This is a list of few notable individuals born and residing mainly in Lebanon Or For people of Lebanese descent, (Diaspora) .
John Philip Abizaid (born April 1, 1951) is a retired United States Army general and former U.S. Central Command(CENTCOM) commander, overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, theArabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle East. CENTCOM oversees 250,000 US troops. Abizaid succeeded General Tommy Franks as Commander, USCENTCOM, on July 7, 2003, and was also elevated to the rank of four-star general the same week. He was succeeded by Admiral William J. Fallon on March 16, 2007.
Abizaid retired from the military on May 1, 2007 after 34 years of service. As of 2007, Abizaid is employed as a fellow of theHoover Institution at Stanford University. He assumed the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in December 2007. Abizaid was appointed to the board of directors of RPM International on January 24, 2008, and also sits on the board of directors of the Defense Ventures Group. In 2008 he was selected as a Montgomery Fellow atDartmouth College.
A Lebanese American, Abizaid was born in northern California in 1951. His grandparents had immigrated to California from southern Lebanon during the late 19th century. He was raised Roman Catholic. His father, a Navy machinist in World War II, raised him after Abizaid’s mother died of cancer.
Abizaid’s military education includes the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York (Class of 1973);Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, Armed Forces Staff College, and a U.S. Army War College Senior Fellowship at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
In his civilian studies, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, and was anOlmsted Scholar at the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan. Abizaid greatly impressed his teachers at Harvard University.Nadav Safran, the director of the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies kept Abizaid’s 100-page paper on defense policy for Saudi Arabia, the only paper of a master’s student he has kept, saying, “It was absolutely the best seminar paper I ever got in my 30-plus years at Harvard.
Abizaid was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Class of June 1973. He started his career with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as a rifle and scout platoon leader. He commanded companies in the 2nd and 1st Ranger Battalions, leading a Ranger Rifle Company during the invasion of Grenada. In 1983, he jumped from an MC-130 onto a landing strip in Grenada and ordered one of his Rangersto drive a bulldozer like a tank toward Cuban troops as he advanced behind it—a move highlighted in the 1986 Clint Eastwood film, Heartbreak Ridge.
Abizaid commanded the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Regiment combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, during the Persian Gulf War and deployed with the battalion in Northern Iraq to provide a safe haven for the Kurds.
His brigade command was the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. He served as the Assistant DivisionCommander, 1st Armored Division, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following that tour, he served as the 66th Commandant at the United States Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, he reined in hazing rituals and revamped the curriculum. Later, he took command of the 1st Infantry Division, the “Big Red One,” in Würzburg, Germany, from David L. Grange, which provided the first U.S. ground forces into Kosovo. He served as the Deputy Commander (Forward), Combined Forces Command, U.S. Central Command duringOperation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff assignments include a tour with the United Nations as Operations Officer (G-3) for Observer Group Lebanon and a tour in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. European staff tours include assignments in both the Southern European Task Force and Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe. Abizaid also served as Executive Assistant to theChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff and Director of the Joint Staff.
On December 20, 2006, it was announced that Abizaid would step down from his position and retire in March 2007. He had planned to retire earlier, but stayed at the urging of Donald Rumsfeld. On March 16, 2007, Abizaid transferred command to Admiral William J. Fallon, after serving longer as Commander, U.S. Central Command than any of his predecessors.
Abizaid is married and has three children. He learned Arabic in the military
Carlos Slim Helu is a Lebanese business magnate, philanthropist, the chairman and CEO of Telmex, America Mobil. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. As of April 2010, he is the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of around $60.6 billion.
Carlos’s father, Julián Slim Haddad, an assyrian Maronite Catholic, immigrated to Mexico in 1902 from Lebanon, alone at 14 years of age, speaking no Spanish. He fled the Ottoman Empire, which at the time conscripted young men into forced labour. Carlos Slim’s mother, Linda Helú, was born in Parral, Chihuahua. She was the daughter of José Helú and Wadiha Atta, Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Mexico at the end of the 19th century. They founded one of the first magazines for the Lebanese community in the country. In 1911, Julián established a dry goods store called La Estrella del Oriente (The Star of the Orient) and purchased real estate in downtown Mexico City. In August 1926, Julián Slim and Linda Helú married in Mexico City. They had six children, of whom Carlos was the youngest son. Julian died in 1952.
Slim studied engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. By the time he was 26 years old, his net worth was$40 million, due to successful speculation in real estate and stocks.He married Soumaya Domit Gemayel, a Lebanese-Mexican, in 1967. They had six children and were married for 32 years until Domit died of a kidney ailment in 1999. The youngest of their three daughters, Johanna, is married to Arturo Elías Ayub, a board member of some of Slim’s companies.
In March of 2010 he was named the world’s richest man by Forbe’s Magazine with an estimated wealth of $53.5 billion. On August 4, 2007,The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, “While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates.
On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett as the world’s second richest person with an estimated net worth of US$53.1 billion compared with Buffett’s US$52.4 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to “discover investment opportunities” early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gatesas the world’s richest man. Slim’s estimated fortune soared to US $59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings the end of July. Gates’ net worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.
On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates. On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s third-richest person, behind Gates and Buffett and ahead of Lawrence Ellison.
On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man, with a net worth of US$53.5 billion. Gates and Buffett now have a net worth of US$53 billion and US$47 billion respectively. He was the firstLebanese to top the list. It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States.
Slim gained notoriety when he led a group of investors that included France Telecom and Southwestern Bell Corporation in buyingTelmex and Telnor from the Mexican government in 1990 in a public tender during the presidency of Carlos Salinas. Slim was able to raise money for a telecommunications company by purchasing standby letters of credit which enabled him to obtain guaranteed loans which provided the capital. Today, 90% of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex.The mobile company,Telcel, which Slim also controls, operates almost 80% of all the country’s cellphones. These operations have financed Slim’s expansion abroad. Over the past five years, his wireless carrier América Móvil has bought cellphone companies across Latin America, and is now the region’s dominant company, with more than 100 million subscribers. Slim was once MCI Inc. ‘s largest shareholder, with 13% ownership. On April 11, 2005, The Wall Street Journal announced that he had sold his stake in MCI to Verizon Communications.
Slim has been awarded the Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor from Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce. He is a “gold patron” of the American Academy of Achievment, a Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II, CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade magazine, and one year later CEO of the decade by the same magazine.