On a gala night of inspiration and innovation, Forbes Middle East hailed the success of 30 top Lebanese business leaders on Monday, at Le Royal Hotel Beirut.
Women in fancy gowns and men in suits walked the red carpet with photographers taking pictures and reporters interviewing the awardees.
To mark the beginning of the ceremony, the national anthem was played recognizing the entire nation of Lebanon that was home to these businesspersons.
Khuloud Al Omian who is Editor-in-Chief at Forbes Middle East described Lebanon as “The lighthouse of the Middle East,” and recounted how Forbes Middle East crew – made up of people from different nationalities – were dazzled by Lebanon’s beauty and the Lebanese people’s hospitality.
She also thanked the sponsors which included GMC, Le Royal Hotel, River Paints and Coatings, Diasporaid, Mondanite Ice International Events, Le Commerce Du Levant, The Daily Star, Sawt El Mada, and Nostalgie.
Forbes Middle East is a leading source for business news and financial information, and is widely considered one of the region’s premier business magazines. It’s part of the Forbes global brand.
Neemat Frem, chief executive of the multinational company INDEVCO Group and member of Parliament, noted the importance of this kind of economic recognition to the country: “Forbes magazine is a prestigious international magazine and it’s very important that it’s highlighting Lebanon’s achievement.”
“I’m awarded by this incredible magazine tonight due to my efforts and my strong belief in youth. For a better country we should invest in young people,” said Elias Bou Saab, a former minister of education and current advisor of the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun on international cooperation.
Many of the awardees thanked their families and their work team describing them as contributors to their success.
Two women, in particular, used their speech to convey a message.
“To every girl who dreams to be in my place tonight; dare to dream and don’t be afraid to venture,” said Raghida Dergham, a journalist who was named in 2018 as one of the 50 influential women in the Arab World.
Similarly, Claudine Aoun Roukoz, who is the CEO of Clementine, hoped that the following year more women would be awarded and more Lebanese women would be recognized for their efforts.
Maroun Chammas CEO of Berytech took the chance to encourage young entrepreneurs.
“Yes Lebanon is small, but the sun doesn’t forget small countries, it still shines on them,” Chamas said.
The awardees were Fayez Rasamny, Raed Khoury, Akram Kassatly, Christophe B El-Kallasy, Neemat Frem, Elias Abou Saab, Eduardo Fakhoury, Peter Daniel, Dr. Charbel El Hachem, Nayef Maalouf, Dr. Matta Matta, Dr. Raed Lattouf, Roger Edde, Andreas Illovits, Rabih Reaidy, Maroun Chammas, Yeprem Chakardemian,Tony Issa, Sakr A. Sakr, Dr. Karim S Ghanem, Hicham Itani, Raghida Dergham, Roula Moussa, Claudine Aoun Roukoz, Michel Zovighian, and Elie Habib and Eddy Maroun.