Monday, September 28, 2015

Profile: Houda Nonoo

Suggestion by David from Long Island.


  1. "The Middle East (sans one obvious nation) gives us undeniable trouble."

    Challenge accepted :-)

    The first handful are easy:

    1) Egypt: Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls guitarist), Roland Moreno (smart card inventor) and Layla Murad (official singer of the Egyptian revolution!).
    2) Iran: Nasser David Khalili (largest collector of Islamic art), David & Paul Merage (inventors of Hot Pockets) and Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (Grand Vizier!).
    3) Iraq: Saatchi & Saatchi (advertisers and art patrons), Sassoon Eskell (finance minister) and Nessim Joseph Dawood (Qur'an translator!).
    4) Syria: Émile Benveniste (linguist). Also, Jerry Seinfeld and Paula Abdul have a Syrian parent each and Duane Reade, Century 21 and The Wiz were all founded by Syrian Jews.
    5) Turkey: Dario Moreno (singer), Isak Andic (founder of Mango) and Munis Tekinalp (Turkish nationalist).

    The next handful are a bit trickier but still doable:

    6) Kuwait: Saleh and Daoud Al-Kuwaity (musicians).
    7) Lebanon: Edmond Safra (billionaire banker) and David Nahmad (art dealer and backgammon world champion).
    8) Palestine: Uri Davis (member of Fatah Revolutionary Council) and Juliano Mer-Khamis (assassinated actor and director).
    9) Saudi Arabia: David Reubeni (mystic adventurer) and two of Muhammad's partners (Safiyya bint Huyayy and Rayhana bint Zayd).
    10) Yemen: Ofra Haza was born to Yemenite parents, as were all three Israeli Eurovision winners (Izhar Cohen, Gali Atari and Dana International).

    The final four are genuinely tough, though. Here's the best I could do:

    11) Jordan: Herbert Samuel was High Commissioner of Palestine when it still included Transjordan.
    12) Oman: Isla Fisher, born in Oman to Scottish parents, converted to Judaism before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen.
    13) Qatar: Arthur Neslen was a correspondent for Qatar-based al-Jazeera.
    14) UAE: David Fisher is the architect of the proposed Dynamic Tower in Dubai.

  2. Wow! Somebody did their homework! Is Jonj looking for a third partner? ;-)

  3. I'd like to say I'm impressed. Well done.

  4. Thanks for the info. Very impressive.

  5. Wow. But you missed Djibouti. ;-)