Lebanese philanthropist, entrepreneur to be honored at AMIDEAST Awards Gala
October 14, 2017, in Beverly Hills, CA.
Los Angeles, CA - Lebanese philanthropist and entrepreneur Maroun Semaan will be posthumously honored for his significant contributions to the advancement of education at the AMIDEAST Award Gala in Beverly Hills on October 14, 2017. Mr. Semaan is the first recipient of the AMIDEAST Education Hero Award, an honor established by AMIDEAST to recognize individuals for their exemplary dedication to improving education in Lebanon.
Mr. Semaan believed deeply in the power of education to transform lives and prepare citizens to be effective leaders. Education was key to his own success. Growing up in modest circumstances, the sixth of seven children in a middle-class family from a village in the south of Lebanon, he was motivated by the value his parents placed on education. He showed early signs of promise in the public school he attended and ranked first in the whole of Lebanon on the high school baccalaureate government exam. With the help of a scholarship to study at the American University of Beirut, he went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 1977.
As part of his illustrious career, Mr. Semaan co-founded the oil facilities company Petrofac, which under his direction became a world leader in oil and gas technology, and in 2013 founded the multifaceted investment company AlCazar Capital.
Mr. Semaan’s experience as a scholarship student inspired his dedication to helping others pursue a world-class education. He served as a trustee of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and American University of Sharjah (AUS), supporting these institutions’ efforts to provide scholarships and innovative research programs. Through the Semaan Foundation, which he established in 2011, he channeled critical support in the field of education. That included a gift to AUB in 2017 that was the largest single donation in the university’s history, exceeding the previously largest gift of $32 million. The Semaan Foundation’s support for education also benefited other institutions, among them Balamand University, where the new chemical engineering building bears his name, and AMIDEAST/Lebanon, which received funding for scholarship programs and youth-focused initiatives that advanced entrepreneurship and training for English language teachers.
Mr. Semaan was recognized for his generous and dedicated support of education. “Maroun believed deeply in the power of education and its role in preparing the citizen leader,” said Dr. Philip Khoury, AUB Board Chair. “Maroun was a wonderful trustee, businessman, and leader, but more than that, he was an imaginative and firm supporter of a better tomorrow for all of Lebanon and the Arab world,” said AUB President Dr. Fadlo Khuri.
The AMIDEAST Education Hero Award recognizes outstanding individuals who share AMIDEAST’s commitment to education and expanding opportunities for future generations in Lebanon. “We have honored that the first AMIDEAST Education Hero Award recognizes a man from Lebanon whose support and advocacy for education made an impact especially in his home country,” said AMIDEAST/Lebanon Advisory Board Chair Anis Nassar. “His vision was broad, as he saw his country’s prospects tied to the region’s ability to achieve a brighter future for its youth. Through the institutions that he chose to support, he will have an enduring legacy in Lebanon and beyond.”
For tickets and more information visit AMIDEASTgala.com.