to build Tripoli Airport.
CCC has built landmark projects in everything from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison (built in 1969, before the ascent of Saddam Hussein to the presidency of the country), to the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.
The company has undertaken major projects in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Africa and the Gulf.
Khoury, a distinguished American University of Beirut alumnus, humanitarian, and international business leader, based his corporate policy on the welfare, satisfaction, and participation of the employee, the University said in a statement.
A committed philanthropist, Khoury was a tireless champion of the Palestinian cause. He was deputy chairman and member of the board of trustees of the Welfare Association in Geneva, dedicated to supporting Palestinians suffering under occupation.
He also founded the Bethlehem Development Foundation and supported other countless Palestinian organizations. Khoury's philanthropy included support for hospitals, schools and universities.
At AUB, Khoury’s philanthropy helped rebuild College Hall and through CCC, he contributed a state-of-the-art building for scientific research.
Khoury was presented with numerous awards and honors. AUB granted him an honorary doctorate in 2006 and he received a Medal of Merit from the AUB Alumni Association in 2001. The President of Lebanon bestowed upon him the Legion of Merit in 2004.
He also received an Honorary Shield from the Annual Congress for Investment and Capital Arab Group for 50 years of successful relations between a model company and its employees. Most recently in 2013, he received the Palestinian Diaspora Award from The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation.
Khoury is survived by three sons, two daughters and 14 grandchildren. He was married to the late Wadad Sabbagh.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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