Naim Mrad

Statesman

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Born in Aley in 1910, Naim Mrad is a name synonymous with the development of Aley.

 

Since his youth, Naim Mrad was a man with a strong sense of community.

 

After completing his education at the National University in Aley, he was chosen to work there as a teacher and treasurer, later taking over the management of student affairs. He held many honorary positions, assisting needy students. He was known for his love of sports, which he practiced and taught with his students, among others, in the Al-Safa Sports Club in Aley.

 

Naim Mrad was one of the founders of the Kindergarten Al-Tahdheeb Charity Association in Aley, and he was supportive of cultural and social institutions, business, and the residents of his town.

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After 25 years devoted to working in the field of education, Naim Mrad aimed his endeavours toward broader horizons.

 

In 1956, at the age of 46, he travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he soon established a tile and aluminium factory in Damman in the Eastern province, with a Saudi partner.

 

His timing was fortuitous – Saudi Arabia was still undeveloped, on the verge of growth. The famous oil company Aramco became one of his largest customers – fuelling the rapid expansion of his business interests.

 

He went on to establish and invest in many other successful ventures.

 

Accompanying this success, Naim Mrad made many friendships and alliances with rulers and prominent personalities in the Kingdom.

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President Charles Helou hosted many foreign dignitaries in Lebanon – including Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie; Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah; King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz; Jordan’s King Hussein.

 

Naim Mrad’s close ties with President Helou attracted these leaders to visit Aley, where they were received with welcoming ceremonies, bringing thousands of people to the streets of Aley.

 

National unity was evident in the reception of the guests who flocked to Aley, and Naim Mrad insisted on the participation of people from all ages, backgrounds and religious denominations – Druze sheikhs, Christian and Muslim clerics, youth and women’s associations. He was non-sectarian and non-political – in all endeavours, he sought the inclusion of all interested people and parties.

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Naim Mrad passed away in 2008, at the age of 98.

 

He had six children – four daughters (Mona, Mai, Maha and Sana) and two sons (Sami and Raja).

 

In November, 2018, a bronze statue was erected in his honour in the main street of Aley,

 

Picture of Heather & Sami Eljurdi

Heather & Sami Eljurdi

Founders • Archivists • Editors

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