Ibrahim El-Hibri Tribute
Mr. Ibrahim El-Hibri
September 8, 1936 - August 23, 2007
Mr. Ibrahim Yahia El-Hibri was an extraordinary man—a successful businessman, a generous philanthropist, a devout Muslim, as well as a loving husband, father and grandfather.
In business, he was a successful entrepreneur initially in the international telecommunications industry and later in the biotechnology industry developing life saving vaccines. Trained as an electrical engineer, his many professional accomplishments include, among others:
- Assisting the Saudi Arabian government in building its first nationwide telecommunication network, the largest telecom contract ever signed in the world at that time;
- Constructing the longest microwave link connecting the Sudan and Saudi Arabia, a deed commemorated by a postage stamp issued in Italy; and
- Building the first GSM mobile network in Russia, now with over 91 million subscribers in Russia and surrounding countries.
Over the years, Mr. Ibrahim El-Hibri was decorated for extraordinary public service by the governments of Germany, Lebanon and Venezuela. A man of the world, he spoke seven languages fluently.
Yet, his true legacy is his philanthropic endeavors. Based on his devout Muslim faith and belief in one God, Mr. Ibrahim El-Hibri had an abiding and passionate interest in helping society at every level. He believed in interfaith dialogue and the commonality of the three Abrahamic Faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, stressing the overwhelming similarities. His charitable actions reflected the Islamic tenants of charity, tolerance and social responsibility, portraying Islam in a deservedly positive manner. His gift to the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation reflects his belief and goal of bringing believers in one God together, which is one of the Foundation’s main missions.
Mr. Ibrahim El-Hibri had a great love of family and believed in helping children less fortunate in life, particularly orphans. Over the years he helped to finance the construction of a Beirut orphanage to provide a home, care for and educate more than 200 orphans a year. He believed that education was a true path to bettering the world. Many friends and family members were able to earn advanced degrees from some of the best universities in the United States and around the world because of his financial support.
Most important to him was his family. Married for fifty years, he was a devoted husband and father to two sons, Fuad and Samir El-Hibri and one daughter, Yasmine Gibellini. He left behind six grandchildren who he adored, his father, two sisters, Dr. Azizah Al-Hibri and Dr. Huda Zoghbi, and two brothers, Dr. Jamal El-Hibri and Dr. Tayeb El-Hibri.
He will be remembered not only for his business acumen and his charitable giving, but also for his respectful, elegant and charismatic manner in which he interacted with family, friends, associates and strangers. Mr. Ibrahim El-Hibri’s joy of life was reflected in his keen sense of humor. His good deeds live on in many forms.