The Man

The seeds of entrepreneurship
Education and early years
The middle years
The establishment of Hikma
Political matters
The last 10 years


The seeds of entrepreneurship

Born in Nablus, Palestine, Samih was a curious, resourceful and intelligent child. At the youthful age of six, Samih started his own business – selling candied apples. He used to watch other merchants sell their crafts and would mimic them by drawing in the customers with the promise of fresh, delicious flavors. After successfully finishing his first batch, Samih decided to add another product, chickpea sweets.

It was then that the entrepreneurial spirit began to grow within Samih. Some forty two years later he would establish his company, Hikma Pharmaceuticals.

Education and early years

Continuous education is one of life’s pillars that Samih believed in. He always stated that education is a privilege, a gift, and that no matter how many degrees you have, there is always more to learn. At the age of thirteen, Samih was offered a scholarship from the Arab College in Jerusalem, a prestigious school where only the exceptional attended. It was during then that he discovered and fell in love with classical European music – Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart, a passion he retained until his last years. A few years later he would attend the American University of Beirut, where he would encounter his two passions in life - his future wife, Samira, and his love of pharmacy.

After opening his own business – a pharmacy in Amman, Jordan, Samih decided to pursue a Fulbright scholarship degree at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Missouri which he obtained in 1964.

The middle years

Samih spent much of his early years working in Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company. For twelve years Samih moved up the ranks of the company while also living abroad in numerous places around the world, including the U.S, Lebanon, Italy and the UK. Samih learned a lot from Eli Lilly and up to his last years always looked back at his time in the company fondly.

The establishment of Hikma

Although he was happy and flourishing at Eli Lilly, Samih couldn’t stay away from his home too long. In 1978 Samih returned to Jordan and established a small company that would later grow into a giant in the global pharma industry – Hikma Pharmaceuticals. In 1995 Hikma became the first company in the Middle East to obtain the US FDA. Ever since then the company has been thriving and growing. Samih remained the Honorary Life President of Hikma until he passed away in 2015.

Political matters

In 1995 Samih set his foot into the political scene becoming the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to the late King Hussein of Jordan. After a few years Samih was asked to join the King's Advisory Economic Council, a body that King Abdallah II formed to oversee economic, social, educational and administrative reforms. Samih chose to work in the area of education and healthcare, two subjects close to his heart.

The last 10 years

Although Samih technically “retired” from Hikma in 2014, in reality he never really retired, neither from Hikma or his other companies. In the last few years he focused a lot on his other companies, Labatec and Monojo, as well as his philanthropic activities, including the foundation he set up that focuses on education. The other matter that Samih focused on was his family – he loved travelling with his wife, Samira, and spending time with friends and family.

