Jordanians And/Or Palestinians On Arabian Business Most lnfluential Arab’s List 2009

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.


  • Ibrahim Dabdoub. Would you say he is Jordanian, Palestinian or ….. Kuwaiti? The man comes from a Palestinian family, holds a Jordanian passport but is recognized for his work at the National Bank of Kuwait where he built his reputation and career. I doubt anyone would call him a Kuwaiti. Would you consider him “Kuwaiti nonetheless”?

    It seems that successful Palestinians get promoted to Jordanianship, all the others have to be asked where their father was born.

  • This list should never be taken seriously as you have said. I encourage you to look uo the editor in chief for this magazine. If I’m not mistaken he is an indian guy. Nothing wrong with that. However, I want you to check his background, and exactly why did he come to the middleeast!!! It is an interesting story.

  • I don’t think even us have a clue who is a Jordanian and who is a Palestinian, do not expect anyone else to define that well before we do (they would be concieved as Palestinians or Jordanians, them presenting themselves as Jordanians or Palestinians). I personally present myself when asked proudly being both, alot of explanations will follow for foriegners of course.

    I do not know how did it miss the Queen since the Syrian and the Qatari first ladies were on the 60th and 61st ranks. I never heard of any of them on international media whereas the queen is relatively active when it comes to presence and dialogue.

  • I never take these lists seriously; I bet half of the people there paid to get on the list just to get their egos stroked. But I do agree with you; what’s their criteria for defining Jordanian and Palestinian?

    @Ehab: I agree; that’s exactly why dafater el 3eileh exist and why Jordanians of different origins go to different offices to renew their passports.

    @Nas: I don’t get how is the article “popcorn reading”? (It’s when one student reads and then another picks up where the first student stopped…I haven’t heard the phrase since school actually).

  • @P: actually I mean the more literal meaning of “light reading” as opposed to the education-sector meaning of the term 🙂

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