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Mon 11 Jun 2012 10:06 AM

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US dominates list of powerful Arabs in the Americas

US features 45 entries in this year's Power 500, the most of any country in the Americas

US dominates list of powerful Arabs in the Americas
Charles Elachi was the second highest ranked Arab in the Americas.

This year’s Arabian Business Power 500 list featured 45 entries from the US, the most of any nation in the Americas.

Overall, 2012’s countdown featured 61 Arabs from countries in both North and South Americas, including seven from Brazil, six from Canada and one a piece from Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

Highest ranked was US construction executive Matty Moroun. Born in Detroit but originally from Lebanon, Moroun is chairman of Centra, which is best known for its ownership of the Ambassador Bridge, which straddles the US-Canada border crossing.

Next comes scientist Charles Elachi in 21st place, who as director of California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has had a profound impact on ventures such as NASA’s Deep Space Network and the Mars missions.

Following Elachi in 61st place was Egypt-born Mohammed El Erian, CEO of the world’s biggest bond trader PIMCO.

The highest ranked entry from South America was Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of car making giant Nissan. The Brazilian-Lebanese came in at 86th on this year’s Power 500 and is widely credited with masterminding Japan-based Nissan’s financial turnaround in recent years.

Overall, 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 his native country. Without him, it is debatable whether the western powers would have intervened in the conflict,” said the Arabian Business team.

The 2012 Power 500 contains a record 127 new entries, and also features 105 women, the highest ever number. The UAE has the highest number of entries with 96 on the list, followed by Saudi Arabia with 62 and 45 from the USA. In total, Arabs living in 37 different countries are featured on the list.

When it comes to country 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.”