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|Subject: Talaat Pasha Harb 13/11/2010, 7:05 pm|| |
Talaat Pasha Harb (25 November 1867 - 13 August1941) was a leading Egyptianeconomist and founder of BanqueMisr (The Bank of Egypt), and its group of companies, in May 1920.
The establishment of Banque Misr, thefirst real Egyptian bank owned byEgyptian shareholdersand staffed by Egyptiannationals, where Arabic (the national language) was used in all communications,was a major step in establishing a national economic identity.
The idea of establishing Banque Misr first emergedin 1907, when Talaat Harb, the renowned nationalist industrialist, published abook calling for the founding of a national bank withEgyptian financing. He called attention to the idle funds invested byforeigners for purposes other than the interests of Egypt. He continued advocating thiscall on all occasions, with untiring persistence. In 1911, he published anotherbook titled "The Egyptian Economic Reform and the Nation's Bank Project", where he explained his economic idea.
In recognition of the importance of spreadingbanking awareness within and outside Egypt, the bank sought to spread itsbranches all over the country and in several states: Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
The bank, under the leadership of Talaat Harb,established a number of companies operating in various sectors, such as: textiles, shipping, publishing, movie making, insurance and thefirst national airline: Egypt Air.
He had many roles in many modern Egyptian economiccrisis and incidents like Kom Ombo sugar crisis and likecotton trading.
After the declaration of the Republic in Egypt, Talaat Harb was honored by naming severalstreets and squares in Cairoand other cities after him. His statue adorns Talaat Harb square in downtown Cairo. In 1980, on theoccasion of the sixtieth anniversary of Banque Misr, the late President Anwar Sadat,awarded Talaat Harb posthumously the Nile Collar, which is the highest rankingof all Egyptian decorations.It is granted exclusively to kings, heads of state and those who rendered greatservices on a national or human level in general.
He also initiated many economic projects in SaudiArabia for which he was acknowledged by presenting two pieces of the Kiswa ofKabaa by HM King ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Al-Sa‘ud of Saudi Arabia in 1936. In 2002 the twoKiswa pieces were donated made by his grandchildren to a museum.
Talaat Harb lost his wife at a relatively earlyage. He was survived by his fourdaughters: Fatma, Aisha, Khadiga and Hoda (Before her death she donated a pieceof land & money to build an academic cardic institute at Ain Shams Facultyof medicine).
He was commemorated in the writings and poems ofthe then poet laureate Ahmed Shawqi, Abbas al-Aqqad, Ihsan Abdel-Qoddous, SalahGawdat and the Lebanese-American Jibran Khalil Jibran.
Projects established by TalaatHarb
Some of them are presented in this list:
- 1920: Banque Misr; capital LE80,000
- 1922: Misr Printing House; capital LE5,000
- 1923: The Egyptian Company for Paper Manufacture; capital LE30,000
- 1923: Misr Company for Cotton Ginning; capital LE30,000
- 1925: Misr Company for Acting and Cinema (Studio Misr); capital LE15,000
- 1926: The Egyptian Real Estate Co.; capital LE116,000
- 1926: Egypt-France Bank; capital 5 million F. Francs
- 1927: Misr Weaving Co.; capital LE300,000
- 1927: Misr Fishery Co.; capital LE20,000
- 1927: Misr Silk Weaving Co.; capital LE10,000
- 1927: Misr Linen Co.; capital LE45,000
- 1929: Egypt-Syria Bank; capital one million Syrian Lira
- 1930: Misr Transport and Shipping Co.; capital LE160,000
- 1932: Egyptian Products Sale Co.; capital LE5,000
- 1932: Misr Air Co.; capital LE40,000
- 1934: Egypt Travel Co., capital LE7,000
- 1934: The Egyptian Company for Leather and Tanning
- 1935: Misr for Mines and Quarries Co.; capital LE40,000
- 1937: Misr for the Manufacture and Trade of Oil; capital LE30,000
- 1938: Misr al-Beida for Dyeing, in co-operation with Bradford, capital LE250,000
- 1940: Egypt Medical Pharmaceuticals, capital LE10,000
- 1907 Al-Ahly (The National) Sporting Club (by giving credit to the club foundation committee