Birthday: November 1, 1944
Died At Age: 60
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Rafic Baha El Deen Al Hariri, Rafik Hariri, Rafiq Hariri
Born in: Sidon
Famous as: Business tycoon
Spouse/Ex-: Nazik Hariri, Nidal Basatini
siblings: Bahia Hariri, Shafic Hariri
children: Ayman Hariri, Bahaa Hariri, Fahd Hariri, Hind Hariri, Houssam Hariri, Saad Hariri
Died on: February 14, 2005
place of death: Beirut
Cause of Death: Assassination
Founder/Co-Founder: Solidere, Saudi Oger, Future Movement
education: Beirut Arab University
Rafic Hariri, also known as Rafic Baha El Deen Al Hariri, was the Lebanese Prime Minister and an illustrious entrepreneurial bigwig. He dominated the post-war socio-political and entrepreneurial scenario of his country and was also credited with redeveloping Beirut, which was devastated due to the 15 long years of civil war. During his tenure, he headed five cabinets and implemented an aggressive economic policy. He privatized the industries and implemented the policy of direct foreign investment. Both these economic policies entirely changed the socio-economic scenario of Lebanon. Hariri backed entrepreneurs, foreigners, and individuals, who took an interest in the developmental potential of Lebanon. He simplified the tax structure and provided several tax breaks to the international investors. Due to his highly successful endeavors in the private sector and numerous international connections, Hariri also managed to garner a considerable amount of low-interest loans from various foreign investors. In an attempt to curb corruption and increase the value of Lebanese pound with respect to American dollar, he pursued a powerful macroeconomic policy and maintained a strict inter-bank interest rate. This macroeconomic policy and several other economic policies formulated by him, turned out to be remarkable successes. Unfortunately, despite his significant contributions, Hariri was assassinated in Beirut, while he was driving past the St. Georges Hotel. The reports of UNIIIC indicate that the Syrian Government is linked to his murder
Childhood & Early Life
Rafic Hariri was born on November 1, 1944 in the Lebanese port city of Sidon, in a Sunni Muslim family. He had two siblings: brother, Shafic and sister Bahia.
In his early years, Hariri attended the Sidon Secondary School. After pursuing his basic schooling, he completed graduation in business administration from the Beirut Arab University.
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In 1965, Hariri moved to Saudi Arabia where he started his career as a teacher. However, after some years, he pursued a career in the construction industry.
In 1969, he established a small subcontracting firm, called the Ciconest. Unfortunately, this business endeavor turned out to be an unsuccessful one. Hariri then collaborated with the French firm Oger and completed the construction project of a hotel in Saudi Arabia. This project became the milestone project of his career and after this he took over the Oger firm, which then became the major construction firm that was used by the Saudi Royal Family for all their development works. As a result of extensive Royal support and high-end construction projects, Hariri soon became a multi-billionaire.
Having accumulated a considerable amount of wealth, Hariri started a number of philanthropic projects in Lebanon. He also donated a hefty amount, to the victims of the South Lebanon Conflict.
In 1983, Hariri started his career in politics, as a political advisor Prince Bandar bin Sultan., After the collapse of the PLO and due to the lack of viable Sunni Leadership, he was implanted as a Saudi diplomat.
Being a competent diplomat, Hariri played a vital role in the formulation of the 1990 Tiaf Agreement, which also ended the sixteen-year civil war in Lebanon.
In 1992, he became the first post-civil war Prime Minister under the president Elias Hrawi. He played a significant role in putting Lebanon back on the financial map by issuing Eurobonds in order to borrow reconstruction money.
The most remarkable economic policy formulated by Harir, was the ‘Horizon 2000’. The Horizon 2000 was a rejuvenation project with which he attempted to improve the post-civil war scenario of Lebanon. Under this policy, he established the construction unit, Solidere which was partly owned by the government and partly by the private and international investors. This construction unit redeveloped Beirut and transformed it to a major urban hub. This indeed was a remarkable achievement as Beirut had been completely devastated due to the long-drawn civil wars.
As a part of this economic policy, he privatized the industries of his country. As a result, various contracts were awarded to the vital industries such as the Energy, Telecommunications, Power and Hospitality.
Due to these powerful economic endeavors, the real national income of Lebanon increased to 6% during 1992-1993. However, after a few years, the Lebanese economy soon turned to a miserable state owing to these policies. During the last few years of his premiership, the National debt of Lebanon had hiked up 540%.
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In 1998, Rafic Hariri was replaced by Salim Hoss as the Prime Minister. This resulted in an immense power struggle between Hariri and Hoss.
In 2000, Hariri was once again appointed as the Prime Minister of Lebanon. As the Prime Minister, he justified the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called all the foreign forces to withdraw their forces from Lebanon.
Hariri’s second term ended on 20th October 2004 when he resigned from his Prime Ministerial post. Omar Karami succeeded him as the Lebanese Prime Minister.
The ‘Horizon 2000’ economic policy was the most significant contribution of Rafic Hariri. This project played a significant role in re-developing the city of Beirut and converting it to an Urban Hub. With this policy, he also privatized the industries and made remarkable improvements in the tax laws and tax codes. As a result of this powerful economic policy, the real national income of Lebanon increased to 6%.
Awards & Achievements
In 2004, Rafic Hariri was awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor by the UN for his contributions in International Relations.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1965, Hariri had married an Iraqi lady called Nida Bustani. The couple had three sons: Bahaa, Saad, and Houssam. After a couple of years, he divorced his wife.
In 1976, he married Nazik Audi. Hariri had four children with his second wife.
Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005, while he was driving past the St. George Hotel in Beirut. His assassination case is still being investigated by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Apparently, the Syrian Government is said to have links with this murder.
After his death, the Beirut International Airport was renamed as the Rafic Hariri International airport. Apart from this, the Beirut General University Hospital was also renamed as the Rafic Hariri Hospital.