Hariri, Rafik

Hariri, Rafik or Rafiq

(räfēk` härē`rē), 1944–2005, Lebanese tycoon and political leader, b. Sidon. The son of a poor Sunni Muslim farmer, he moved to Saudi Arabia in 1965. After teaching mathematics there, he formed (1969) his own construction company and amassed a fortune building for public and private clients. Hariri returned (1990) to Lebanon and served (1992–98) as prime minister. He was largely responsible for reconstructing war-ravaged Beirut, which left the nation with significant public debt. Becoming prime minister again in 2000, he promoted economic reform and reduced government bureaucracy, but left office (2004) after opposing Syria's domination of the government. Hariri died in a car bombing in Beirut. Both Syrian and Lebanese officials were initially implicated in his assassination, but prosecutors for a joint UN-Lebanese tribunal on the crime ultimately indicted (2011–13) several members of HezbollahHezbollah
[Arab., = Party of God], Lebanese Shiite political party and militia. Founded in 1982 with Iranian help to oppose Israeli forces occupying S Lebanon, Hezbollah launched guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli forces (which were a factor in Israel's
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. The tribunal found (2020) one member of Hezbollah guilty of involvement in the car bombing; it found no direct evidence of the involvement of Hezbollah's leadership or Syria.

His second son, Saad Hariri, 1971–, is also a Lebanese businessman and politician; he was born in Saudi Arabia and raised there. He handled the family's business in Saudi Arabia prior to his father's assassination, after which he took over the Hariri business empire and entered Lebanese politics as the leader of his father's Future Movement party. Following the 2009 elections, Saad Hariri became prime minister, ultimately as the head of a national unity government. In 2011 his government fell after Hezbollah and its allies withdrew over the government's cooperation with the special tribunal investigating Rafik Hariri's murder. In 2016 he became prime minister of a unity government for a second time as part of a deal that ended a 29-month political stalemate. In Nov., 2017, he resigned as prime minister under Saudi pressure while he was detained in Saudi Arabia, but after he returned to Lebanon he rescinded his resignation. After the 2018 elections, he became (Jan., 2019) prime minister of a unity government for a third time, but he resigned in October amid widespread protests against the government, corruption, and the poor economy. He remained as caretaker prime minister until Jan., 2020, and then in October was asked to form a government.

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Some of Lebanon's political problems appeared to abate earlier this year, only to flare again in November when Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son, unexpectedly resigned in a shock broadcast from Saudi Arabia -- a move linked to conflict in the wider region between Riyadh and Tehran.
He has called on the Lebanese PM, Sa'ad Hariri, Rafik's son and an ally of Saudi Arabia and the West, to repudiate the tribunal.
Later that year, however, the government of Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son, brought new hope, prompting the IMF to declare that it had "opened a new window of opportunity for invigorating economic reforms." But the success of the planned reforms depends heavily on cooperation between Lebanon's main political groups, the Sunni and the Shia, and there has been little of that so far.
Saad Hariri, Rafik al-Hariri's son and political heir, welcomed the establishment of diplomatic ties, describing it as an accomplishment for the Lebanese people.
The Future Movement will mark the assassination by holding a ceremony at BIEL Saturday afternoon, during which former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik's son, will deliver a speech.
MP Bahia Hariri, Rafik's sister, echoed the sentiment in an address delivered at a ceremony Thursday, by saying her brother's enemies would not be able to destroy his legacy.
He has strongly criticised the UN tribunal and attacked it as an "Israeli project", raising fears of renewed potential conflict between the militant group and PM Saad Al Hariri, Rafik's son.
Those who expect the trial to be a watershed were sobered by none other than former Prime Minister Sd Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son.
Sd Hariri, Rafik's son, along with MPs Marwan Hamadeh and Sami Gemayel, was among several Lebanese officials who attended the session, reliving the Feb.
"[The findings] could mark the end of the coalition between Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son and current Lebanese premier, and Hizbullah," Haaretz said.
That opened the door to a still unresolved struggle for power in Beirut between Syrian-backed Lebanese, led by Hizbullah, and pro-Western factions led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son.