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Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures

The men and women making a difference in Egypt

Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
43. Amr Diab\n\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.\n\nRecent months have seen his popularity slide; his absence from Egypt during the uprising has led to denunciations from some quarters that his silence was a tacit expression of support for the former regime — but certainly he has not been included on a list compiled by activists of Egyptian stars who showed support for Hosni Mubarak.\n\nDiab 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.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
61. Mohammed El Erian\n\nEgypt-born Mohammed El Erian is CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO - the world’s biggest bond trader. He 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. El 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 and 2011.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
96. Sherife AbdelMessih\n\nSherife AbdelMessih is the founder and CEO of Future Energy Corporation (FEC), a company that serves the renewable energy industry in the region.\n\nAlong with his partners he is now creating the first investment vehicle of its kind in MENA that will be focusing on Renewable Energy and CleanTech investments in emerging economies.\n\nSherife was also a consultant on the first solar power plant in Egypt and the MENA region throughout the bidding, and contract negotiation process. He has authored multiple energy programs on the transformation of the Egyptian Energy Economy by 2020 and 2050, which has been endorsed by political parties in Egypt.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
158. Magdi Yacoub\n\nDubbed the ‘King of Hearts’, Egyptian-born surgeon Magdi Yacoub has received many accolades from his adopted home in the UK.\n\nIn 1992 he was awarded a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and in 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride of Britain Awards.\n\nNow almost fully retired, Dr Yacoub will forever be known as the surgeon who has performed well over 20,000 heart operations — including more than 2,000 heart transplants — more than any other surgeon in the entire world.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
165. Wael Ghonim\n\nAt the beginning of last year, Wael Ghonim was an ordinary IT executive — albeit working for arguably the decade’s most prominent firm — living in a comfortable villa in the UAE.\n\nBy mid-February last year, the bespectacled 31-year-old father of two had become the face of the Egyptian revolution, which resulted in the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak. Within a few months, TIME magazine had added him in its “Time 100” list of the 100 most influential people of 2011.\n\nGhonim also received the JFK Profile in Courage Award and was presented the award by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy.\nSince the protests in Tahrir Square, however, the one-time revolutionary hero has had a quiet few months.\n\nGhonim has taken a long-term sabbatical from his job at Google, and has signed a book deal. He attended an IMF meeting in late 2011, and has attracted criticism from Egyptians who argue that he is too heavily focused on economic issues, rather than political ones.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
180. Dalia Mogahed\n\nEgyptian-born Dalia Mogahed was propelled onto the international arena when she became the first Muslim veiled woman to be appointed to a position in the White House.\nMogahed was selected as an advisor to US president Barack Obama on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships in April 2011. She joined 25 other religious and secular representatives who report to the president on the role religion can play in resolving social problems.\n\nMogahed also heads up research organisation the Gallup American Centre for Muslim Studies and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arab World.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
189. Fayez Sarofim\n\nBorn in Egypt, Sarofim is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and holds a Harvard MBA. He founded Fayez Sarofim & Company in 1958 and as of March 30, 2012, the firm had US$26 billion in assets under management.\n\nDivorced with five children and living in Houston, Sarofim was referred to by Forbes as “Sphinx”. \n\nHe handles the investment portfolios for a wide range of clients — pension plans, foundations, endowments, and individuals. An independent entity, it currently has a team of 22 investment professionals. He has been grooming his son, Chris, to take over — or perhaps has plans to sell the entire company. His other children are well known socialites on the Texas arts and party circuit. Apart from his work in the world of finance, Sarofim is also a major contributor to the Houston Ballet and the Museum of Fine Arts. In 2006, he was rated by Forbes as one of the 500 wealthiest people in the world.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
192. Mohammed Nasr Abdeen\n\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.\n\nThe 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.\n\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.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
202. Mohammed Shafiq Gabr\n\nEgyptian businessman and philanthropist Mohammed Shafiq Gabr is the chairman of ARTOC Group for Investment & Development - a multi-disciplined investment holding company with assets of $1.1bn, handed down by his father.\n\nHe has also played a major role in a number of international organisations, including the World Bank. His company has interests in real estate, engineering, consumer products and media, and employs some 3,500 Egyptians, making Gabr one of the most well-known businessmen in the populous Arab country.\n\nAs a result of his professional success, billionaire Gabr has a wealth of high profile connections both in Egypt and Washington, and is renowned in elevated circles. Outside of work, he is an art collector and keen traveler, and speaker of idiomatic American with degrees in business and economics from Cairo’s American University and the University of London.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
