World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs - Heroes
Welcome to the 2014 Arabian Business Power List, our guide to the planet’s 100 most influential Arabs
Dahi Khalfan Tamim
\nDeputy Chairman Police and General Security, Dubai
\nLieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim has had a remarkable career in public service.\nIn 1970 he graduated from the Royal Police Academy in Jordan, after which he specialised in criminal investigations. After working his way up the chain of command, in 1979 he was appointed deputy chief of police in Dubai, before taking the top job in 1980. Over the past 31 years, he has totally transformed the police force, its role and its reputation internationally and locally.
\nHe has published eight major reports on policing, and credited with a number of the police force’s key achievements in the last three decades. These include launching the Dubai Police Academy; establishing the Dubai Forensic Laboratory and the use of DNA in investigations; forming the land, marine and air rescue teams and establishing a special rehabilitation centre for \ndrug addicts.
\nTamim is also largely credited with driving the force towards using modern technology — it was the first government department to use emails, and later became the first fully operational e-government department.
Manal Al Sharif
\nManal Al Sharif is one of a number of Saudi female activists — including Eman Al Nafjan and Aziza Al Yousef — that have won worldwide recognition for their work to boost women’s rights in their home country. Al Sharif helped start a women’s right to drive campaign in 2011, and was arrested as a result. She has since brought international attention to a series of women’s rights issues in the kingdom, including the murder of five-year-old Lama Al Ghamdi by her father last year, and the plight of female domestic workers held in Saudi prisons. She has over a quarter of a million followers on Twitter.
Nawal Al Saadawi
\nNow aged 82, Dr Nawal Al Saadawi has spent her life championing women’s rights. That has come at a cost; she was dismissed from her position at Egypt’s Ministry of Health after publishing a book attacking female circumcision and was jailed by former president Anwar Al Sadat in 1981 after helping to publish a feminist magazine. She is also the founder and president of Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights. She is also a qualified physician and psychiatrist and has received honorary degrees on three continents.
\nMakhloufi is an Algerian track and field athlete who specialises in middle distance running. He became the 1,500 metres Olympic champion in 2012.
\nHe was also the 800 metres gold medallist at the 2012 African Championships and the 2011 All-Africa Games. He has twice represented Algeria at the World Championships in athletics. Makhloufi has a claim, alongside Mo Farah and Ousama Mellouli, to be the top Arab athlete competing today.
\nWhen Mo Farah picked up an astonishing two gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Arab world was jubilant.
\nNewspapers and media outlets across the region celebrated his Arab heritage as the Briton completed victories over top-class opposition in the 5,000 and 10,000-metre finals.
\nMohamed Farah was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia in 1983, and spent the early years of his childhood in Djibouti. He moved to the UK aged eight, and began running in earnest from 2005 onwards. He is considering upgrading to the marathon.
\nFarah is a sponsor of the UK-based Muslim Writers Awards and launched the Mo Farah Foundation after a trip to Somalia in 2011. He was awarded a CBE in the UK’s 2013 New Year’s honours list.
\nHe struck global fame as the winner of the second season of Arab Idol, broadcast by the MBC network. He was given the nickname Asaroukh (The Rocket) by Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge Ragheb Alama.
\nIn 2013, Assaf was named a goodwill ambassador for peace by The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). He was also named ambassador of culture and arts by the Palestinian government and was offered a position with “diplomatic standing” by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
\nAssaf was acclaimed by the jury and the public. His victory received worldwide coverage from the media and was welcomed with joy by Palestinians and the rest of the \nArab world.
Sultan Bin Salman Al Saud
\nBorn in 1956, he is a former Royal Saudi Air Force pilot who flew aboard the STS-51-G Space Shuttle mission as a payload specialist, and a member of the House of Saud. He is thus the first astronaut of royal blood, and the first Arab and Muslim to fly in outer space. Al Saud completed his elementary and secondary education in Riyadh. He is a graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in mass communications. He received a master’s degree in social and political science from Syracuse University in 1999.
\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.