An advocate of reading, tech, and social debates.
With years of experience in large corporates and capital markets with NASDAQ in the US & Dubai, Ben has thrived at the intersection of technology and strategy throughout his career. He brings insights on the challenges facing businesses and consumers to his technology & strategy consulting practice as well as his writing.
Hicham El Amrani is a Strategic Communication, Training and Executive Coaching Consultant with 14 years of professional experience in 5 markets. He frequently speaks and trains on these subjects: Public Speaking, Media Training, Personal Growth and Development, & Positive Energy. You can view his Arabic website at: www.hichamamrani.com
Devoted wearer of plain t-shirts, impressed reader of poetry, perpetual reformer, classical music fan, minimalism enthusiast and compulsive browser of Wikipedia articles.
James Wolanyk is a freelance writer and fiction author based out of Massachusetts. His first novel, Grid, was released in March. In his free time, he enjoys dog-walking and eating microwave dinners.
A Beirut-based daydreamer and globetrotter, with a constant vagabond mind, and never enough time to read those books.
Afif is a Consultant and Trainer on Project Management, Leadership Skills, Strategic Planning, Civic Engagement, Volunteering, and NGO Management. He is a Founding Member & Chair of Service Projects Committee at Rotary Club of Beirut Hills, Co-Founder and Advisor at Aie Serve, Curator at Global Shapers Beirut Hub, VP at Project Management Institute (PMI) Lebanon Chapter, Co-Founder & President at Alumni UNESCO Club, and Mentor & Advisor for numerous youth led Social Enterprises and NGOs. Afif has received several awards for his community work, including Global Laureate Fellow at International Youth Foundation, Ambassador of Peace at Universal Peace Federation, Rule of Law Fellow at John Smith Trust, and Youth Innovation & Achievement Fellow at King Abdallah Fund for Development.
Maha Tazi is a graduate in International Relations and Middle Eastern Politics from the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD). She is currently working as a Project Consultant in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at APCO Worldwide and teaching part-time as an adjunct instructor in Philosophy at UOWD. Maha has a special interest in world affairs and gender issues: She took a Women Studies course for one year at Sciences Po Paris and worked with several civil society organizations which struggle for the advancement of women’s rights including Association Solidarite Feminine (ASF) in Morocco".
Piotr is a Lebanese-Russian software engineer who graduated from the American University of Beirut. He is an entrepreneur who writes code, does web design and creates musical art. Piotr co-founded Baytbaytak, the first MENA map-based real-estate website, Beepl, a tool to bookmark people and organize them across social networks, participated in the Draper University in California after he crowd-funded his tuition money in order to attend it. Currently roaming the world as a digital nomad, and building Watsonapp.io, a growth hacker, and One Quote A Day.
Rabih Salloum is a writer. He grew up in Beirut before heading to Paris for college, where he mastered in Philosophy and Film Studies. Always an advocate of multidisciplinarity, Rabih was the lead singer of Slutterhouse and has worked in fashion as a model, stylist and art director. He also owns a bar in Beirut and teaches philosophy. Rabih Salloum currently publishes short stories with various publications (The Outpost, Gate37, Bespoke) and is the author of L’Orient-Le-Jour’s literary series F(r)ictions. His first novel OTIS is expected to be out in 2015.
Rana is an aspiring counseling psychologist who passionately decided to pursue this career path a few years ago. Her ultimate aim is to raise self-awareness, and help people dig deeper into who they really are, and find real purpose.
I received my Masters degree in Global Environmental Public Health and a graduate certificate in Complementary and Alternative Healing Practices from the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. I am a 200 hr certified yoga teacher and have studied yoga philology and Ayurveda in India. I enjoy experimenting and researching ways to better health, and love to travel and try new things. I work as a public health professional out in the local minneapolis community and yoga instructor by day, health advice writer and good time haver by night.
Born in Lebanon, Yara has traveled and lived in Glasgow, Washington DC, and Paris. She is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in security studies and an all but completed PhD in international affairs and diplomacy. More importantly, she is a writer, a political analyst, a daydreamer, and an avid tea drinker. Yara is the author of “Biography of a Little Prince”, a memoir of her adventures with a little boy dear to her heart. Her blog, “Aristotle at Afternoon Tea,” is a compilation of weekly essays on politics, art, culture, economics, literature, philosophy, and wine… just a smart conversation over afternoon tea.