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Bassim Subhi Khoury

Bassim Subhi Khoury was born in 1960 to a Palestinian family from the Galilee, who with hundreds of thousands of others found themselves in the diaspora after the 1948 Nakba. After a long journey that took his parents to Kuwait and then Jordan, where Bassim was born, the family returned to Palestine, and he settled in Ramallah for his adolescent years.

Bassim followed in the footsteps of his father: after graduating from the Friends School in Ramallah, he studied industrial pharmacy in the United States and received various scholastic and merit awards. Upon his return, and in the face of seemingly unsurmountable challenges, he and his father, who had a wealth of experience in building pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, embarked on establishing Pharmacare “Dar Al-Shifa.” Through perseverance, hard work, commitment, and adherence to the highest standards of quality, Pharmacare rose to the ranks of respected establishments.

Despite the Israeli-imposed impediments, Bassim believed that Pharmacare had a potential beyond the local Palestinian market. Armed with a reputation of quality, he started exporting in 1991 to the ex-Soviet republics. However, his eyes were always set on lucrative regulated markets like the European markets. He embarked in 1995 on building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that would meet international quality standards. His alliance in 1999 with Grunenthal and the Wirtz family from Aachen, Germany, ushered in a unique foreign direct investment in the company and helped it obtain the EU GMP (the European quality standards for the pharmaceutical industry), opening the door to direct exports to European markets.

To cement a vision of diversified international operations and equipped with a diversified group of investors, Bassim founded the first Palestinian factory in Europe, Pharmacare Premium, specializing in manufacturing high potency oncology medications in Malta.

The Nakba as well as the Israeli 1967 occupation of the remainder of Palestine always overshadowed his life; hence his passion for politics and his belief in the obligation to do his part in service and nation building. He served and continues to serve in various public positions and organizations. As adviser to the Palestinian peace negotiators on economic matters, the Minister of National Economy, the president of the Palestinian Federation of Industries and the Union of Palestinian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, he was able to lobby for policies in support of sustainable economic development, through strengthening the productive base of the Palestinian economy. His efforts in support of that same goal have been augmented through membership in various organizations and think tanks.

Bassim believes that even if the family or the small community he lives in is doing well, the only way to ensure continued and sustainable advancement is if society as a whole develops and prospers. He has a firm belief in the importance of education and culture to advance societies, thus he serves on the board of trustees of Birzeit University and on its Executive Committee, as well as on the board of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

A successful industrialist, he has always cared for those less fortunate. His belief in social justice has led him to actively participate in various human rights organizations and support groups that focus particularly on Jerusalem. He lives by his beliefs and is never afraid to speak his mind, never shying away from fighting for what he believes is a just cause, even if he stands alone.

For his philanthropic work he received a medal of merit from the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Germany, in 2002 in appreciation of services rendered to the needy. He was made a Knight of the Italian Republic in 2007 in appreciation of services rendered to the Palestinian economy.

Through life’s tribulations he has learned that extended family and true and genuine friends are vital when one faces personal challenges. Life has taught him that family is the base on which one builds. His achievements would not have been possible without his supportive parents who instilled in him values of compassion, integrity, humility, and hard work. Married for 35 years to Sandra Habesch who always stands by him, Bassim has three children, Yasmine, Subhi, and Rajai’, who also joined the ranks of Pharmacare to start their journey learning and growing, benefitting from the experiences of two generations. He is blessed with two grandchildren.

2 Comments

  1. Antoine D. Nesnas

    Baassim has always been a courageous and farsighted person. In addition, he never shied from challenges that confronted him, while on the contrary he braved them with great determination, fairness and wisdom. The business he built in pharmaceuticals could and should be emulated by other businessmen in different other business fields to promote the interest of our country. He cleverly guided his children into the business he built. Thank you Bassim for all your good work and the efforts invested.

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