On Valentine’s Day 2005 Lebanon’s former prime minister and self-made billionaire Rafiq Hariri was assassinated by a massive bomb that destroyed his motorcade in Beirut. The Lebanese people protested throughout the country in response. The United Nations Security Council declared the assassination an international terrorist act with severe regional and international ramifications, and formed an International Independent Investigation Commission to uncover the perpetrators.
From his humble beginnings as a fruit picker, Hariri achieved his fame and fortune as a building magnate in Saudi Arabia. As Prime Minister of Lebanon for ten years, 1992-8 and 2000-4, Hariri has been widely credited for the rebirth of Lebanon after the civil war, overseeing the rebuilding of 90 percent of the country’s infrastructure. His resignation in 2004 over the extension of President Lahoud’s mandate was viewed as a protest against Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs.
Mourned as a Lebanese martyr, his death triggered the mass demonstrations that led to the withdrawal of Syrian forces in April 2005.
Marwan Iskandar offers an in-depth perspective of the Hariri years, including a detailed look at the considerable economic reforms instituted under Hariri’s leadership. He shares explosive new information about scandals such as the al-Madina bank affair, and provides behind-the-scenes revelations about key figures in Lebanese finance and government.
About the Author
Marwan Iskandar is a distinguished economist whose work has been translated into numerous languages. He is the former Chief Editor of an-Nahar financial pages and a former advisor to Oman and Qatar. He also participated in committees advising Lebanese governments on economic crisis and recovery. He is the author of The Cloud Over Kuwait, The Golden Mirage, The Arab Oil Question and Social Security for Lebanon. He has also published numerous professional articles in Arabic, English and French.
‘The best book so far on Hariri and his legacy. Sometimes it takes the breath away.’ Robert Fisk
‘Essential reading.’ Fuad Siniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon
‘[A] precise and eloquent study … gripping reading, especially for readers with no prior knowledge of the subject matter.’
The Daily Star