Wall of Fame

Ziad Hawat

Born on February 27, 1977, Ziad Hawat is a Lebanese politician who was Byblos’ youngest ever mayor, serving from 2010 to 2017. His parents, Halim Hawat and May Abi Saab hail from Mazraat Bani Saab (Bcharri), but Ziad and his siblings, Nabil and Zeina, grew up in Byblos, the oldest inhabited city in the world, and were taught the core principles of ethics, respect and love for their country, as well as attachment to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Having completed his secondary education at the Collège des Frères Maristes, Ziad majored in Business Administration from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Following his graduation in 1998, he went on to work with his father in the family business, Hawat Trading, a leading wood import/export company in Lebanon and the Middle East, wherein he learned discipline, business administration, and business relations.

A few years into his career, he travelled to Iraq and Saudi Arabia wherein he saw opportunities to expand and place the family business on the regional map. For all the success he achieved abroad, the long distances separating him from his country, and especially from his hometown, bolstered his patriotism and drove him to start planning his involvement based on his lifetime drive to offer the best he had to help his townsfolk.
In 2009, he married Carine Abou Khaled with whom he has had 3 children: Halim, Maria, and Sophia. Relying on a supportive family and a booming business, Ziad submitted his candidacy for the position of Jbeil mayor at the age of 33. His electoral campaign helped him to gain better knowledge of people’s needs and develop a strategic development plan for his city.

Almost against all odds, Ziad was elected as Head of the Municipality of Jbeil in May 2010.

The new mayor took office with an unwavering blend of passion and determination. Being a leader by nature, he strived to identify the local people’s needs and developed several programs to satisfy them. His approval rates remained consistently high, backed by his strong willand his love for his country. In 2013, Ziad Hawat was awarded the Golden Medal of Merit from the United Nations World Tourism Organization for outstanding achievements with a certificate of distinction for Jbeil as the Best Arab Tourist City for 2013. A longtime environmental activist, he joined forces in March 2013 with local and international collaborators to implement a waste sorting scheme with the aim of reducing pollution. In March 2014, Hawat launched a €40 million project, partially financed by the Republic of Italy, financing the sewage infrastructure serving Jbeil and the towns of Amchit, Blat, Edde, Kfarmashoun, Jeddayel, and Hosryael.

His passion for the preservation of Jbeil’s heritage drove the American Rockefeller Foundation to choose Byblos as the 5th official member of the 100 resilient cities program, in which 400 cities from across the globe competed for support for their heritage and archaeological site preservation schemes.

Besides his municipal involvement, Ziad remains the chairman of Hawat Trading Lebanon and Trading Middle East, in addition to chairing ABM Lebanon and Zinaline Kitchen Factory, Lebanon. He is also a member of the Association internationale des maires francophones (AIMF) (International Association of Francophone Mayors) and a member of the World Patriarchal Maronite Foundation for Integral Development.

Ziad’s portfolio of municipal achievements encompasses several successful projects, such as the new Municipality building, the reconstruction of the old souk facades, the 12,000 m2 public park (which won an award for largest park in Lebanon), and the sports city, as well as other landmark achievements, including Jbeil’s designation as Best Tourist City for 2016 and the city’s now-iconic Christmas trees, which won international acclaim. This resulted in Ziad Hawat’s uncontested reelection at the helm of the Jbeil Municipality in 2016.

The people’s trust and belief in his vision for the future of Jbeil and its surrounding areas encouraged him to resign from office in July 2017 in order to run for the 2018 parliamentary elections. The 14,424 votes he obtained secured his election as MP with the highest number of votes in his electoral district.
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