Mahmoud Khattab Recap
Naser Aldin Mahmoud Khattab was born on August 29, 1942, in the small village of Swaida in Syria. He passed away on December 22, 2012. Attending an elite school run by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khattab did not graduate and pursued a career as a businessman. He met his wife Zeina al-Sharif (Lebanese), whom he married in 1974 when she was 20 and 42.
Naser Khattab hailed from a culture of great expectations and hard work. Khattab made a name for himself in the Syrian business world and was a well-respected individual in Syrian society. He owned several businesses, including the following:
Khattab opened his first store selling ready-made clothes at Al Raml mall in Damascus in 1975. Today, there are over 300 stores in Syria and six outside Syria; most are under the “Khattab” brand name. The company currently employs over 3,000 people and has a turnover of over USD 250 million annually.
Khattab was the first to establish a chain of supermarkets in Syria. He currently has more than 20 supermarkets in Syria, with a turnover of nearly $300 million USD per year. As Khattab stated, “Syria’s economy will not be as developed as it is today if we had not put Syrians to work.”
Khattab was also the first person to introduce Pizza Hut in Syria and established the franchise inside Syria when he opened his first Pizza Hut restaurant in Damascus in 1989. Today, there are over 50 Pizza Hut restaurants in Damascus and three outside Damascus, including one at Aleppo International Airport, the largest international airport in Syria.
An active member of the Syrian community, Khattab donated many of his companies and properties to his nation. He also donated significant donations to the Syrian Medical Society, which has provided free medical care services in Syria.
Khattab also provided significant donations to schools and hospitals in Syria. Khattab established a charity foundation for dealing with more than 100 hospitals and eight schools throughout Syria. Additionally, he opened the Khalil Ibn Rabah Khattab Institute of Technology, where students from around the world study engineering, computer science, and business operations. Al-Qasim University now runs this institute in Damascus.
Khattab is a true example of the Arab World. Having left his village at the age of 17, Khattab was able to make a name for himself in the Syrian business world. Starting from nothing, he built over 100 stores and four malls across Syria and, working with Pizza Hut, got them to open their first store in Syria. The lessons that Khattab has left behind are tremendous. Starting a business from scratch and working hard to make it work is a great example to be followed by our future generations. Khattab’s company, the Khalil Ibn Rabah Khattab Institute of Technology, provides donations to over 100 schools across Syria. He also runs several charity operations in Syria and around the world.