Egyptians pay tribute to Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel

Saudi businessman Saleh Abdullah Kamel (L), chairman and founder of the Dallah al Baraka Group (DBG) and also the chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks, arrives for the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 14, 2015. (REUTERS)
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Updated 20 May 2020

Egyptians pay tribute to Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel

  • Egyptian member of parliament, Mohamed Abou El-Enein, said Kamel was one of the pioneers of the Arab economy

CAIRO: Egyptians have been paying tribute to Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel who died in Jeddah on Monday after suffering a heart attack.

Members of the country’s business, political, religious, and entertainment communities joined in mourning the passing of the prominent figure.

Offering condolences to his family, Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb described Kamel, who was 79, as “a pioneer in charity activities.”

Billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris said he had lost a father and a brother, and added: “Arab nations, and Egypt especially, have lost a man who was a great philanthropist.”

Kamel, who was the chairman and founder of the Dallah Al-Baraka Group, one of the Middle East’s largest conglomerates, established part of his economic empire in Egypt including Arab Radio and Television (ART), and Al-Baraka Bank. He also used the ART Institution to fund charity projects throughout Egypt.

Egyptian actor Mohamed Sobhy recalled Kamel’s role in producing his most famous TV series, “Wanees’s Diaries,” describing him as a friend, father, and mentor.

Posting on Facebook, Sobhy said: “You were a loving person. I tell you how much I love you and give you credit for producing the best Arab family series that was broadcast on ART. You loved Egypt and you gave it a lot of devotion.”

Egyptian member of parliament, Mohamed Abou El-Enein, said Kamel was one of the pioneers of the Arab economy. “He shouldered the responsibility of spreading the multi-investment approach and opening economic borders among Arab states.

“His investments brought good and welfare to the Arab world at large and contributed in creating international partnerships on the private-sector level.

“His investments further paved the way for more fruitful cooperation between businessmen in all investment fields,” he added.

HIGHLIGHT

Members of Egypt’s business, political, religious, and entertainment communities joined in mourning the passing of the prominent figure.

He pointed out that Kamel was also the pioneer of Arab media in its modern form through his ART project. “He was the first to bring Arab peoples to watch one screen that melted languages and cultural differences as well as sports fanaticism.

“He unified Arabs on one goal, joint ambitions, and rich cultures. The Arab nation will never forget the good deeds of Sheikh Saleh Kamel and he will always be remembered.”

Abou El-Enein noted that Kamel started out as an entrepreneur “who utilized his study of commerce as a way toward brilliance and success,” and said his journey should be highlighted in business and economic studies. He added that the Arab youth should follow his lead in order to achieve success.

He also praised Kamel’s charity activities which he said had left a scientific legacy for students from around the world to benefit from.

He established the Saleh Kamel Center for Islamic Economics at Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Jeddah Science and Technology Center, and the Center for Islamic Economics Research at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz University.

“His charity activities were not only in Saudi Arabia but in all Arab countries. He was known for his love of pure Arab nationalism and his passion for his second country Egypt,” added Abou El-Enein.

Kamel had always been a strong supporter of Egypt and in March 2015 headed a delegation of 100 businessmen and investors at a major conference in Sharm El-Sheikh aimed at boosting the Egyptian economy.

In one of his most famous quotes about Egypt, Kamel said: “If Egypt was infected with the flu, Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would sneeze.”


Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

Updated 20 September 2020

Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

  • Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran dismissed US efforts to restore all UN sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran.
The rial has lost more than 30 percent of its value to the dollar since June as sweeping US sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil globally. Iran’s currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama administration but which the Trump administration pulled the US from.
As the currency plummeted, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the Trump administration’s declaration Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran have been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.
The US move has been rejected as illegal by most of the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.
Even before the US declaration, other Security Council members had vowed to ignore it. They say the US lost legal standing to invoke snapback sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and began reimposing US sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian government spokesman said the snapback sanctions have only happened in “the fantastical world” of the Trump administration. He said the US stands on the wrong side of history.
“They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it except for themselves,” Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on Sunday.
“It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others,” the spokesman said, referring to the US secretary of state.
“Tehran’s message to Washington is clear: return to the international community, return to your commitments and stop bullying so the international community will accept you,” he added.
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how the US will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will be penalized for violations.
Tensions are running high between Iran and the US, particularly since a US strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on Iraqi bases housing American troops.