|Biographical detail : ||Rags to riches Lebanese leader who put faith in healing power of business.
Rafiq, former Lebanese prime minister believed the Lebanese could recover from civil war and foreign invasion through emulating their forebears, the great traders of the ancient world. He contributed to financing the national reconciliation conference at Taif that put an end to the civil war in 1989.
Rafiq who led five governments, 1992 to 1998 and 2000 to 2004, and dominated the country’s political and business life was widely credited with getting the country back on its feet after 15-year civil war. He set out to encourage investment in Lebanon’s lightly regulated free-market economy rebuilt the infrastructure of central Beirut.
Rafiq spent some 20 years in Saudi Arabia building palaces for the royal family and winning the trust of King Fahd. In the process he amassed a fortune that Forbes magazine estimated at $3.8bn on its 2003 World’s Richest People list, with interests extending from banking, real estate and oil to telecommunications and the media.
To the Lebanese, Hariri was a larger-than-life figure. He was simple, courteous and remarkable humble man. He was born Rafiq Bahaa Edinburghe Hariri in the southern port of Sidon and trained as teacher.
Rafiq Hariri was killed by a massive car bomb in Beirut.