My First Time in France

Posted in Travel, Vlog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dam on the River Amstel

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Following Belgium, my dad and I took a BlaBla Car up to Amsterdam on Christmas Eve. Neither of us had ever been to The Netherlands apart from the airport. We were both greatly impressed! It’s a beautiful city, its relationship … Continue reading

More Galleries | 1 Comment

Belgium with Dad

I’m ensconced in a little nook at Amsterdam Schipol airport, two functional power outlets all to myself, waiting for a flight to London. I’m on a month long trip to Western Europe that has already taken me to Belgium and now The Netherlands, and will soon bring me to England and France.

Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ChickenBus LLC

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This article is a continuation of sorts from one on my other blog, The Economics Of …  Read the first article here. Starting up a startup has been nothing like I thought it would be. I thought that I would … Continue reading

More Galleries | 1 Comment

PowerPoint Rangers

This gallery contains 2 photos.

“I have to work on my slides.” We were 13 MBA interns in marketing this summer. I heard that cringe worthy phrase from at least one of my peers at least once a day, starting at around week three. It … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

What Was I Doing in Lebanon?

This gallery contains 9 photos.

USAID and the US State Department fund a number of programs around the world that are focused on financial development. The administration of these programs is farmed out to a number of organizations, both for- and not-for-profit, who in turn … Continue reading

More Galleries | 3 Comments

Have You Ever Been to Israel?

This gallery contains 14 photos.

Lebanese Border Police: “Have you ever been to Israel?”

More Galleries | Leave a comment

The Business School Paradox

This gallery contains 7 photos.

For some among us August 21 is the long-awaited day of the total solar eclipse. For those of us in the Kenan-Flagler Class of 2018, today is the first day of our second school year of classes. I have a … Continue reading

More Galleries | 3 Comments

Last Day in Lebanon

Apologies that it’s topsy-turvy

More Lebanon posts to come

Posted in Travel, Vlog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lebanon: Day 3

Monday was our first work day, and things were challenging. We are working with far fewer people from the finance organization than we thought we would be. As a result, this feels a lot less like a workshop and a lot more like a consultation. However, our prepared materials were for a formal workshop, so we have had to adapt. Nevertheless, as the session on Monday progressed, I felt great working with our counterpart at the organization. He told me that while we were discussing the intricacies of start-up lending one of the main challenges finally dawned on him. He said that he didn’t know why it took me coming all the way from the States, but it finally dawned on him. That’s great, from my point of view. It makes everything worth it, especially if he can use his new perspective to help people in Lebanon.

FSVCThe organization that brought us over here, the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, has been great. They treat us very well, and our “handlers” (I only jokingly call them that – they are professional project specialists) are friendly and coordinate our transportation and food. The food has been a excellent. The varied use of herbs, spices, fruits, and other ingredients has enchanted me. I have a fairly strict ‘food belongs in bellies, not Instagram’ rule, but I may need to get some #MedDeli up there to make all of my followers jealous.

Today was a holiday, so we did not work. Instead, we went up the coast and saw a few sites. First, were the absolutely colossal Jeita Grottoes. Second was a cable car ride (actually our second of the day) up to Harîssa, which has a tall Virgin Mary statue looking out over the Mediterranean and Beirut to the south. Last, was Byblos, a port city with one of the longest histories in human civilization. It was settled in prehistoric times, and has been controlled by every civilization ever to have crossed the Middle East, including the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Hittites, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ottomans, and the French, before Lebanon became independent. The major remaining structure was the fortress built by the Crusaders.



While in Byblos, hearing about the trading history of the area, it dawned on me that for a very long time, Lebanon (and the Levant in general) was the center of the world. Europeans did not know much about what lay beyond the Mediterranean. The Silk Road had many termini, but their general direction was the Levant. The Levant also has direct access to Africa, making it the “center of the world” for a long time.

I am learning tons about Lebanon, the Middle-East, Arabic culture, and the economy of Lebanon and the region. It is all fascinating to me, and impresses upon me how very ignorant we are in the United States. It makes me wonder, maybe the powers that be over my country want perpetual distress in the Middle East. So long as we can control their streams of oil, then strife and under-development is actually desirable for our country. If there were peace and prosperity then an ascendant Middle East could threaten American hegemony and extract better terms for everything that they provide for the rest of the world. Once again, the Middle East could become the center of the world.

Jeita has a strict no photography policy, so I got these from Google Images, although they fail to do justice to the sheer scale of these caves:

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment