Image 1 of 14: Mario F. Kassar, 61: This 'super'-rich Mario is a Hollywood super-film producer. Originally Lebanese, born in Beirut, the A-rate filmer worked for Columbia & TriStar pictures before heading up Carolco. He produced films such as the Rambo's, Terminator 2, Basic Instinct & Stargate. Nominated for 12 Oscars, he lives in the US with a film fortune.
Image 1 of 14: Nadhmi Auchi, 74. Originally Iraqi, born in Baghdad, as of 2011 his net worth was estimated by Forbes to be $1.8 billion, making him the 692nd richest person in the world. Founding president of the Anglo Arab Organization and the Founder & Chairman of General Mediterranean Holding, a conglomerate of 120 companies worldwide, he calls the UK home.
Image 1 of 14: Carlos Slim Helu, 72: This fat cat is anything but slim in the fortune stakes. Originally Lebanese, this Mexican mega-money man is in 2012 the 'richest man in the world', 3rd year running. The first 'Mexican' to top the illustrious ranking charts of 'Forbes', alas his 'Lebanese-ism' does not get a mention. His net worth is estimated at $69 bn.
Image 1 of 14: Farouk Shami, 69: This Arab between two roses is a rich and politically aspiring Palestinian-American, originally from Ramallah, West Bank. He ran for governor of Texas in 2010. Our Palestinian Vidal Sassoon made his wealth in the spa and hair-care company Farouk Systems. With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, he calls Dallas, Texas home.
Image 1 of 14: Dr. Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim, at 66, (#1075 Forbes Billionaires & #32 in UK) is a British-Sudanese, mobile communications entrepreneur. His wealth links to telecommunications; he founded Celtel that now serves 23 MENA countries. His estimated net worth is $1.8 billion. He presides over the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, promoting African achievement.
Image 1 of 14: Mohamed Al Fayed, 79, is the infamous Egyptian business tycoon whose name is synonymous with Harrods & Princess Diana (as father to the ill-fated Dodi who perished that day with British 'People's Princess'). Owner of Fulham Football Club & Hotel Ritz Paris, his wealth arose from shipping. His estimated worth sits at a comfortable $1.3 billion.
Image 1 of 14: Joseph Safra, 73, one of the Brazilian Banking Brothers, of Jewish Syrian origins, was born in Beirut to a Jewish banking family. His net wealth is approximately $13.0 billion and he comes in at #52 on the Forbes Billionaires list; #2 in Brazil, where he lives. All about banks, he founded Banco Safra, the 6th largest private bank in Brazil.
Image 1 of 14: Big Bucks for Big Brother: Moises Safra, 77, the elder brother to Joseph, comes from the very same banking family. The family wealth was founded in the caravan trade between Aleppo, Alexandria and Constantinople in the Ottoman Empire. His net wealth at $2.4 billion makes him #521 on the Forbes List, 21st in Brazil behind his Safra Junior.
Image 1 of 14: Ayman Asfari, 53, originally Syrian, found his fortune in the oil & gas trade. He has pumped the UK's oil industry via Petrofac, and tells the FT: 'I have roots in the ME but raised outside my home country, I believe my way of thinking is western, but I understand the emotions & the romantic approach of the east.' His estimated worth: $1.8 bn.
Image 1 of 14: Fayez Sarofim, 82. This Texan tycoon, originally Coptic Egyptian, made his millions in money management, including Dreyfus
family wealth stocks. This financial-found fortune hangs between an estimated $1.8 to $4 billion. He is part owner in the National Football League team, Texas, and was ranked by Forbes the 428th richest person in the world.
Image 1 of 14: Munib Masri, 78, "Duke of Nablus" is a Palestinian who has accrued a healthy net worth of $1.62 billion. This 'slick' businessman
who dabbles in philanthropy,and Palestinian politics, found his wealth in the oil and gas business. While less disenfranchised that some
Palestinians, he lives, at least part-time in Nablus, West Bank, Palestine.
Image 1 of 14: Wafic Said, 69, originally Syrian with Saudi nationality, is classed as a billionaire on his estimated £1billion net worth.
He donated £20m to found the Said Business School at Oxford. His Arabian wealth derives from the banking and construction business. He lives between Monaco and Paris.
Image 1 of 14: Simon Halabi, 62: Behind this Lebanon-born rich man, lurks a blond Lithuanian wife. This Lebanese fellow grew rich from real
estate, owing to his Lebanese father's land speculation in Syria. His estimated worth was $4.8 bn in 2007 before he faced
bankruptcy. The property tycoon, once ranked 14th richest person in the UK, still lives in London.
Image 1 of 14: Steve Jobs, (who died in 2011 at 56) was of Syrian descent, going by his biological father. His impressive portfolio includes Co-founder, Chairman & CEO of Apple Inc; Co-founder & CEO of Pixar; founder of NeXT Inc. Forbes: #39 Forbes 400 (2011) #110 Forbes Billionaires (2011), and #37 in US. His estimated net worth hit $8.3 billion in 2010.
Did you know these 'Western' uber-successful billionaire businessmen were of Arab extract? All male, this selection of exhorbitantly rich gents have featured year in year out in the Forbes wealth index lists, and are often the biggest fish - in dollar terms- in the global pond, let alone their domestic pools.
If they're American, they were not necessarily born in the USA, but realized their American dreams nontheless when they became filthy rich! If they're from the UK, they were not always thoroughly British born and bred. All of them have Arab origins (as well big dollar signs) in common. Most of them are Arab and know it! With the exception perhaps of Steve Jobs, perhaps who would not particularly identify as ethnically Arab since his genetic roots were alien to him, the rest can even describe how their Arab heritage affected their business visions. Whether from the Lebanon or Syria, Palestinian, Egyptian or from Iraqi backgrounds, they share entrepreneurial spirits.
In a sequel to Bet You Didn't Know these Celebs Were Arab, here's a run-down of some of the region's wealthiest 'Arabs' abroad. A short-list of the Arab diaspora's most affluent members, with wealth index rankings to show for it. Find out which ethnic Arab produced extreme-sexy flick, Basic Instinct....Between them, they've produced therefore, the hottest films, an exclusive line in computers and the most lucrative businesses. Telecommunications through oil and gas, they have added a sheen to whichever industry they mined their fortunes in, proving that the Arab tenacity gene is active, nurture nothwithstanding.
Some of these business giants have established philanthropological records, taking the filth out of rich. From the more recognizably Arabs featured as Mohamed Fayed, and Carlos Slim to the lesser known, but extremely prosperous Nadhmi Auchi and brotherly duo Joseph Safra and Moires Safra, through British billionaire Simon Halabi, here are the rich pickings of the western world's billionaire Arabs (discounting the out-and-out Arab Gulf oil barons).