Arabian Business just published it’s annual Most Influential Arabs list for 2009 and it’s pretty good popcorn reading. Like last year, only three Jordanians made the list, including Fadi Ghandour (who went up 52 spots to be ranked 27th), Samer Majali (38th) and Emad Hajjaj (who dropped 40 spots to be ranked 83rd). While Fadi Ghandour’s placement is understandable if not expected, Hajjaj’s drop to 83rd is confusing and so is Majali’s presence on the list. I don’t know what qualifies the Royal Jordanian CEO to be influential, but then again, I don’t know how well the company is doing to begin with, or how significant it is in the Arab skies.
More confusing is the presence of various Jordanians listed under Palestine as “country of residence/nationality”. This includes Wadah Khanfar (who was listed as “Jordanian” last year), as well as tycoons like Talal Abu-Ghazaleh and Samih Darwazeh who are Palestinian-born but are based in Jordan, started out in Jordan, forged their success in Jordan, and grew up mostly in the Kingdom. Darwazeh founded his company Hikma in Jordan back in 1977, as an example.
The above three are all Jordanian of Palestinian origin, but Jordanian nonetheless (in my opinion). Emad Hajjaj is also Jordanian of Palestinian origin, so what gives? At first I thought they were profiling them according to where they were born but Hajjaj was born in Ramallah.
I know these lists are never meant to be taken all that seriously, I just thought that the categorization and/or profiling was peculiar.
I wonder how Arabian Business defines a “Jordanian”, or a “Palestinian” for that matter.