Arab and Middle Eastern businessmen who return value to society

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Many Asian and Middle Eastern business owners are renowned for their market expertise, but there are some who have devoted their efforts to philanthropy. These businessmen have been acknowledged by publications such as Forbes for their charitable work.

Just recently in Singapore, 4 Singapore business people, consisting of Ho Bee Land Chairman Chua Thian Poh and Valencia football club owner Peter Lim, were called on this year's Forbes list of notable Asian philanthropists.

Other Singaporeans among Forbes Asia's 48 Heroes of Philanthropy list are Nippon Paint Singapore founder, Mr Goh Cheng Liang and Professor Saw Swee Hock, a specialist on population and stats.

Mr Chua Thian Poh, 65, was feted for his contributions to education. Forbes approximates Chua has donated at least US$ 10 million (S$ 12.5 million) in the direction of college-level education in Singapore since 2008, focusing on developing entrepreneurs and community leaders.

Mr Peter Lim, 61, contributed a minimum of US$ 16 million over the past six years to sports and education causes. Prof Saw Swee Hock, 83, has given more than US$30 million to universities in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. His largest reported contribution is US$ 24 million in 2011 to launch the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Teacher Saw and his household made their money by purchasing bungalows, in part with an inheritance from his business person father-in-law, according to Forbes.

Mr Goh Cheng Liang, 85, is more closely related to clinical research. His 20-year-old Goh Foundation offered US$ 40 million to Singapore's National Cancer Centre in March for cancer research and to assist establish a proton-beam therapy center. It had also formerly donated US$ 10 million to the Centre as well as has assisted education initiatives and other clinical jobs.

Beyond Singapore, there are several Asian business people who have also made notable contributions of funds to charity, particularly in the clinical field. Fahad Al Tamimi, from Saudi Arabia, has supported lung cancer research at the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center with his family fund, which has led to some significant development on trials and study.