Remembering Samih

Patsy Carney
CEO EirGen Pharma
Andrew Chapman
Head of Corporate & ECM Peel Hunt
Daniel Cheng
Research Analyst Sands Capital Management
Marwan Omar AlKhalid
General Manager CIS & Eastern Europe Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Prof. Tamer Essawi
Birzeit University
Sten Stovall
European Bureau Chief The Pink Sheet, Informa Business Intelligence
Mohammad
Quality Assurance Manager Hikma Pharmaceutical
Susan Ringdal
VP of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Stefano Sbragia
CEO Medilife Srl
Faisal Abed-Aldayem
His Excellency Anil Trigunayat
Ambassador of India Embassy of India to Jordan
Prof. Colin Green
Treasurer IMET 2000
Iman Mihiar
Riad Michlaoui
VP, EU and Global Head of Injectables Hikma Farmaceutica
Dr. Ibrahim Jalal
Corporate VP of Technical Affairs HIP
Obaidah Mustafa Alises
Senior Validation Engineer Hikma Pharmaceuticals [Jordan]
Majda Labadi
VP of HR and Head of MENA Operations Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Thomas Patton
President Emeritus St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Jean-Michel Cayrol
Head - QA Operations EU / India & South East Asia Novartis Consumer Health
Mohammad A.Salman
Quality Assurance Manager Hikma Pharmaceutical
Abdullatif Omar
Jean Byrne
George Dabit
Tenders Director MENA Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Fernanda Aleixo
Technical and Regulatory Affairs Director Hospira Portugal
Dr. Huda Abu-Saad Huijer
Professor of Nursing Science AUB
Jihan Hakooz
Chairman’s Office Manager Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Paula Simao
Treasurer Hikma Farmaceutica
Richard Girling
Partner Centerview Partners
Ibrahim Shaltaf
Team Leader Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Maryann Bove-Kaplan
Receptionist West-ward Eatontown, NJ
Mustapha AlJemzawy
Personal chauffeur of Samih Darwazah Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Akram Al-Masharfeh
Clearance Department Manager Hikma -Jordan
Jon Coles
Partner Brunswick Group
Hana Amad
CEO Office Manager Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Shuji Asaoka
Vice President Beijing Shionogi Pharmaceutical Technology
Johnny ZAHRA
Chairman & CEO United Company for touristic establishments
Mais Dabain
Dr. Philip Khoury
Chairman of the Board of Trustees AUB
Mohamed Yousry Husseiny
Purchasing Supervisor Hikma Badr
Penelope Shihab
CEO and Founder Monojo
Rasha Laswi
Partner Zalloum & Laswi Law Firm
Masafumi Nogimori
Representative Director and Chairman Astellas Pharma
Joyce Dixon
Manager, Training Compliance West-Ward Pharmaceuticals
Peter Speirs
Company Secretary Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC
Mohammad Saffouri
Director Darhold
Chirag Talati
Institutional Equities Kotak Securities Limited
khaled abd el mohsen
MR Hikma Egypt
On behalf of all here at EirGen Pharma, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Darwazeh family and all at Hikma on the occasion of the passing of Samih. In the early years of our company in 2008, Samih arr... READ MORE
One of the most charming and gracious men I have had the pleasure to meet on over 35 years in the City, always open and kind, tremendous vision and will to succeed, combining humility and great warmth, a family man cert... READ MORE
On behalf of Sands Capital Management, I would like to express my deepest condolences on the passing of Samih Darwazah. As long-term investors and shareholders in the company, we very much admire the mission and values... READ MORE
كان رحمه الله، إنسان عملي أكثر من الكثيرين، لم يعمل لحياته قيمة عالية فقط، ولكن عمل للآخرين قيمة عالية في الحياة العملية والمادية، وغير حياة الموظفين بشكل جذري. ومن مميزات أبو السعيد سهولة التعامل معه، كان في الاجتماع... READ MORE
هناك أناس نذروا أنفسهم لخدمة الإنسانية ولخدمة شعوبهم، ولأن رحلوا أجساداً فإن ذكراهم تظل ساكنة في نفوس كل من يعرفونهم ويقدرونهم حق قدرهم. ولعل معالي الدكتور المرحوم سميح دروزة هو أحد أبرز عمالقة الإنسانية في العطاء، الذي... READ MORE
I do recall a happy memory, when I had the pleasure of presenting Mr. Darwazah with the Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award at the INSEAD Healthcare Alumni Summit Dinner at the Restaurant Metropol in Zürich, Switzerla... READ MORE
It is my pleasure to write a letter of appreciation and admiration for Mr. Abu Saeed. Abu Saeed’s critical thinking, wisdom and example have been a great model for us all and have left a tremendous impact on the hearts ... READ MORE
