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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saad Al-Hariri

Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri   born 18 April 1970) is a Lebanese billionaire who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 until 2011. He is the second son of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in 2005. Hariri was prime minister from 9 November 2009 until the collapse of his cabinet on 12 January 2011 and has also been the leader of the Movement of the Future party since 2005. He is seen as a "weak figurehead" of the March 14 movement.[1]

 

Early years

Saad Hariri was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia[2][3] on 18 April 1970, and is the son of Rafiq Hariri and his first wife Nida Bustani, an Iraqi.[4] He graduated in 1992 from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University with a major in Business Administration.[5] He then returned to Saudi Arabia where he managed part of his father's business in Riyadh until his father's assassination in 2005. When his father was killed in February 2005, he inherited some USD $4.1 billion in 2005 earning him and each of his siblings[5] a place on the 2006 Forbes list of richest people in the world.

Business activities

Prior to entering politics, Hariri served as the chairman of the executive committee of Oger Telecom, which pursues telecommunication interests in the Middle East and Africa. In addition, Hariri was the chairman of Omnia Holdings and a board member of Oger International Entreprise de Travaux Internationaux.

Political career

On 20 April 2005, Hariri family announced that Saad Hariri would lead the Movement of the Future, an essentially Sunni movement that was created and led by his late father.[4][6] He is also the leader of the March 14 Alliance, a coalition of political groups born out of the Cedar Revolution which, through mass popular demonstrations and Western support, led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2005 after a 29-year presence. In 2007, French President Jacques Chirac awarded Saad Hariri the "Legion d'Honneur" (Knight of the Legion of Honor).[7]

Prime ministership

Government collapse

On 12 January 2011, minutes after Hariri posed for pictures with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, the opposition parties resigned from the cabinet, as an objection for the inability of the government to take detrimental decisions, causing his unity government to collapse. In fact, Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from the government due to political tensions arose from investigations of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.[8] The reason for Hezbollah's withdrew was that Hezbollah operatives were convicted as being responsible for the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.[8]A White House statement released after their talks said actions by Hezbollah "only demonstrate their own fear and determination to block the government's ability to conduct its business and advance the aspirations of all of the Lebanese people."Hariri remained caretaker Prime Minister for another four months after the collapse of his cabinet. The new Lebanese government was finally formed on 13 June 2011 and is headed by Najib Mikati. Mikati created a Hezbollah-led government coalition.[8]

Arrest warrant

On 12 December 2012, Syria issued an arrest warrants against Hariri, Future bloc deputy Okab Sakr and Free Syrian Army official Louay Meqdad in regard to the allegations of arming and providing financial support for Syrian opposition groups.[9] Upon this, Hariri released a statement, indicating that Bashar Assad is a "monster".[9] Lebanese judicial sources argued that the arrest warrant would likely to be ignored by Lebanon and that since both Hariri and Saqr have parliamentary immunity, they cannot be prosecuted.[9]

Personal life

Hariri holds dual citizenship, Lebanese and Saudi Arabian.[10] He married Lara Bashir Al Adem in 1998 and has 3 children: Hussam (born 1999), Lulwa (born 2001) and Abdulaziz, (born 2005). His wife is from a prestigious Syrian family.[4] He lives in Paris, France, since 2011 for safety reasons.[1][11]His net worth has fluctuated since the death of his father. Current figures usually vary between 1.5 and 2 billion USD. However, according to Forbes, as of 2011 he is the 595th richest person in the world with a net worth of $2 billion.[12]

Awards

In 2007, Hariri was awarded the Legion of Honour.[13]
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