246. Ahmed Zewail\n\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. He 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.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
254. Mohammed Al Fayed\n\nAlong with his brothers, Al Fayed founded a shipping company in Egypt, moved its headquarters to Italy, and set up additional offices in London. It was then that he moved to England.\n\nIn the 1960s, he met with Sheikh Rashid al Maktoum and was entrusted to help transform Dubai. In 1968, for instance, he set up the International Marine Services (IMS) in the city.\n\nAmong his numerous business interests, the year 1984 saw Al Fayed and his brothers purchase a 30 percent stake in House of Fraser, a group that included Harrods. In 1985, the remaining 70 percent was bought for £615m ($946m).\n\nHarrods was eventually sold to Qatar Holdings for £1.5bn ($2.30bn). Other significant businesses for Al Fayed include the Ritz Hotel in Paris and the West London football club Fulham F.C.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
265. Alaa Al Aswany\n\nAlaa Al Aswany is one of Egypt’s most famous writers and a founding member of the political movement Kefaya. He has contributed many articles to Egyptian newspapers, ranging from literature to politics. One of his most popular novels, The Yacoubian Building, has been translated into some 30 languages. Al Aswany was one of the few prominent faces during the Egyptian revolution last year.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
267. Omar Sharif\n\nA superstar to cinema audiences in the West and the East, Omar Sharif is the undisputed father of the Egyptian film scene. His most famous roles were in David Lean classics ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Dr Zhivago’. He has been nominated for an Academy Award, won two Golden Globe Awards and was given a medal by UNESCO in recognition of his significant contributions to world film and cultural diversity. \nBack in Cairo, the former bridge maestro condemned former president Hosni Mubarak in January of last year, saying “given that the entire Egyptian people don’t want him and he’s been in power 30 years, that’s enough.” He recently assigned a writer, Salwa Baker, to work on his memoirs.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
270. Hassan Heikal \n\nFormerly at Goldman Sachs, Hassan Heikal joined EFG-Hermes in 1995, and became an integral part in the success of the bank, making it one of the leading investment banking franchises in the Arab world. \nHe has been serving as CEO since 2007, and was previously head of the firm’s investment banking division. Under his watch, the group advised numerous clients, including Vodafone plc, PepsiCo and Pirelli, among many others.\n\nHeikal holds a degree from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University. EFG-Hermes has recently announced a definitive agreement with Qinvest, involving EFG Hermes’ Brokerage, Research, Asset Management, Investment Banking and Infrastructure Fund businesses.\n\nThe transaction is considered one of the largest foreign direct investments in Egypt since the 25 January Revolution. However, last month Heikal was indicted on corruption charges, alongside his co-CEO.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
280. Naguib Sawiris\n\nEgyptian-born Naguib Sawiris was executive chairman of the telecommunications companies Wind Telecom and Orasco 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.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
284. Ahmed Heikal\n\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.\n\nPrivate equity firm Citadel Capital has ninteen Opportunity-Specific Funds control platform companies with investments of $9.5bn in fifteen industries including energy, mining, agrifoods, cement, transportation and retail. Since its founding in 2004, the firm has returned $2.2bn in cash to its co-investors — more than any other MEA private equity firm.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
286. Sayed Badreya\n\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.\nAfter 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. Today, he runs his production company, Zoom In Focus, and is this year set to star in the Sacha Baron Cohen film, The Dictator.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
288. Eng Hani Azir \n\nEngineer Hani Azer is the architect behind Europe’s largest train station in Berlin, Germany, completed in 2006.\n\nMuch more than a train station, the $700m Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a tourist attraction, with over 80 shops in the terminal and a featured outdoor beach. He was voted 13th among the top 50 Berliners in 2006. Prior to his achievement, Azer headed the construction of the tunnel beneath Berlin’s Tiergarten. \nIn 2006, Azer received one of Berlin’s most respected distinctions — the Merit of the State of Berlin — for outstanding service to the state.\n\nAzer graduated from the Faculty of Engineering from Ain Shams University, before relocating to Germany to study civil engineering in 1973.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
343. Ahdaf Soueif\n\nAhdaf Soueif's latest book documents the events that took place in Tahrir Square last year.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
349. Tarek Hassan Amer\n\nTarek Amer heads up by far the largest of Egypt's banks.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
366. Nawal Al Saadawi\n\nFeminist and author Nawal Al Saadawi was active during last year's revolution, despite being aged 80.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
372. Zahi Hawwas\n\nA modern-day Indiana Jones, Zahi Hawwas is a regular fixture at Egypt's archaeological digs.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
374. Bahaa Taher\n\nTaher won the first International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008, with Sunset Oasis.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
379. Ahmed Mansour\n\nMansour made his name by leading the only team to report from the battle of Fallujah during 2004.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
388. Leila Ahmed\n\nFeminist Leila Ahmed is the first women's studies professor at Harvard Divinity School.
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
410 Ahmed Helmy\n\nActor, Egypt
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
449 Samir Gibara\n\nFormer chairman, Goodyear
Most powerful Egyptians: in pictures
461 Mustafa El Sayed\n\nScientist, US (Egypt)