Mr. Samih created a collaborative and supportive culture that is unlike anywhere else I have worked. This culture has remained very firmly intact, despite the addition over the years of thousands of new employees in div... READ MORE
Dr. Samih was a true gentleman in every definition of the word, and the feelings we have for him cannot be expressed in words. He marked our lives in such a profound and deep manner. He will be sorely missed. I learned... READ MORE
كان، رحمه الله، رجلًا حالماً بطريقة عقلانية جداً، ينظر إلى الأمام ومن هنا جاءت الحكمة. وانسان عروبي كانت لديه ثقة في الانسان العربي، ويرى أنه قادراً على الإبداع إذا اعطي الفرصة. كان من أعز الناس علي وله دور في حياتي لن... READ MORE
It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we have learnt of the demise of H.E. Mr. Samih Darwazah on Friday, 15th May, 2015 in London. I have personally known him only for about a year now. I was highly impressed by his v... READ MORE
It came as a big shock to hear that our great friend Mr. Samih Darwazah, had passed away. Whenever I met him, he was always so supportive of what we do in Palestine, generous in his praise and encouraging us to keep go... READ MORE
أحببت أن أكتب بضع كلمات متواضعة عن السيد سميح دروزة رحمه الله، فهذه الشخصية الرائعة تستحق منا ذلك ولو بجزء بسيط. لقد بهرنا بشخصيته المتواضعة، قوله كان دائما مطابق لفعله، وطيبة قلبه مع كل من كان يطلبه، وحبه واحترامه لكل... READ MORE
Mr. Samih’s way of reflecting wisdom came by how he acted, and not necessarily by grand wise words. One of Mr. Samih’s amazing powers was his ability to listen and comprehend several conversations at the same time. I ... READ MORE
في البداية أود أن أنوه بأن الأخ أبو السعيد رحمه الله وغفر له هو أحد رواد ورموز الصناعة الدوائية. إن أحد الأمور التي اهتم بها أبو السعيد كثيرا ولم أجدها في أي مكان آخر هو عمل المرأة والنهوض بها، فعلى المرأة أن تكون عنص... READ MORE
We mourn the loss of a great man, warm-hearted human being and leader who has shown humility, generosity and liberality. Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Samih Darwazah has touched and inspired all of us with his humble p... READ MORE
تميز ابو السعيد بقربه من موظفيه فقد كان يعاملهم كبعض اهله فكان يهتم بحياة الموظف من كل النواحي ليس بصفته مدير بل كصديق وأب ومعلم. كان حريصاً جداً أن تحيط معرفته بالموظف وزوجه وعائلته، كان يسال عن الابناء وعن مدارسهم ونش... READ MORE
I will never forget my associations with Samih. He was much more than a world class businessman. He was a thoughtful, intelligent, caring, ethical individual. Above all he was a loving and devoted family man. To say he ... READ MORE
It has been a great honor to work with Mr. Samih Darwazah in Switzerland when he decided to acquire Labatec Pharma in 2008, a small local pharmaceutical company that used to be owned by ma family in law. His energy, h... READ MORE
انه لم دواعي سروري ان اكتب عن الدكتور السيد سميح دروزة ان من اعظم ما قدمه العم ابو السعيد هو ذلك الفكر النير الذي انار للحكمة وللعاملين فيها طريقهم في الحياة ذلك النموذج اللذي ترك من الاثر العظيم في نفوس من صاحبهم وم... READ MORE
كان رحمه الله، لا يترك أي فرصة دون أن يتعلم منها وينقل ما تعلمه الى زملائه. تميز أبو السعيد بقدرته على فصل عاطفته الشخصية عن مصلحة العمل. أود أن أقول لأبو السعيد شكراً على كل شيء، وأن يسامحني اذا بدر مني أي تقصير. أو... READ MORE
Samih made a lasting impression on both myself and my husband Breffni, who is a non-executive director of Hikma. Samih's remarkable business achievements were many and undoubtedly his family and colleagues are correctly... READ MORE
لقد عرفت د. سميح وعملت معه لعدة سنين، ولكن الفترة الأهم كانث الثلاث سنوات والنصف التي عملت معه فيها مباشرة وعن قرب. كان د. سميح لبقاً، اجتماعياً وملماً بالثقافات المختلفة. كان تواقاً للتعرف على عادات وتصرفات الآخرين م... READ MORE
My sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Darwazah. My prayers are with you. Mr. Darwazah was a reference in my career and as person – I still remember several tips he taught me and all done with his sense of humour. ... READ MORE
Today, we mourn the loss of a remarkable human being and a great friend of AUB and the Hariri School of Nursing. The School of Nursing at AUB is indebted to Mr. Samih Darwazah for his generous and continuous support of ... READ MORE
تعلمت من أبو السعيد أن أعطي فرصة ثانية للجميع، فكثير من المواقف حصلت معه وكان يعطي الآخرين فرصة ثانية لإيمانه بأن الناس فيها خير، ودائما يعطي الفرص. كما تعلمت منه أن أتعلم وأستفيد من كل ما مر بي في حياتي، فكل ما مر به ف... READ MORE
