Famous Lebanese Men

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Anyone wanting to figure out the Middle East must get a grip with Lebanon first. Dithering between East and West, this teensy-weensy nation, despite of a bloody history and so much of tragedy (blame it on the complex and corrupt politics of this region) has always managed to wow anyone who had had the gut to cut through all that gore and explore its charms. Boasting of so much diversity in so little space — from flashy cities to frenetic beauty and from an infectious culture to glamorous nightlife, this exuberant land of divine food, breathtaking ruins and achingly attractive scenery has also been home to a spade of rich and famous men who have thrown the rule book aside to write their own destiny. Be it fashion moguls like Elie Saab and Zuhail Murad, world’s richest man Carlos Slim Helu, legendary rocker Frank Zappa or world-famous author Gibran Kahlil Gibran, you will be surprised to learn the kind of extraordinary men the land has borne. Delve deep into the inspiring lives of these Lebanese men in the biographies below. Their timeline, trivia, and other facts captured will make for an invigorating read, indeed.
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 1 
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
(Essayist and Mathematical Statistician Best Known for His Books: ‘The Black Swan’ and ‘Antifragile’)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
2
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Amioun, Lebanon
Lebanese-American scholar and statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb is known for his work on risk management through uncertainty and probability. His five-volume essay Incerto included his bestselling book The Black Swan. Named to Forbes’s Most Influential Management Gurus list, he is the co-editor-in-chief of the academic journal Risk and Decision Analysis.
 2 
Serj Tankian
(Singer-songwriter)
Serj Tankian
10
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American record producer, singer, and songwriter. Tankian is credited with co-founding the popular band System of a Down. Renowned for his wide vocal range and unusual delivery, Serj Tankian is widely considered one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. Also a political activist, Tankian co-founded Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization.

 3 
Khalil Gibran
14
Birthdate: January 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bsharri, Lebanon
Died: April 10, 1931

Lebanese author and poet Khalil Gibran is best remembered for his bestselling works The Prophet and Broken Wings. One of the leaders of the Mahjar movement of Arabic literature, he specialized in incorporating mythological and mystical symbols in his works and was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and William Blake.

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 4 
Carlos Ghosn
(Former CEO of Renault & Nissan)
Carlos Ghosn
6
Birthdate: March 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Guajará-Mirim, State of Rondônia, Brazil

Carlos Ghosn is a French–Lebanese–Brazilian businessman who served as the CEO of Michelin North America. He also served as the chairman and CEO of Nissan and Renault. In 1999, he saved Nissan from near bankruptcy and turned around its fortune. In 2018, he was arrested in Japan for misusing Nissan's assets. He dramatically escaped from the custody is currently an internationally wanted fugitive.

 5 
Mika
(Brit Award-Winning Singer Known for His Breakthrough EP 'Dodgy Holiday')
Mika
13
Birthdate: August 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 6 
Maher Zain
(Singer-Songwriter Known for His Debut Album 'Thank You Allah')
Maher Zain
20
Birthdate: July 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tripoli, Lebanon

Swedish singer Maher Zain had moved to Sweden from Lebanon with his family at 8. A qualified aeronautical engineer, he is now known for his fusion of Eastern and Western music and for the religious overtones in his songs. He has also worked with UNHCR to support Syrian refugees.

 7 
Michael Boulos
(Tiffany Trump’s Boyfriend)
Michael Boulos
18
Birthplace: Lagos
Michael Boulos has mostly been in the news for dating Donald Trump’s younger daughter, Tiffany Trump. The Lebanese-French heir of businessman Massad Boulos is now the associate director of his Nigeria-based family business, SCOA Nigeria; the director of Fadoul Group; and the business development manager of Royalton Investment
 8 
Hassan Nasrallah
(Lebanese Military and Political Leader, 3rd Secretary-General of Hezbollah)
Hassan Nasrallah
8
Birthdate: August 31, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bourj Hammoud
 9 
Fares Fares
5
Birthdate: April 29, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 10 
Rafic Hariri
(Prime Minister of Lebanon (1992-98, 2000-04))
Rafic Hariri
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sidon, Lebanon
Died: February 14, 2005
Former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri gained immense wealth through his construction business and became the world’s fourth-richest politician. His charitable initiatives included education projects in Lebanon. The unrest after his assassination in a car bomb explosion eventually led to the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.
 11 
Michael Atiyah
(Mathematician)
Michael Atiyah
0
Birthdate: April 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: January 11, 2019

Recipient of Fields Medal and Abel Prize, British-Lebanese mathematician Michael Atiyah emerged as a leading figure in the UK mathematics during the latter half of the 20th century. He specialised in geometry and made remarkable contributions in the fields of geometry, theoretical physics, topology and global analysis, and is best known for proving the Atiyah–Singer index theorem with Isadore Singer.

