As Egypt’s leadership has violently chopped and changed over the past four years, various forex tribe annie activists and humanitarians have changed course or fled the country. He took a gunshot to the eye to defend freedom during the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and now wears a trademark eye patch, a poignant reminder of his passionate beliefs. It was that eye wound that led the well-educated businessman to create Nebny Foundation, now one of the most influential non-government organisations in Egypt.
Bleeding profusely, it was hours before Nabulsi could find a doctor who would treat him due to the political sensitivities at the time. Once healed, he started the foundation, which provided medical assistance to 2,200 people injured during the first uprising. But he realised there were deeper issues of illiteracy, acute health problems and unemployment. Turning down a post-revolution offer to become Minister of Youth, Nabulsi guided the Nebny Foundation to assist Cairo’s slum poor by providing them with education, medical assistance, micro-loans and business advice. Neby’s illiteracy programme, giving primary school students two hours of lessons a day and a meal for three months, has been adopted by the Egyptian government and the foundation is launching an entrepreneurship centre in June. 8bn, with more than 135 registered companies operating in 28 countries, across sectors including construction, trading and manufacturing, investments and development, and travel and leisure. Al Kharafi took the helm as director of the group’s executive committee in 2012, following the death of his highly esteemed father, Nasser.
In April 2014, Coutts, the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, announced it had appointed Al Kharafi to its Middle East Advisory Board. A keen advocate of youth development, he is also a board member for INJAZ, a non-government organisation that teaches students entrepreneurship and financial literacy at a time when the Gulf state is working to encourage more nationals into the private sector. With ongoing plans to expand, Al Kharafi’s influence is only expected to continue rising. Hassan Al Thawadi is responsible for organising the most anticipated event in Qatar’s history — the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The Supreme Committee is coordinating everything required to host the international football extravaganza, from building state-of-the-art air-conditioned stadiums and a plethora of supporting infrastructure to dealing with international criticism of the treatment of construction workers and the timing of the event. The Sheffield University law graduate also is general counsel at the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, and Qatar Holding, which have investments in Porsche, Volkswagen, Barclays Bank, the New York Stock Exchange and Harrods, not to mention countless high-end European properties. Since taking over as chairman in 2008, Al Mubarak has transformed Manchester City FC from a backwater team into one of the wealthiest sporting clubs in the world that has obtained two Premier League titles and won both the League Cup and FA Cup.
His business prowess also is being used to guide Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification as CEO of Mubadala, the government’s investment and development vehicle with multi-billion dollar projects and significant stakes in companies including Ferrari, AMD, the Carlyle Group and General Electric. Al Mubarak is a key confidant of the emirate’s Crown Prince, holding the position of chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and as a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. He is also the chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority and Emirates Global Aluminium, and is a representative on numerous other government organisations covering areas from education to urban planning. In his role as chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, Al Mubarak also was instrumental in bringing the Formula One Grand Prix and the FIFA Club World Cup to Abu Dhabi.
As CEO of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and its commercial arm, twofour54, Noura Al Kaabi has been instrumental in developing the UAE’s media and creative content scene across all mediums. The authority now has more than 240 media organisations on its campus and has launched the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, and the Abu Dhabi Media Summit. Al Kaabi also is involved in government policy as a member of the Federal National Council, where she has particularly promoted measures to protect the rights of children. She also sits on the board of Abu Dhabi Media, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Image Nation and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Arts Foundation and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. She is regularly included in CEO Middle East’s 100 most powerful Arab Women list. When you graduate from high school aged 12, with biochemistry and algebra in your skillset, you are bound to do brilliant things.
Iqbal Al Asaad certainly did, graduating as the youngest ever Arab doctor at 20, in 2013. The child prodigy, who says she began learning as a toddler while listening to her father tutor her older brothers, grew up in a rural Lebanese village and was struck at an early age by the poverty she witnessed. Her visits to Palestinian refugee camps, where she often heard stories of sick children unable to get the medical care they needed, inspired her to become a paediatrician. She is now furthering her credentials under the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Paediatric Residency Programme in the US.
But Al Asaad’s dream to return to Lebanon and help the Palestinian refugees who inspired her career may be difficult because Palestinians are not allowed to work as doctors in Lebanon. Wherever she ends up, the genius humanitarian is sure to make an impression in the Arab medical world for decades to come. 100bn megaproject is being built from scratch about 100km north of Jeddah with an eventual capacity to host two million people. At the centre of the city is King Abdullah Port, which is aiming to use its strategic location on the Red Sea, through which almost one-quarter of world shipping trade passes, to make it a game changer.