Ibrahim Haddad, industrialist
Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 28.10.2008:
A self-made man, ambitious, creative and adventurous, Ibrahim Haddad has built an empire in Jenin, overcoming obstacles and never ceding to the calamities that befell both Palestine and especially Jenin in the last eight years.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, and carrying on their surname legacy (Haddad means blacksmith in Arabic), Ibrahim Haddad continued in their profession as blacksmiths. Born in Jenin in 1946, Ibrahim grew up watching his grandfather and father welding and mending hand-held agricultural tools. In 1963, he graduated from the Nablus Polytechnic and worked in his father’s workshop for a year before travelling to Lebanon and the Gulf area to work in foreign companies for three years.
In 1967, he returned to settle in his hometown, marking the beginning of a long and fruitful journey. It didn’t take long for Ibrahim to build his own factory and equip it with heavy-duty machinery and started manufacturing parts for ploughs. At an early start, Ibrahim knew that there is no development without competition, and taking that motto as a driving force, he dove into the business, following three main criteria: providing good service, quality and competitive prices.
His business boomed, and he became one of the main providers of agricultural equipment in Palestine, and continued producing the machinery until recently. He also manufactured small trolleys and water tanks, and later ventured into different productions: In 1991, he opened his own oxygen lab where he fills canisters with treated oxygen that are then used in hospitals; and in 1996, he started producing natural gas tanks with various capacities. He also used to produce the only petrol tanks in Palestine, but due to lack of specifications and certificates, he had to stop producing those, and eventually stopped the gas tanks, as his major competition was from Turkey, where the canisters are cheaper than the ones produced here. Ibrahim also had a pipe plant, producing pipes for infrastructure, but later sold it.
What is unique about Ibrahim is that he had a hand in most, if not all, the agricultural equipment that was produced, and not only does he design various equipment, he also sculpts. His latest invention is an olive pit compressor, which will produce logs of the compressed pit to be used as firewood. His hobby is to build, and building he does quite well. In 1996, he decided to build a villa on the outskirts of Jenin, and to add four more for his four kids. This location is currently the Tourist Village, which has become a haven for most of the people living in Jenin, its outskirts, as well as people from all over Palestine. Small cottages surround the park area, giving people coming from afar the opportunity to spend the night there and enjoy a cool night after a hot summer day. He is currently building a 40-room hotel to complement the cottages. Next to the Village, he built an amusement park filled with rides that he himself built to suit every child, all according to international standards and safety requirements.
An industrialist with a vision, in the last 40 years Ibrahim has built a legacy for himself and for the Haddad family in Jenin. He has provided jobs for scores of people in Jenin, made a name in the agricultural field, and is now providing a venue of entertainment like no other in Palestine. A true entrepreneur, Ibrahim invests in Palestine, for Palestine and for generations to come.
This Week in Palestine