Compiled by Daily Star staff
Thursday, October 28, 2004
As the new Cabinet awaits the vote of confidence in Parliament,
scheduled to take place next week, these are the new faces that Prime
Minister-designate Omar Karami has put forth for approval.
Finance Minister Elias Saba
Orthodox. He was born in 1932 in the Koura town Kfarhata.
He graduated with a PhD in Economics from Oxford University. He escaped
death in 1943, after French soldiers and students attacked him in
Tripoli. The students were protesting the arrest of the late President
and Prime Minister, Beshara Khoury and Riad Solh respectively.
Information Minister Elie Ferzli
Orthodox. He was born in Zahle on Nov. 22, 1949.
He graduated in 1972 as a lawyer from the Lebanese University and
started practicing the profession before being elected as Zahle MP
and now a Cabinet minister. He was the target of three assassination
attempts, one of them on Sept. 14, 1987 in Zahle.
Education Minister Ahmad Sami Minkara
Sunni. He was born in Tripoli in 1943 and joined the Officers College
in 1959. He became brigadier in the Internal Security Forces.
He served as Tourism Minister in 1992 under former Prime Minister
Rashid Solh, but was unhappy with the appointment and resigned just
four months later.
Public Works Minister Yassin Jaber
Shiite. He was born in Nabatieh in 1951.
He went to school in Africa before coming back to Lebanon and going
to school here at the International College. In 1973, he graduated
in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut. He
served in 1995 and 1996 as Economy and Commerce Minister.
Social Affairs Minister Ghazi Zeaiter
Shiite. He was born in 1949 in the Hermel town of Al-Qasr. He graduated
as lawyer in 1973 from the Beirut-based Arab University. He worked
as a professional lawyer after graduation until 1990. He was first
elected as Baalbek-Hermel MP in 1996. He was appointed as Defense
Minister in 1996 and served in this post for two years.
Minister of State Albert Mansour
Greek Catholic. He was born in 1939 in the Bekaa town of Ras Baalbek.
He graduated with a degree in law studies in 1961 and holds a doctorate
degree in social studies.
He was elected to serve in Parliament in 1972.
He served as Minister of Defense in 1989.
Tourism Minister Farid Khazen
Maronite. He was born in the coastal Kesrouan town of Ghadir in 1970.
He graduated with a degree in law from the Saint Joseph University
and worked as a professional lawyer before being elected to Parliament
His father, Haikal Khazen, was Jounieh’s mayor for several years.
Economy and Commerce Minister Adnan Qassar
Sunni. He was born in Beirut in 1930. He graduated in law from Saint
Joseph University in Beirut. He was the first Arab to become the head
of the International Chamber of Commerce for two years, 1999 and
2000. He is still a member of that association. He is the chairman
of the Board of Directors of Fransabank in both Lebanon and France.
Minister of State Mahmoud Abdel-Khaleq
Druze. He was born in 1938 in the town of Majdel-Baana.
He served as president and vice-president of the Syrian Social
He stood for election in the Baabda district in 2000, but failed to
secure a seat.
He was serving as member of the SSNP’s executive council.
Justice Minister Adnan Addoum
Sunni. He was born in January 1941 and went to school at the
He graduated as a lawyer in the 1960’s before joining the Judiciary
Institute. Upon his graduation as magistrate, he was appointed as
a member of Beirut’s Commercial Court judges panel. He became state
prosecutor in 1995.
Culture Minister Naji Boustani
Maronite. He was born in the Chouf town of Maasser Beiteddine. He
went to school at the Marists Brothers in Sidon.
In 1962, he graduated in law from the Saint Joseph University and
has been working as professional lawyer. However, has stood for a
seat in Parliament more than once in the 1970’s and failed to get in.
Energy Minister Maurice Nicolas Sehnawi
Greek Catholic. He was born in Beirut in 1943. He graduated from the
Economics program at Saint Joseph University in 1967.
Before his appointment, Sehnawi was Chairman of the Board of Directors
of the Societe Generale Bank and a board member in the Sehnawi Group,
which is involved in industry, commerce, real estate and the IT sector.
Industry Minister Leila Riad Solh
Sunni. She was born in Beirut in 1946.
She is the youngest daughter of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Riad
Solh and the widow of the late Minister Majed Sabri Hamade.
Solh was the Vice-President of the Al-Walid bin Talal Foundation and
was the spokeswoman for this foundation in Lebanon.
Minister of State for Administrative Development Ibrahim Emile Daher
Maronite. He was born in Bsharri in 1948.
He graduated as an engineer from Saint Joseph University in 1971. In
1975, he graduated from the Paris-based Political Science Institute. He
served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the European company
Minister of State Yussef Elias Salameh
Maronite. He was born in the Kesrouan town of Faraya in 1954.
In 1978, Salameh graduated from the Economic Studies program at Saint
Before his latest appointment, he was economic adviser at the Council
for Development and Reconstruction.
Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalife
Shiite. He was born in Sarafand in 1961.
He graduated in general surgery in 1990 from AUB Medical School and
continued his surgery studies in the UK-based Watford University.
Before his appointment as minister, he was the head of the general
surgery department at AUB.
Minister of State Wafaa Diqa Hamzeh
Shiite. She graduated from the Agriculture program at the American
University of Beirut and has been working at the Agriculture Ministry
since 1991, where she holds the post of Head of the Food Technology
Authority. Hamzeh has been active in women’s affairs and has taken
part in several conferences abroad on the subject.
Minister of State Alain Tabourian
Armenian. He was born in Beirut in 1964.
Tabourian holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from
Harvard University and graduated from the Computer Studies program
at the University of California.
He last served as general manager of the Lebanon branch of the
Environment Minister Wi’am Wahab
Druze. He was born in 1964 in the Chouf town of Jahlieh.
Wahab worked as a reporter with Reuters and several newspapers. He
was a political adviser for Minister of State Talal Arslan. Since
2000, Wahab has been working as an independent politician, trying to
reconcile Arslan with his archrival Chouf MP Walid Jumblatt.