Maurice Fadel was born in Tripoli
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.