I am an international lawyer and education entrepreneur. To a great degree, my life trajectory has been shaped by my insatiable curiosity, goal-oriented determination, and freakish amounts of energy!
This trifecta, matched with a passion for international relations, has set me on a journey of global discovery.
Lesotho – 1/2022
Iraqi Passport (1990s)
Born in Switzerland to Iraqi parents, I guess I was somehow destined to be a nomad. However, for many years, 16 to be exact, I had one of the most difficult passports (Iraqi) to travel with almost anywhere.
This frustration planted a seed that if/when the time came, I would do everything I could to explore the world that was off limits to me. Thankfully that all changed when I became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Before graduating college at UCLA, I decided to explore beyond Europe. I went to Cuba and Panama in 2002, then the next year to Japan and Morocco. Before starting law school in 2004, I traveled to Brazil, across Asia on a cruise, and then to Russia, Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus. I was hooked!
Towards the end of my time at UC Berkeley Law, I had probably traveled to around 50 countries and started to find more creative ways to fund my travels. This included establishing a remote admissions consulting business that allowed me to work from anywhere in the world.
Havana, Cuba – 4/2002
Kuwait City, Kuwait – 3/2016
Securing a development position as an International Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. government was a HUGE boost to my travels. In my role, I advised many governments in the Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe on how to improve their laws to encourage trade and investment.
This work sent me to countries most would not dream or dare visit: Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, even my native Iraq.
As I continued to travel, I started to realize that I was visiting destinations with a mixed bag of emotional engagement. I yearned to find ways to continue making my journeys a vital part of my own personal growth and identity.
Bottomline, I realized the need to be even more intentional in my travels; a desire that has motivated me to create Final50.
Karachi, Pakistan – 3/2018