14 years on from the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, and Lebanon still remembers him every day.
A long list of adjectives is used to describe Rafik Hariri. He was an extraordinary man with great vision and integrity, an outstanding businessman and a devoted politician who lead his country and the Lebanese to the former glory.
On the occasion of his remembrance, let’s recall some of his life facts:
#1 Rafic Bahaa El Deen Hariri was born on November 1, 1944, to a poor family in the Southern port of Sidon, Lebanon.
#2 At first, he attended the Sidon Secondary School and afterward Beirut Arab University where he graduated in business administration.
#3 In 1965, Hariri left to Saudi Arabia where he started his first career as a teacher and, later on, found employment at the construction firm.
#4 Hariri took the construction firm of the French firm Oger and completed the construction project of a hotel in Saudi Arabia. This project became the milestone of his career.
#5 He then became the personal contractor of the Saudi royal family who supported him in his career. After many high-end construction projects, Hariri became a multi-billionaire.
#6 After accumulating a large amount of wealth, Hariri started a number of projects in Lebanon and donated to the victims of the South Lebanon conflict.
#7 In 1979, Hariri founded the Hariri Foundation, a non-profit organization that helped more than 30,000 students pursue a university education in Lebanon, France, the UK, and North America.
#8 Hariri brought the world-famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, to sing in Lebanon, flying him with his private Boeing 727.
#9 Hariri started his career in politics in 1983, as a political advisor Prince Bandar bin Sultan and then became a Saudi diplomat.
#10 Hariri played a distinguished role in the formulation of the 1990 Taif Agreement, which marked the end of the 15-year civil war in Lebanon.
#11 In 1992, Hariri became the first post-civil war prime minister under the president Elias Hrawi.
#12 After becoming a Prime Minister, Hariri played a significant role in putting Lebanon back on the financial map by issuing Eurobonds in order to borrow reconstruction money.
#13 Hariri created the most remarkable economic policy, a rejuvenation project called “Horizon 2000” to improve the post-civil war scenario of Lebanon.
#14 Hariri established a construction unit, the famous Solidere, which redeveloped Beirut and transformed it into a major urban hub.
#15 Due to “Horizon 2000”, the real national income of Lebanon increased to 6% during 1992-1993.
#16 In 1998, Rafic Hariri was replaced by Salim Hoss as the Prime Minister.
#17 Hariri justified the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called all the foreign forces to withdraw their forces from Lebanon.
#18 Hariri’s second term ended on 20th October 2004 when he resigned from his Prime Ministerial post.
#19 In 2004, Rafic Hariri was awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor by the UN for his contributions to International Relations.
#20 Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005 while driving past the St. George Hotel in Beirut.
#21 After his death, the Beirut International Airport was renamed as the Rafic Hariri International airport.
#22 The Beirut General University Hospital was also renamed as the Rafic Hariri Hospital.
Rafik Hariri was indeed larger than life and his love story for Lebanon was legendary! May he rest in peace.