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Suta Kavari Shares Notes From Beirut

Prominent Political Economist Suta Kavari sits down on this throwback edition of the MYD Show to discuss his experience as an expat in Lebanon on this episode of the MYD Africa Show throwback series.

While he boasted a thriving career in economics, fast tracking through the ranks to become one of Namibia’s most prolific economists, that didn’t stop him from quitting his job, selling everything he owned and moving to Beirut, Lebanon to work in social development projects with Syrian refugees.

MYD: You’ve built such a profile for yourself here in Namibia as an economist, how did you get there?

How did I get there. Hard work, determination and the belief that nothing is impossible. I suppose just sort of putting your mind to what you want to achieve. I mean I worked ridiculous hours, but I also worked ridiculous hours because I quite enjoyed what I was doing and I think that’s the most important thing, finding a level or place where you are actually enjoying what you’re doing, and then even if you put extra hours in there, like you don’t, it doesn’t.

MYD: How did you end up becoming a Namibian living in Lebanon?

It was quite interesting because I was an expat this time around which is, not like some sort of immigrant which was quite a nice title to have. I resigned from my job and decided to go work on Syrian policy solutions in Lebanon. Obviously I had a very romantic idea of what I was going to be doing. The whole idea of going to Lebanon was also about community and about helping people however and whichever way and however minuscule the impact was going to be, and then it was also a way of discovering what’s out there, discovering how people interact, how people do things and just how the rest of the world lives.

MYD: And what was your take home in terms of community, in terms of lifestyle, what did you learn?

The biggest thing that I learnt was the power of the collective good, in terms of people getting together and finding solutions. What was the most inspiring is, one of the projects that I worked on which was around social entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship was a concept that I wasn’t really, I wasn’t really aware of until I got to Lebanon and I saw the power it has as a tool for sustainable development. 

MYD: What do you think Namibia would look like if we took on the same sort of philosophy? 

I think it would be like the most amazing space. I think Government plays a massive role and I mean being in Lebanon I’ve gotten a better appreciation of our Government and what we do, so I think that’s why I’m heading into Government, but then imagine having a Government that functions and providing the essential services..

Watch the MYD Africa Show on One Africa TV (GOtv 90, DStv 284, NBC 301, DStv Now, TV2Africa.com) every Tuesday at 20h00 with repeats on Thursdays at 06h30 and Sundays at 19h30.