 12 
Elie Saab
(Fashion Designer)
Elie Saab
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beirut

Lebanese designer Elie Saab had started dressing up his sisters in scraps at age 10. Known for his ornate bridal couture, combining Western silhouettes and Middle-Eastern embellishments, he was the first non-Italian in the governing body of the Milan Fashion Week. He also ventured into interior design in Dubai.

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 13 
Haaz Sleiman
(Film actor)
Haaz Sleiman
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 14 
Michael Malarkey
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 15 
Ragheb Alama
(Lebanese Singer, Dancer and Television Star)
Ragheb Alama
0
Birthdate: June 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beirut
 16 
Edmond Safra
(Lebanese-Brazilian Banker )
Edmond Safra
1
Birthdate: August 6, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Died: December 3, 1999

Edmond Safra was a Lebanese Brazilian banker. His father was a prominent banker, and he began his career working at his father’s bank. He was hardworking, ambitious, and street-smart and started earning millions while still in his teens. He was also a major philanthropist. He died in an arson that attracted wide media interest.  

 17 
Saad Hariri
(Former Prime Minister of Lebanon)
Saad Hariri
6
Birthdate: April 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Son of former Lebanese prime minister Rafic al-Hariri, Saad Hariri joined politics after his father was assassinated. After being educated in France and Saudi Arabia, Saad took over his father’s construction business and expanded into the telecom sector. The Future Movement member has also been Lebanon’s prime minister twice.

 18 
Ibrahim Maalouf
(Jazz Trumpeter & Composer Known for His Work in the Classical, Jazz, and Jazz-Rock Fusion Genres)
Ibrahim Maalouf
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Ibrahim Maalouf is a French-Lebanese composer and jazz trumpeter. In addition to his many studio albums, Maalouf is also known for his contribution as a composer for many movie soundtracks and symphonic orchestras. In 2014, he was honored at the French Music Awards with the prestigious Best World Music Artist award.

 19 
Amin Maalouf
(Lebanese-Born French Author and Journalist, Who Is Known for His Bestselling War Novels)
Amin Maalouf
0
Birthdate: February 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 20 
Joseph Safra
(Chairperson of Banco Safra)
Joseph Safra
0
Birthdate: September 1, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Died: December 10, 2020

Joseph Safra was a Swiss-based Lebanese Brazilian banker and businessman. A billionaire, he ran the Brazilian banking and investment empire, Safra Group, and was the chairman of all Safra companies. At the time of his death in 2020, he was the richest person in Brazil. He was married to a Greek-born woman named Vicky and had four children. 

 21 
Ardem Patapoutian
(Known for his work in characterizing the PIEZO1, PIEZO2, and TRPM8 receptors that detect pressure, menthol, and temperature)
Ardem Patapoutian
2
Birthdate: October 2, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
 22 
Wael Kfoury
(Lebanese Singer-Songwriter Known as 'The King of Romance' for His Aching Ballad Style)
Wael Kfoury
0
Birthdate: September 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zahlé
 23 
Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah
(Political figure)
Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah
0
Birthdate: November 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Najaf, Iraq
Died: July 4, 2010
 24 
Ziad Rahbani
(Most Influential Lebanese Composer During the Civil War and Son of Legends 'Assi Rahbani' and 'Fairuz')
Ziad Rahbani
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Antelias, Lebanon
 25 
Walid Jumblatt
(Lebanese Politician)
Walid Jumblatt
7
Birthdate: August 7, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut

Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese Druze politician who has been serving as the leader of the popular Progressive Socialist Party for many years now. A former militia commander, Walid Jumblatt also played a key role in the Syrian Civil War. Since the late-1970s, Walid Jumblatt has been the subject of photography like many other political leaders around the world. 

 26 
Nicolas Hayek
(Entrepreneur)
Nicolas Hayek
0
Birthdate: February 19, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Died: June 28, 2010
 27 
Camille Chamoun
(2nd President of Lebanon (1952 - 1958))
Camille Chamoun
0
Birthdate: April 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Deir el Qamar, Ottoman Empire, Lebanon
Died: August 7, 1987

Camille Chamoun served as President of Lebanon from September 23, 1952, to September 22, 1958, and later founded the National Liberal Party. He emerged as a prominent Christian leader during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. An attempt to overthrow his government in June 1958, amidst the crisis, was prevented after he appealed to the US leading to a US military intervention.  

