Personality of the Month

Bassam Walweel

Bassam Walweel is the board chair of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, the Palestinian Food Industries Union, Injaz Palestine, and Raya Media Network, and a member of the board of several other organizations.

Born in Qalqilya in 1961 to a family originally from Kafer Saba, Bassam Walweel is a successful businessman with a meticulously crafted career. As he prepares to enter the world of politics, Bassam wishes to follow in the footsteps of his historical role model Omar Bin Al-Khatab, whose administrative style fascinates him, and he hopes to emulate his contemporary role model Yasser Arafat.

Even with only moderate income, Bassam’s father insisted on educating his children. Bassam had to work as a street vendor from the age of eight until he completed his secondary education at Al-Saadiyah Secondary School, after which he obtained a BA with honors in accounting and administration from An-Najah National University.

He started his career as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Economics/Department of Accounting at An-Najah University. Several academic accomplishments enabled him to earn an MA in accounting with full distinction from the United States. He returned to Palestine in 1989 and worked as a lecturer at An-Najah National University. In September 1989, he was placed under administrative detention and released in March 1990.

Bassam was appointed general director of the Federation of Palestinian Agricultural Cooperatives in the West Bank in 1993, where he served until he became general director of the Palestinian Center for Energy and Environmental Research in 1995. From 2000 to 2004, he held the position of general director of the Palestine Poultry Company and the Palestinian Industrial Investment Company before taking on the position of general director of the Palestine Investment Fund’s Commercial Services Company from 2004 to 2005.

In 2006, he became the deputy CEO for Public Relations and Investment at the Palestinian Telecommunication Company until 2008 when he became general director of Golden Wheat Mills Company, and public and government relations consultant for Paltel Group. He also joined the board of several organizations and chaired the board of Injaz Palestine. Since 2014, he has been the board chair of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, the Palestinian Food Industries Union, and Raya Media Network, in addition to his membership in the boards of other organizations. He has played a distinguished role in promoting the industrial sector in Palestine and the economy in general, achieving visible results. He believes that the private sector must lead the development process and take risks to build the economy of the future state. He plans to encourage these investments through strategic planning and open public-private sector dialogue.

Bassam loves music, football, hiking, and swimming. He believes that success in business must be associated with success in family life. Visionary leadership starts at the family level and moves on to work and relations with friends and society at large. If one of these areas is neglected, it cannot count as real leadership.

Although Bassam faced discrimination because of his political affiliation, he persevered. He believes in integrity, and this is what matters in this strange era. To Bassam, our youth are the leaders of the present and the future, and investments must be geared towards them. He believes in teamwork, the democratic exchange of opinion, and hard work.