Who is the Egyptian billionaire who criticized Dbiebah? What is its relationship with Libya?
A tweet by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris sparked an outpouring of reaction on social media, after Sawiris criticized the clinging to power of National Unity Government Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, saying: “The History will remember that Dabaiba obstructed the stability of his country for his personal interest… He preferred the position to the interest of Libya”.
He said that what prompted him to talk about the Libyan issue was love for Libya and not for any other reason, indicating that he has no activity in Libya and will not work there. until it gets rid of the militias and returns to stability.
But who is Naguib Sawiris?
Born in June 1955, Naguib is one of the sons of the late Egyptian businessman Onsi Sawiris, who together with his brothers Nassef and Samih constituted one of the wealthiest and most prominent Egyptian families in the world. internal investment activity, and the first on the African market. level, with a fortune exceeding 14 billion dollars, and despite the three brothers working at the head of several companies. The activity of the family group Orascom, Naguib remained the most present and the most contributory to supporting the internal development of Egypt in its investment and charitable aspects, since it maintained its investments and widened its business circle to a when Egypt was going through security and economic challenges that threatened the flight of money holders.
Naguib led Orascom Telecom and Orascom Technology, invested in Egyptian media and helped enrich artistic and cultural life in Egypt through the El Gouna Film Festival, which he oversees in partnership with his family, with the aim of improve Egypt’s image abroad and build trust. in foreign capital, in addition to his strong support for the policies of the Egyptian government aimed at supporting the economy and improving the level of income, having topped the list of Egyptian businessmen who have donated the most to the “Long Live Egypt” fund of approximately 3 billion Egyptian pounds. The Orascom Group is Egypt’s largest and most diversified private sector institution, and it also holds the largest share of capital in the Cairo and Alexandria stock exchanges.
Naguib Sawiris: “Long live Libya”
He and his family’s connection to the Libyan issue was not new. Libya opened its arms to its late father, Onsi Sawiris, following the nationalization of the company “Onsi and Lami” owned and operated by the latter in 1961, the Egyptian regime led by the late Gamal Abdel Nasser moving towards the socialism and its nationalization. many private sector businesses, where the nationalization event dealt a severe blow to the family, which lost its capital and assets, and caused it to become public property. In 1966, Sawiris the father traveled to Libya, which was experiencing a boom in construction and development with the discovery of oil and the opening up to private capital during the royal era, where he reshaped his fortunes and won contracts in the real estate, taking advantage of its experience in this type of business, so that Libya remains the country of the diaspora, which has the merit of putting Sawiris back in the forefront of the economic scene.
In the mid-1970s, Sawiris returned to Egypt after the dissolution of the socialist mentality in Libya, which began to emulate what Egypt experienced through the nationalization policy and restrictions on private capital. In Libya, with the creation of Orascom General Contracting and Trade, which later expanded to include real estate, tourism and technological activities, and due to the Egyptian government’s policy in favor of the private sector over the years, it has become the largest Egyptian company.
A landmark Libyan station in family history, for the wealthy Coptic family, Libya was not only an arena of work and capital development, but was a country of immigration and residence for about 10 years, in during which Libya experienced an urban renaissance and accelerated development with the multiplicity of Western communities that formed a unique model of coexistence in the region. A distinguished place to attract capital and support rising ambition, before its compass swerved in the mid-1970s, an experience that marked the family, which always considered Libya as the main starting point for its economic activity , and made Sawiris involvement in Libyan affairs mouth-watering, driven by the neighborly relationship and the strategic depth it nurtures – with interlocking social relations between the two countries.
Love for Libya, not for any other reason
Perhaps Naguib Sawiris’ involvement in the Libyan dossier was not only political. The man, like all Libyans, has tested Dabaiba’s propaganda aura since taking office as prime minister, which was mainly based on the illusion of launching a package of projects under the title “Returning Life”. , so that everyone finds out that the wheel of development In the country, has stood still, and construction contracts are turning into an abyss of corruption, of which the Libyans have not seen any existence on the ground.
The family-owned Orascom Construction Company had previously signed contracts with the unity government, which included the construction of the Mellitah petrol station with a contract value of more than 1 billion euros, in addition to its conclusion of an alliance with other Egyptian companies to implement the third ring road project in the capital, Tripoli, worth 4.28 billion Libyan dinars, and the maintenance contracts for the desert roads linking the cities Libyan companies, projects that did not see the light of day and that the government of Dabaiba did not provide the necessary guarantees for the company to start working in Libya, which prompted the big company to lay off the Libyan market, which which was confirmed by Naguib Sawiris in his tweet in which he denied the presence of his company in Libya, linking the direct work in getting rid of the militias who run the country: “I have no activity in Libya and I do not work I will not go to Libya until you get rid of the militias and stability returns with God’s help. He added: “I have no economic ambitions. I have no other reason.
The Sawiris family and the Dabaiba family are two contradictory models
The Egyptian Sawiri family has always deliberately kept away from public office or contracts that may be tainted by suspicion of corruption, as the family has built up its wealth by working away from the Egyptian public sector, charities and community works, an area she is leading, having provided 3 billion to the “Long Live Egypt” fund, and created the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, which has taken on the task of adopting sustainable development projects in Egypt, where the the family’s name appeared in the lists of the rich, while it was not pursued by suspicions of corruption, and it was not registered on the lists of tax havens.
As for the Dabaiba family, it was quite the opposite. He did not leave public office and unquestionably took the lead in the corruption of Libyan public money, presiding over Dabaiba and his relatives in public institutions through which they received bribes and commissions. foreign companies in exchange for the implementation of projects in Libya, accusations reinforced by international organizations and investigative press articles which proved that the family had bank accounts in tax havens, which government officials use to cover up their illegal banking operations of unknown origin.
The family is also facing popular criticism after names of the Dabaiba family appeared in extortion files from public institutions, and amid all these accusations and the obvious differences between the two families.
Dabaiba chose populist language in response to Sawiris’ tweet, he said: “It seems you have it all wrong… This is Libya, history, the land of lions and the house of decency, not a striptease festival”, referring to the Sawiris family’s adoption of the El Gouna Film Festival, which is an artistic front that has succeeded in attracting film stars in Egypt and around the world, in an attempt which has helped to create a positive image of Egypt, which has been affected by years of instability.