Jordanians On The 100 Most Influential Arabs List

Arabian Business published its 100 Most Influential Arabs list, and only 3 Jordanians made the cut. Wadah Khanfar, who runs Al Jazeera (all of it) at only 38 years old, is ranked 8th, while Fadi Ghandour of Aramex ranks 82. Emad Hajjaj however, is a new entry on the list, and now ranks 43, with the publication calling him “one of the most, if not the most, renowned social and political cartoonists in the Arab world.” Prince Alwaleed ranks first, for the fifth time in a row.

Meanwhile, Nadine Labaki, who wrote, directed and starred in Caramel (Sukar Banat) is the most “powerful Arab woman” and “most powerful Lebanese”, ranking 5th on the list. Ok, she’s attractive and pretty talented too, but I still have no idea how she scored that gig or why, for that matter, she outranked Dr. Michel Obeid, who came as close as it gets to curing cancer and still ranked 7th for God’s sake!

Or how about Hassan Nasrallah, who didn’t make the list of 100 people at all. I’m not his biggest fan but he undeniably tops the list in Lebanon, the Arab world, and is in close competition for the first spot.


  • Well, you miss Hassan Nasrallah – I miss _any_ politician. Any! Not a single entry in the category “politics & economy”. But a football player is ranked second. And half of the important Arabs own a bank or something like that.

    Another problem is that the list includes 42 newcomers – isn’t that a bit much? I don’t think all these guys made there money in the last 12 months…

    (oh, finally I found somebody you could list at politics. Mohammad el-Baradei, but he’s listed at “Energy”. Maybe I missed some others, I’m not into Arab politics…)

  • Wait, so King Abdullah is less influential than a cartoonist? I mean, he’s a good cartoonist and all, but…

  • I have about last years’ list in my blog and I still believe that the most influential Arabs are Bin laden, Zawahiri, Qardawi, Amr Khaled, Nassrallah and Ismail Haniyyeh. This is a true reflection of the miserable state of the Arab World.

  • What is the scientific measure of “infuence”, anyway?

    Actually, a better question, what is the scientific unit of “infuence”….?

    How about “Inspiring Devotion In the Desperate, Outcast or Tragic” Or Idiot, for short….. “Ah, that Sheikh Maktoum has a influence power of 2.3 million IDIOTs.”

    Works well, no….?

  • How do they decide? What is the criteria?
    I agree with Moey, this is a weird list!
    (I was very disappointed to see that they haven’t got a photo of Emad Hajjaj! Why?? I need to put a face to the name!)

  • I’m happy that in the least there isn’t Nasrallahl I instead am happy 4 Nadine Labaki and Rajaa Al-Sanea.

  • Mo, influence is mainly linked to having an impact on people’s lives and behaviour as well as the conditions of states and commujnity. No other Arabs have had more impact than the lovely cheerful list I mentioned earlier.

  • Lists and rankings on them are always weird and skewed because by default a specific target audience participates in the ranking – and that has limitations. HOWEVER… I find this one quite interesting and I love that a filmmaker, a cartoonist, a fashion designer and a poet rank high up!

    Never underestimate the power of culture and art and their makers to blaze a trail of change on the ground! Cultural leaders can lead change and mobilize thought and action in incredibly powerful and relevant ways. And that is why we should focus on creating more and investing in our intellectual capital, rather than waiting to follow a suffocating political discourse in the delusion that it will reveal with solutions.

    Happy creating! In the final analysis, that’s all we leave behind.

    So the question to ask is: what do we want our legacy to be? 😉

  • Batir,
    Actually it depends on how you define influence. What kind of impacts did those people have? Is it political or economic or maybe a mix of both? I would say that they have a great psychological impact but not influence. When we say inflluence the first thing I think of is something being changed, and the list you gave didn’t change anything, they simply manifest already existing trends in our societies. My list would include: corrupt officials, lack of democracy and freedom speech, weak and crumbling educational systems, and all the people that are responsible but not accountable for their failures that changes everyone’s life. That is my cynical list, if oyu want the positive one, you have to look into communities and ask the people.

  • anything driven by oil money is suspect. for one, oil money means Lebanese brains at work. and the Lebanese are the most sectarian, biased, unfair people in the arab world.

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