I am a Lebanese-American, a conservative and a capitalist. I was born in Lebanon, and had one dream and one dream alone – to come to America, and make my fortune as a capitalist. I did just that.
I studied at The Wharton School, went to work at the most entrepreneurial firm on Wall Street, Drexel Burnham Lambert, became a global entrepreneur-financier, and made my mark dealing with some of the largest capital pools in the world, orchestrating large scale buyouts and recapitalizations.
Today, the Middle East is a very different place than the one I left 25 years ago. “This isn’t your father’s Middle East,” a good friend with whom I do business in the region loves to tell me.
And yet he is disappointed that most Americans seem stuck in the 1970s when it comes to how we think and describe the place – as if all Arabs are the same, none worthy of our trust or respect.