By Anil Bhoyrul
Women make strongest ever showing, six in top twenty
The 2012 Arabian Business Power 500 contains more women than ever before, with a record 105 making the list of the world’s most influential Arabs.
Reem Asaad, the Saudi women who launched a campaign for women to be allowed to work in lingerie shops in the Kindgom, is the highest ranked woman in third spot. Another Saudi woman, the children’s cancer specialist Dr Khawla Al Kuraya is ranked nine on the list, one place ahead of UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi.
The Bahraini doctor Rular Saffar, who was jailed by the authorities during last year’s riots, is ranked eleventh, with two more women in the top 20 – the Yememi activist Tawakkul Karman in thirteenth place, and Saudi medical researcher Hayat Sindi in 19 place.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed topped the Arabian Business Power List for the eighth successive year.
Emirates Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed was ranked second. 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 Gaddafi. Without him, it is debatable whether the western powers would have intervened in the conflict,” the magazine reported.
The UAE has the highest number of entries with 96 on the list, followed by Saudi Arabia with 62 and 45 from the US. In total, Arabs living in 37 different countries are featured on the list.
When it comes to countries of origin, Lebanon contributes the most with 85 entries, followed by 67 from Saudi Arabia and 58 from Egypt.
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.”