 28 
Farid Fata
(Hematologist)
Farid Fata
1
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Lebanon
 29 
Nabih Berri
(Lebanese Politician and Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon)
Nabih Berri
5
Birthdate: January 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bo
 30 
Elie Hobeika
(Commander in the Lebanese Forces Militia During the Lebanese Civil War)
Elie Hobeika
1
Birthdate: September 22, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kleiat, Lebanon
Died: January 24, 2002
 31 
Rashīd Riḍā
(Islamic scholar)
Rashīd Riḍā
0
Birthdate: September 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lebanon
Died: August 22, 1935
 32 
Samir Geagea
(Lebanese Politician and Executive Chairman of Lebanese Forces)
Samir Geagea
6
Birthdate: October 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beirut
 33 
Imad Mughniyeh
(Founding Member of Lebanon's 'Islamic Jihad Organization' and Hezbollah Chief Of Staff)
Imad Mughniyeh
2
Birthdate: December 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tair Debbé, Lebanon
Died: February 12, 2008
 34 
Karl Wolf
(Musician, Singer, Songwriter)
Karl Wolf
1
Birthdate: April 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beirut

Lebanese-Canadian musician Karl Wolf soared to fame with his cover version of Toto's Africa. Born to musician parents in Beirut, he moved to Sharjah and then to Montreal with his family. His hits include tracks such as Butterflies and collaborations such as Yalla Habibi. He is also part of the collective BAE.

 35 
Kamal Jumblatt
(Lebanese Leader of the Progressive Socialist Party (1949 - 1977))
Kamal Jumblatt
0
Birthdate: December 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moukhtara, Lebanon
Died: March 16, 1977
 36 
Musa al-Sadr
(1st Leader of the Amal Movement (1974 - 1978))
Musa al-Sadr
11
Birthdate: June 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Qom, Iran

Musa al-Sadr was an Iranian-born Lebanese scholar and political leader. He founded the Amal Movement, a political party associated with the Shia sect. He was born into an influential family tracing to Musa Ibn Jaafar, the seventh Shia Imam. At the peak of his popularity, he was considered a towering figure in Shia politics. He went missing in August 1978. 

 37 
Assi Rahbani
(Composer)
Assi Rahbani
0
Birthdate: May 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antelias
Died: June 21, 1986

Assi Rahbani, part of the Lebanese composer duo The Rahbani Brothers, which also had his brother Mansour Rahbani, previously worked with Near East Radio. He later mostly composed music for his singer wife Nouhad Haddad, better known as Fairuz. The husband-wife duo also appeared in movies such as The Exile.

 38 
Émile Lahoud
(11th President of Lebanon (1998 - 2007))
Émile Lahoud
0
Birthdate: January 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Beirut
 39 
Fakhr al-Din II
(Sanjak-bey of Sidon-Beirut (1592 - 1606), Regarded as the Founde of Modern 'Lebanon')
Fakhr al-Din II
0
Birthdate: August 6, 1572
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Baakleen, Lebanon
Died: April 13, 1635
 40 
Riad al-Sulh
(Prime Minister of Lebanon (1946 - 1951))
Riad al-Sulh
0
Birthdate: 1894 AD
Birthplace: Sidon, Lebanon
Died: July 17, 1951
 41 
Tammam Salam
(Prime Minister of Lebanon (2014 - 2016), Acting President of Lebanon (2014 - 2016))
Tammam Salam
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beirut
 42 
ʿAbbās al-Mūsawī
(Lebanese religious leader)
ʿAbbās al-Mūsawī
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: al-Nabi Shit, Lebanon
Died: February 16, 1992
 43 
Assi El Helani
(Lebanese Singer & Actor With More than a Dozen Albums to His Credit)
Assi El Helani
1
Birthdate: November 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beirut
 44 
Wadih El Safi
(Legendary Lebanese Singer and Forefather of the Country's Musical Culture)
Wadih El Safi
0
Birthdate: November 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lebanon
Died: October 11, 2013
 45 
Antoun Saadeh
(Lebanese Politician and Founder of the 'Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP)')
Antoun Saadeh
0
Birthdate: March 1, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dhour El Choueir, Lebanon
Died: July 8, 1949
 46 
Bashir Shihab II
0
Birthdate: January 2, 1767
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gazir, Iran
Died: 1850 AD
 47 
Suleiman Franjieh
(5th President of Lebanon (1970 - 1976))
Suleiman Franjieh
1
Birthdate: June 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Zgharta, Lebanon
Died: July 23, 1992
 48 
Gebran Tueni
(Lebanese Politician and Editor of 'An Nahar', Assassinated as Part of Syria's Opponents in Lebanon)
Gebran Tueni
1
Birthdate: September 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon
Died: December 12, 2005
 49 
Michel Sulaiman
(12th President of Lebanon (2008 - 2014))
Michel Sulaiman
2
Birthdate: November 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amsheet
 50 
Marcel Khalife
(Composer)
Marcel Khalife
0
Birthdate: June 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amsheet

Lebanese composer, singer, and oud player Marcel Khalife gained international fame with songs such as Rita and the Rifle. Devoted to the Palestinian cause, he is inspired by the Communist Party and the poems of Mahmoud Darwish. His humanitarian efforts made him the 2005 UNESCO Artist for Peace.