Abdul Hameed Shoman was a Palestinian émigré who understood the need and potential for a bank that was committed to the development of the Arab economies. The growth and evolution of Arab Bank has come against a background of regional political turbulence as well as spectacular growth and development. The Bank was established during the emergence of the countries in the region as independent states and has been on hand to offer its support as they developed as modern industrial economies. Arab Bank has maintained a strategy of steady geographic expansion since its inception, initially concentrating on establishing a solid branch network throughout the Arab World, first in Palestine then in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. The rapidly expanding oil economies of the Gulf were a major focus. Today, Arab Bank is a truly international bank with an important presence in every Arab country and a global network of more than 400 branches and offices in five continents. Arab Bank continues to grow.