Biography   |   Who I am   .   My family   .   My professional career   .   My publications
My family
  • Maurice Fadel, My Father
    Maurice Fadel was born in Tripoli in 1928.

    An entrepreneur at heart, Maurice Fadel was barely 15 years old when difficult family circumstances required him to start working at his father’s haberdashery in Tripoli.

    Wishing to strike out on his own, he decided to start his own business in Beirut. He opened his haberdashery in the capital’s city centre souks a few years later.

    He married Diana Sfeir, a native of Rayfoun (Kesrouan region), but who grew up in Tripoli. Together they had four sons; Habib, Robert, Karim and Ronald.

    In 1972, Maurice took control of ABC, a store located in Beirut’s Bab Idriss. Originally, the store sold fashion items (clothes, cosmetics, leather goods...) and household goods and had been founded in 1936 by a group of students from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

    Maurice Fadel revolutionized the store’s concept. First, he turned it into a proper department store and later elevated it to the level of respected international retailers such as France’s Galleries Lafayette, Britain’s Harvey Nichols or America’s Saks. He was the first to open a store of this kind in Lebanon and the Middle East.

    Today, the ABC Group operates eight shopping malls located throughout Lebanon and employs approximately 1,000 people.

    A social entrepreneur, amongst other things Maurice Fadel helped thousands of young Lebanese continue their education by providing scholarships.

    Maurice Fadel could have contented himself with being a self-made man but he planned to make full use of what Fate had given him. This is why in 1964 and later in 1968, Maurice Fadel ran for Greek-Orthodox Representative of Tripoli, a seat he finally won by a landslide in 1972. He held the seat for 20 years, before deciding to boycott the elections of 1992, the first legislative elections to be held in Lebanon after the 20-year hiatus of war, and which he considered unlikely to lead to the emergence of a genuinely representative Assembly. Nevertheless, he quickly regained his seat in 1996, and again in 2000 and 2005, holding the seat until 2009, when he chose not to run again.

    In 2000, Maurice Fadel co-founded the Tripolitan Bloc with two of the city’s other representatives, Mohammed Safadi and Mohammed Kabbara.

    In wake of the assassination in 2005 of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic al-Hariri, the Tripolitan Bloc joined political forces with the March 14 Movement.
  • Hala Fadel, My Wife
    Hala Frangie was born in Zgharta in 1974. As an infant, she moved to Paris, where her parents had moved to escape the troubles at the beginning of the war.

    Graduating from HEC (Paris) in 1996 and taking an MBA from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management in 2001, Hala became a specialist in mergers and acquisitions at the investment bank Merrill Lynch, working in London and Paris.

    In 1997, she met Robert Fadel in Tripoli and a year later, married him. Today, the couple have three children.

    In 2001, she joined the French asset management company, Comgest, which manages funds totalling 14 billion Euros. She assumed leadership of a fund managing equity on behalf of a major European institutions.

    Since then, Hala has continued to work with the investment company. She even persuaded its management to open a bureau in Beirut to better reach and retain regional institutional clients. Today, she continues to work at Comgest, management funds in Paris and Beirut.

    In 2005, with the help of other MIT alumni and the support of Bader, Hala founded the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan-Arab Region, which has organized the MIT Arab Business Plan Competition (www.mitarabcompetition.com) since 2006.

    This initiative seeks to promote entrepreneurship in Arab countries through an annual competition for the best business start-up idea in the Arab World. It receives over 3,000 projects each year from over 17 Arab countries.

    Hala Fadel also developed a similar association in northern Lebanon, an economically depressed region. The Maurice Fadel Prize, which recognizes the year’s best business start-up idea, was launched in 2010 to promote local entrepreneurship. Twenty-two universities in northern Lebanon and many partners in the business world support this initiative, which in its first year accepted 503 entries from northern Lebanon.

    In parallel, Hala Fadel runs several charitable organisations for underprivileged children in Tripoli. Amongst other things, she organizes a number of extracurricular activities, such as outings to the circus, Christmas events, and organising educational games during Ramadan.