THE EARLY BEGINNING
“My mother, aptly named Marie, was a saint of a woman. She and my father formed an admirable couple, in love until their last breath. Together, they raised me and my two sisters, Rosette and Arlette. Though I learned a lot from all of them, the biggest and only lesson my father ever taught me, is that my pillow is my judge and jury. This, in and of itself, is great wealth. I sleep with a clear conscience, 1994 – The first Christmas of RA&A building in Achrafieh 1951 – Andre Rizk with Dr. Noun, the Minister of Education, during the ceremony of awarding the Lebanese Merit to the director of College Protestant Louise Wegman at Starco
because I have no fears to dispel,” he said casually sitting behind the desk of his father’s making.
“As far back as I can remember, I have always depended on myself, which was another lesson learned, considering that my father, Ibrahim, was a go-getter who had to start working at the age of six as a porter after the death of his father, to support his mother and baby brother,” he recalled.
By the age of 10, Ibrahim had taught himself the craft of rattan furniture making
and by the time he celebrated his eighteenth birthday, he opened his own workshop. In 1960, he had a labour force of over one-hundred working for him in a 1,000m2 factory on Mgr Ghofrael Street in the heart of Achrafieh.
“Thirty years later, in 1990, Rizkgroup moved into the very same building where my father’s three-storey workshop stood after adding additional floors to accommodate the agency’s entire staff,” Rizk said with the pride of a man who built his own empire.