Tamer Hosni beats Sawiris, Fairuz in Arabian Business Power 100 list

Asmaa El Gammal
4 Min Read

CAIRO: With Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal at a whooping number one, first-time entrant Muntazar Al-Zaidi at number three and pop singer Tamer Hosni trumping both International Atomic Agency chief Mohamed Al Baradei and Egyptian telecom guru Naguib Sawiris with his modest 63 ranking, Arabian Business’ Power 100 list of the world’s most influential Arabs presents an odd mix of the region’s biggest names.

The list spans 11 different categories, including banking and finance, construction and industry, culture and society, energy, healthcare, media and marketing, real estate, retail, technology, transportation and travel, and hospitality.

The Saudi prince’s $17.08 billion fortune and his investments are in more than 10 sectors, including media, real estate and luxury hotels, and have landed him the number one spot five years in a row. Meanwhile, Iraqi journalist Muntadar Al-Zaidi swooped in on the number three spot as a first-year entrant.

Acting for the “widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq, Al-Zaidi first made headlines when he hurled a shoe at former President George W. Bush at a farewell press conference in Iraq last December.

While currently serving a three-year prison term, he has been hailed as a hero by thousands of Iraqis who took to the streets in protest at his arrest. Al-Zaidi’s repertoire also includes computer games based on the incident and a large copper statue of a shoe erected in his honor in the Iraqi town of Tikrit.

In the number six spotlight was Palestinian National Theatre director Amir Nizar Zuabi, whose play Alive from Palestine: Stories under Occupation was a sold-out hit in the US this year.

Snagging the number seven spot was Egyptian Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of the Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO), one of four firms selected by the Obama administration to operate a $500 billion program to buy mortgage-backed securities. One of the world’s most respected financial and economic analysts, the 41-year-old is also author of the 2008 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year, “When Markets Collide.

The growing influence of Islamic banking was reflected in the number eight entry, occupied by the Syrian Secretary General of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Mohamed Nehal Alchaar.

Meanwhile, the marked presence of the entertainment industry proved that stardom was a key to power.

Trumping musical legend Fairuz (number 72), renowned Egyptian film and stage actor Adel Imam (number 79) and Nancy Ajram’s 30 million record sales were the love tunes of Egyptian singer, actor and heartthrob Tamer Hosni, ranked at 63.

Though Hosni’s fan club was no match for the 20-year career of Egyptian pop singer Amr Diab (number 46) and the burgeoning popularity of Egyptian soccer player Amr Zaki (number 41), they were enough to beat ElBaradei’s Nobel Peace Prize (number 76) and Sawiris’ telecom empire (number 92).

According to Arabian Business’ Anil Bhoyrul, power, for the purpose of these rankings, was defined as influence measured by how much a person’s actions can impact others.

With the exception of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, whose power and fame are seen largely as products of his business ventures, members of royal families, politicians or religious leaders were not considered.

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