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Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia by Edward Burton

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Introduction

There are many, many Saudi business people whom I greatly admire, few more than Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy, chairman of the Jeraisy Group, one of Saudi Arabia's most well-known and accomplished businessmen. His story and rise to the Kingdom's upper echelon of the Saudi corporate community is both instructive and illustrative of where Saudi Arabia has been and where it is going.

Surely young Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy could barely contain his sense of excitement and wonderment since the decision by his family was finally made to have him travel from his ancestral home in Raghbah to begin a young boy's life in the capital city of Riyadh with his uncle, Mohammad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy. At the age of seven, he began the two-day journey to Riyadh by camel from Raghbah, 75 miles northwest of the capital city. The year was 1940. The trip to the city that would help define many of his personal and professional successes is one that has been made by scores of original founders, first-generation owners, and leaders of many of Saudi Arabia's most recognized family-owned businesses. The arduous journey from noble and humble villages and towns across Saudi Arabia, usually by camel or donkey in those days, but sometimes by car or truck, was one taken by many of today's corporate and government leaders whose names are instantly recognizable to those familiar with the Kingdom. So, the story of Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy, one of Saudi Arabia's most well-known and respected businessman, ...

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