What I admire so much about Mr. Darwazah is that even in the tough times, and in the first years of Hikma Portugal there were many, he never lost his sense of humour, a clear sign of how intelligent he was. Only the int... READ MORE
We are so sorry for this great loss to Hikma and the Darwazah family. Samih was a truly inspirational man who gave so much to so many. Samih touched many people across the world, his wisdom, and openness was visionary a... READ MORE
الله يرحمــه ويجعــل مثــواه الجنــة، كان يعزنــا ويحترمنــا جميعــًا وكانــت روحــه مرحــة ومتواضــع وأهم شــيء عنــده الموظــف قبــل المديــر. كان لطيــف جــدا فــي التعامــل معنــا حتــى عنــد تقديــم الملاحظــات. فق... READ MORE
I had the privledge of meeting Mr.Samih Darwazah when he visited the Eatontown office, through the 10 years that I am with West-Ward. He was a kind and gentle soul. Even though it was for short moments that we spoke, ... READ MORE
كان رجلاً بسيطاً جداً، نستمد منه الأخلاق والقيم والمبادىء من خلال تعامله مع الناس مهما كانت ظروفهم ومستوياتهم. كنا نتعلم منه درساً جديداً كل يوم في كيفية التعامل مع الناس. كان يعاملني كإبنه الصغير، كان يحب ويسعى دائما ل... READ MORE
في بداية التعبير والرثاء اخشى القصير في العطاء عن ابو السعيد ابو الصدق والوفاء ...... لرؤية الواسعة لابي السعيد ساهمت في ابقاء قلعة الحكمة شامخة وصوتها مسموع في كافة المحافل وهو امر يؤكد الاستراتجية العميقة والفكر ال... READ MORE
I was very sad to read that Samih had passed away. What a good, kind and generous man. What a visionary and what a great leader. A very, very special person who contributed hugely to making the world a better place. Th... READ MORE
كان رحمه الله عندما نعمل معه يشعرنا بأهميتنا ويعطينا الثقة بأنفسنا ويعطينا الفرصة لبناء أنفسنا بالرغم من أنه كان حازماً في بعض المواقف إلا أننا تعلمنا منه الكثير، علمني أن أتعلم من أخطائي فكان يقول: "الخطأ مش عيب" على ا... READ MORE
It is really very much regretful to learn of sudden passing away of your beloved great farther, Mr. Samih Darwazah, since I clearly remember him being full of life with energy. Through his “existence”, my former comp... READ MORE
Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of a great man, Samih was my eldest brother, my teacher, and a symbol in life. We first met in Tripoli Libya in 1968 and became friends since that date. A big loss for a... READ MORE
“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger Generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.” Albert Einstein. Please accept my sincere condolences on t... READ MORE
We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of your father, Samih. On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, we extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. We are enormou... READ MORE
الله يرحمة ويحسن الية ويدخلة فسيح جناتة... READ MORE
Dr. Samih gave me the strength and always made me feel that he was the support I could always count on. Whenever I faced any issues, whether personally and professionally, he always provided me with advice and guidance ... READ MORE
There are no words adequate enough, to describe this monumental loss. Mr. Samih was the embodiment of strength and I naively thought that no disease will be able to take him away from us. Mr. Samih was the greatest ma... READ MORE
It was with great regret and sadness that I learned of the passing of Mr. Samih Darwazah. On behalf of all Astellas friends and staff, please accept my heartfelt sympathy. I know he will be greatly missed. His engage... READ MORE
I recently read Mr. Samih's book "Lessons to Grow a Billion-Dollar Company: Mixing Family and Business." It was a wonderful book that gave me insight into the man who developed the Hikma company. I wish I had the oppor... READ MORE
For me Samih is a father figure. I was so blessed with the opportunities that he gave me. He trusted me and empowered me. He opened my eyes to the world and made me want to keep striving to be a better person. The fact ... READ MORE
Frankly we cannot sum up the many lessons learnt from Mr. Samih. He was a forward-looking visionary, and had great ambition and long-term thinking. His commitment to his family, employees and partners distinguished him,... READ MORE
Mr. Samih Darwazah was a visionary man and though I have had only a few opportunities to meet him in person, even those few meetings have been a great learning experience. Indeed, it does not surprise me when that most ... READ MORE
ربنا يرحمو ويجعل مثواه الجنه... READ MORE