Family Business Histories

Commercial Legacies, Economic Growth, and Social Change in the GCC/MENASA Regions

Inside an ELK factory in Cairo in 1940.

Project Description

It is estimated that more than 80% of businesses are family-owned and run in the Middle East and North Africa. This interdisciplinary project of NYUAD and the Tharawat Family Business Forum will bring together scholars from the Humanities and Social Sciences at NYUAD to compile, document, and analyze the history of selected regional family businesses to understand better past challenges and decision-making, as well as commercial legacies.

This understanding will not only offer significant insights into historical transformations of business cultures and socio-economic environments in the GCC as well as the MENASA region but also help family businesses address current and future challenges.

The goal of the joint project is thus to explore the plethora of contributions family businesses have made to the social and cultural landscape of the GCC and MENASA region as a global economic crossroads, seeking to capture the rich stories of the development of family businesses, the challenges they have overcome in the past and are facing today, and the many ways in which their stories intersect with the stories of the cities and countries they are connected to.

Port Said – The Harbour, Akkasah Center for Photography

Related Events

Family Businesses Responding to a Crisis: Historical Perspective

March 16, 2021

The 60-Year Journey of the Almajdouie Group

February 14, 2021

Exploring the 100 Year Legacy of the Jashanmal Group

August 18, 2020

Capturing Entrepreneurial Legacy

November 23, 2017

  • Related Publications

    Othmani case study | May 25, 2021 | English, Arabic & French

    Almajdouie case study | February 14, 2021 | English & Arabic

    Jashanmal Group case study |  August 18, 2020 | English & Arabic 

    Port Said – Main Street, Akkasah Center for Photography

Project Details


Project Director

Farida El Agamy
General Manager, Tharawat Family Business Forum ​

Project Director

Martin Klimke
Vice Provost for Academic Policies and Governance Program Head, Associate Professor of History, NYUAD