|Bashar Masri, main investor of the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, in front of an apartment building under construction in Rawabi, West Bank, on Feb. 24, 2014|
Bashar Masri's Rawabi project will welcome its first residents this month
Bashar Masri, 54, looks pensive as he sits in the gleaming, glass-walled luxury apartment showroom of Rawabi, a brand new Palestinian city he has built from scratch.
Rawabi is the first planned town to be built in the West Bank. The futuristic, hi-tech and eco-friendly town, which welcomes its first residents this month and eventually aims to house up to 40,000 people cost $1.2 billion, provided by the Qatari Diar real estate firm and Masri’s own Massar International real estate firm.
Masri is today one of the richest men in Palestine, an accomplished real estate magnate and entrepreneur who frequently meets international leaders, from the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
But his wealth and polished appearance betrays little of his past as an angry youth growing up in the West Bank city of Nablus and his stints in Israeli prisons. He was born in 1961 and Israel invaded the West Bank and ended Jordanian control in 1967. As he grew up, Masri found himself in confrontation with Israeli soldiers who patrolled his home town and enforced Israeli rule
See the rest of this Time Article here: http://time.com/4018306/rawabi-bashar-masri/