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Sun 27 Mar 2011 08:01 AM

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Culture and society dominates rankings in Power 500

Activists, charities, social leaders top the board in this year’s list of the world's most influential Arabs

Culture and society dominates rankings in Power 500
Syrian art gallery owner Khalid Samawi took the No.18 spot in this years Arabian Business Power 500

Arabs from fields such as activism, charities and academia have nudged the big business names aside on this year’s Power 500, with Culture and Society dominating the eleven sector rankings.

The sector boasts two entries in the top 10 alone, namely Egyptian-born web activist and Google marketing chief Wael Ghonim, and Yemeni child bride Nujood Ali, and takes 95 rankings overall.

At 13, Ali is the youngest-ever entry on the Arabian Business Power 500.

The founder of the Cordoba Initiative in the US, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, also makes the list at No.174. The institute has made great strides in promoting dialogue between the West and Muslim cultures.

Also producing a solid showing are the sectors of Arts and Entertainment and Banking and Finance, fielding 90 and 89 entries respectively.

The entertainment industry boasts 13 entries in the top 100 slots alone, top of which is Syrian art gallery owner Khalid Samawi at No.18. Following closely behind is Egyptian singer Amr Diab at No.21, while superstar Ziad Rahbani comes in at No.29.

Construction and Industry – despite arguably being the sector worst-hit in the Arab world by the global financial crisis – fields 74 entries, while Media boasts a solid 39.

Top of the rankings is Al Jazeera boss Wadah Khanfar, at No.6, whose outspoken views have made him a key player in the Arab world’s burgeoning broadcast industry.

Sporting heroes also make a number of appearances on this year’s Power 500, led by Asian Football Confederation boss, Qatar-born Mohammed Bin Hammam, who nets the No.3 spot.

The highest ranked footballer is Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh: the Moroccan-born athlete placed at No.184.

To read the full Arabian Business Power 500 rankings, click here

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall