Rafic Hariri, also known as Rafic Baha El Deen Al Hariri, was the Prime Minister of Lebanon and a well-known businessman. He controlled his country’s postwar sociopolitical and business landscape, and he is credited for redeveloping Beirut, which had been ravaged by the country’s 15-year civil war. He served as the leader of five governments and adopted an ambitious economic agenda throughout his time in office. He privatized companies and adopted a foreign direct investment program. Both of these economic measures drastically altered Lebanon’s socioeconomic situation. Hariri supported companies, foreigners, and others who were interested in Lebanon’s growth potential. He streamlined the tax code and gave overseas investors a number of tax benefits. Hariri was able to get a significant amount of low-interest loans from various overseas investors as a result of his extremely successful private sector undertakings and extensive international contacts. He adopted a forceful macroeconomic strategy and maintained a rigorous inter-bank interest rate in an attempt to combat corruption and boost the value of the Lebanese pound in relation to the American dollar. This macroeconomic program, as well as a number of others he devised, proved to be enormously successful. Hariri was unfortunately killed in Beirut, while driving by the St. Georges Hotel, despite his tremendous accomplishments. According to UNIIIC findings, his assassination was related to the Syrian government.
Childhood and Adolescence
Rafic Hariri was born on November 1, 1944, into a Sunni Muslim household in the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon. Shafic, his brother, and Bahia, his sister, were his siblings. Hariri went to Sidon Secondary School in his early years. He graduated from Beirut Arab University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration after completing his basic education.
Career of Rafic Hariri
Hariri arrived to Saudi Arabia in 1965 and began his profession as a teacher. After a few years, he decided to pursue a career in the construction sector. In 1969, he founded the Ciconest, a modest subcontracting company.
Unfortunately, this company venture did not turn out to be a success. Hariri then completed a hotel development project in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the French business Oger. This project became a watershed moment in his career, and he went on to take over the Oger business, which went on to become the primary construction firm for the Saudi Royal Family’s development projects. Hariri became a multi-billionaire as a consequence of considerable Royal patronage and high-end building projects.
Hariri began a variety of charity projects in Lebanon after amassing a significant amount of cash. He also made a significant donation to the victims of the conflict in South Lebanon. Hariri began his political career in 1983 as a political counselor to Prince Bandar bin Sultan. He was installed as a Saudi diplomat after the PLO’s demise and the absence of genuine Sunni leadership.
Hariri, a skilled diplomat, was instrumental in the drafting of the 1990 Tiaf Agreement, which ended Lebanon’s sixteen-year civil war. Under President Elias Hrawi, he became the first post-civil war Prime Minister in 1992. By issuing Eurobonds to borrow money for rebuilding, he played a key role in placing Lebanon back on the financial map.
Harir’s most notable economic policy was the ‘Horizon 2000.’ Horizon 2000 was a revitalization effort in which he aimed to improve Lebanon’s post-civil war situation. He formed the construction unit Solidere, which was half owned by the government and partially by private and foreign investors, as part of this approach. Beirut was renovated and converted into a significant urban centre thanks to this construction unit. This was a remarkable feat, since Beirut had been utterly destroyed by the long-running civil conflicts.
He privatized his country’s industry as part of this economic agenda. As a consequence, contracts in critical areas including energy, telecommunications, power, and hospitality have been awarded. Lebanon’s real national income grew by 6% in 1992-1993 as a result of these robust economic activities. However, as a result of these measures, the Lebanese economy quickly deteriorated within a few years. Lebanon’s national debt has increased by 540 percent in the last few years of his presidency.
Rafic Hariri was succeeded as Prime Minister by Salim Hoss in 1998. Hariri and Hoss became embroiled in a massive power battle as a result of this. Hariri was re-elected to the position of Prime Minister of Lebanon in 2000. As Prime Minister, he defended UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which called for the withdrawal of all foreign soldiers from Lebanon. Hariri’s second tenure as Prime Minister came to an end on October 20, 2004, when he resigned. He was followed as Prime Minister of Lebanon by Omar Karami.
Major Projects of Rafic Hariri
Rafic Hariri’s most significant contribution was the ‘Horizon 2000’ economic program. This project was essential in the redevelopment of Beirut and its transformation into an Urban Hub. He also privatized industries and made significant revisions to tax laws and rules as a result of this approach. Lebanon’s real national income grew by 6% as a result of this effective economic policy.
Achievements & Awards
Rafic Hariri was honored by the United Nations in 2004 with the Habitat Scroll of Honor for his services to international relations.
Personal History and Legacy
Hariri married Nida Bustani, an Iraqi woman, in 1965. Bahaa, Saad, and Houssam were the couple’s three sons. He divorced his wife after a couple of years. He married Nazik Audi in 1976. With his second wife, Hariri has four children.
Hariri was killed on February 14, 2005, while driving by Beirut’s St. George Hotel. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is presently investigating his assassination. The Syrian government is suspected of being involved in the murder.
Beirut International Airport was renamed Rafic Hariri International Airport after his death. Aside from that, the Rafic Hariri Hospital was renamed the Beirut General University Hospital.
Estimated Net Worth
Hind Hariri is a Lebanese heiress with a $1.1 billion dollar fortune. Hind Hariri was one of five children to inherit money and property after her father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, died. She married in 2009 after graduating from the American University of Beirut in 2006.