By Anil Bhoyrul
Lebanon, UAE and Saudi Arabia dominate list of influential Arabs
Lebanon has contributed the most names to the 2012 list of the world’s most influential Arabs, published on Sunday by Arabian Business.
The list reveals 85 names that originate from Lebanon, with Saudi Arabia contributing 67 and Egypt and the UAE 58 names each. Many US based Arabs are originally Lebanese, according to the magazine.
When it comes to countries of residence, the UAE scores highest with 96 members of the Power 500 living in the country. Saudi Arabia hosts 62, followed by the US on 45, Qatar on 43 and Egypt on 37. Just 29 of the Arabs on the list who originate from Lebanon still live in the country, according to Arabian Business.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed topped the Arabian Business Power List for the eighth successive year.
Emirates Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed was ranked second. The highest new entry was third placed Reem Asaad, the Saudi woman who launched a campaign to allow women to work in lingerie shops. By July, her campaign paid off when the Saudi Labour Ministry banned men from working in lingerie shops after a directive from King Abdullah - in an instant, creating 44,000 jobs for women.
Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar was fourth on the list, with the Libyan activist Mohammed Nabbous in fifth place. Nabbous was the founder of Libya Al Hurra TV in Benghazi, the first independent broadcast news organisation since Gaddafi took power in Libya. The 28-year old was killed last year by Pro-Gaddafi forces.
“Since his death, many experts in Libya and the west have credited Nabbous for his pivotal role in bringing the world’s attention to the killings in his native country. Without him, it is debatable whether the western powers would have intervened in the conflict,” said Arabian Business.
The 2012 Power 500 contains a record 127 new entries, and also features 105 women, the highest ever number.
Ed Attwood, Editor of Arabian Business, said: “What we have published today is the most comprehensive guide every to Arab influence all across the world. Our researchers have looked at the work of Arabs in every continent and every country across the globe, and covered every sector from business and finance to media, sports and science. It is clear from this list that Arab success and influence across the world has never been more significant than it is today.”