Entrepreneur | Cognitive Neuroscientist | Consultant @ HP International
Development Manager | Leadership & Cultural Assessor
My name is Naeem Fakih (aka Lebanese Kwame). I grew up in a humble family in a family neighbourhood in a small town in Southern Lebanon. A small town that is full of potential and determination that this world is far greater than what we only perceive in our environment. My father owns one of the best seafood restaurants, that is where my career has started as a waiter. My inner self however was always observant and intrigued by people's behaviour of which I dedicated my studies to. While working in my father's establishment, I still went ahead to pursue my education in Biology and later specified in human behaviour through neuroscience, body language, micro expressions and neurolinguistic programming (NLP).
Currently, I reside in Ghana (my second home), developing and managing Li Beirut while getting the chance to experience and apply all I've learnt in school through interacting with our wonderful guests that come through our doors; infusing empathy and inclusiveness as the core value and culture re: customers needs and wants.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Relocating to pursue my studies or degree all came at a cost which required finding work suitable with my time and classes. Growing up, the mentality of being self-made and independent is an extension of you.Easier said than done, expressing it in my everyday life was somehow tough because it seems like everyone cross paths with; seems to be looking out for themselves. Me being naive to different nightlife, it took a lot of discipline from me to stay away from any path that hinders my career growth, and ambitions.
I can still recall myself heavily breathing at the doorstep of my work place as a host after a 10 minute run from where the bus stops was. All I wanted was to make sure my punctuality reflected in my work ethic and time. Same way I am with my education and studies. The same way I recall having to wait a while for a bus to pick me up back to my dorm late at night (between 2:00am and 3:00am); when next lecture was at 8:00am in the morning. I will rather call it life lessons and experiences rather than hurdles. I believe it's all about the mindset we all wake up to and sleep on no matter what feeling comes with it and whatever thought tries to persist. I also believe if you look deeper into yourself and introspect every aspect of a feeling or a thought, tracing it down to its root cause, you will conclude that if you change that cause, things will change inside out.
Your advice to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Wherever you are and whoever you are, when you give up self-interested goals, you end up taking on contributive goals, you function differently! Biology changes, thought process changes and learning accelerates. You and I are designed to be purpose seeking mechanisms. You’ve been shaped by life. You’ve had bad experiences and good experiences, and both the bad experiences and the good experiences are there to teach you something about you. If you look very carefully at those, you can determine what your purpose is. Every person can clarify the purpose of their life and become the key to every door.
Social Media Handles:
Instagram: @nfakeeh @li_beirutrestant