Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (1954–) General and President of Egypt (2013–). Former Director of Military Intelligence, Former Minister of Defense

Abdullah II Bin Hussein bin Talal (1962–) The King of Jordan since February 7, 1999. He is a member of the Hashemite dynasty, the royal family of Jordan, since 1921. He is a 41st-generation direct 526 inside the middle east descendant of Muhammad. He is the first child of King Hussein and his second wife, British-born Princess Muna. He succeeded his father. King Hussein bin Talal was King of Jordan from August 1952 until his death on February 7, 1999.

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin (1937–2004) Founder of Hamas. He called for the elimination of Israel through violence and called for establishing a Palestinian Islamist entity. He was killed by Israel.

‘Ali Bin Abi Talib (600–661) The fourth Caliph in Islam. A cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Ali was married to 9 women and had 21 children. His first wife was Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad. And together, they had four children—two daughters—Zaineb and Um Kulthum. They also had two sons—Hassan and Hussein. ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was murdered. Hassan briefly took his father’s place and ruled the Caliphate. He stepped down. And then his brother, Hussein (Al Hussein bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib), took the throne.

Ali Khamenei (1939–) Iran’s Supreme Leader since 1998. He succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad (1965–) President of Syria and Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian military since 2000. He succeeded his father, President (1971–2000) Hafez al-Assad (1930 – 2000).

Hassan Nasrallah (1960–) Secretary-General (1992–) of Lebanese Hezbollah.

Hussein bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (600–661) The youngest son of Ali Ben Abi Talib (the fourth Caliph) and Fatimah, the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter. Hussein was Muhammad’s last grandson through direct bloodline. Caliph Yazid of Ma’awiya killed Hussein along with his supporters in Karbala (Iraq of our times) in 680. They were killed on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, the first month on the Islamic (lunar) calendar. Ashurah means ten in Arabic. And every year, Shi’ites commemorate the event known as the Day of Ashurah by performing grief and mourning rituals. The Shi’ite narrative says that “Every day is Ashurah and every place is Karbala.” The killing of Hussein is the cornerstone of the Shi’ite story

Ismail Haniyeh (1962–) Born in Gaza. The Chairman of Hamas’s Political Wing / Bureau, Former Hamas Prime Minister of the Gaza Strip.

Major General Ismail Qa’ani (1958–) Commander of the IRGC al-Quds force. He replaced Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in January 2020 by the United States

Khaled Mashal (1956–) Hamas senior leader

Mahmoud Abbas (1935–) “Abu Mazen,” the President of the Palestinian Authority; Chairman of Palestinian Fath National Movement

Mohammed VI (1963–) King of Morocco (1999–)

Muhammad bin Salman (1985–) Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, also known as MBS. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia

Osama bin Laden (1957–2011) Saudi-born founder and leader of Salafi-jihadi organization, al-Qaeda. Killed by the United States in 2011.

The Prophet Muhammad (570–632) He founded Islam in the early seventh century.

General Qasem Soleimani (1957–2020) He was the al-Quds Force commander. The al -Quds force is an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRG). The IRG reports directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Soleimani was the mastermind, the spearhead, the lead strategist—in charge of designing, leading, and implementing Iran’s hegemonic vision in the Middle East. His role was to spread Iran’s reach and influence and make Iran the superpower in the region. And he did so primarily by creating, supporting, and nurturing a network of militias—agents and proxies—throughout the Middle East, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iraqi Shi’ite militias, Yemeni Houthi forces, Afghan and Pakistani Shi’ites militias, etc. Under Soleimani’s command, Iran deepened its hold in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip. He was killed by the United States in an air attack on January 3, 2020

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (1954–) President of Turkey (2014–). Previously the Turkish Prime Minister (2003– 2014) and the Mayor of Istanbul (1994–1998). He is the founder and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)—an Islamist party.

Ruhollah Khomeini (1902–1989) Islamic Shi’ite cleric, who held the rank of Ayatollah. Founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iran’s Supreme Leader (1979–1989).

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (1935–) The King of Saudi Arabia (2015–).

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani The emir of Qatar

Yasser Arafat (1929–2004) The Palestinian National movement’s prominent leader was also known by his nickname – “Abu ‘Ammar.” He was one of the founders of the Fath Palestinian organization. He was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman and the Palestinian National Authority (P.A.)

Ziad al-Nakhalah Leader of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine organization (IJIP)

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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