Look Who We Met…Sustainability Guru, Samer Kamal

samer interview

Last week we introduced you to Samer Kamal, an entrepreneur with his hands in all sorts of sustainable pies. He had so much great information to share that we felt we just had to do a two-parter. Here is the rest of the interview. Join us as we get a bit more personal with this sustainability guru…

Favorite holiday destination? That’s a toss-up between Barcelona and the Greek islands. Barcelona gives me my urban fix while the Greek islands give me serenity, mixed with a dose of great parties.

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We hear that you have an interesting “collection”. Can you tell us a bit more about that? I am a briefcase/satchel addict. It rivals my wife’s purse affliction. My bags fall into 2 categories – upcycled and locally designed. Wherever I go, I always look for briefcases made by local designers or made from local waste products. Over the last few years I have successfully found at least one new treasure every year. My most utilized find is a Freitag courier bag made of old vinyl advertising tarps from the sides of European trucks. The company takes this waste product and makes absolutely one-of-a-kind pieces that are very cool and completely indestructible.

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What’s on your iPod? My wife accuses me of being an old man every time I play anything on my iPod. I have a Billboard top 100 for every year between 1974 (when I was born) and 1999. My favorite year is 1977 – amazing music. I am also a huge fan of early rap – Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Heavy D and the Boyz, etc. And, for a mellow night at home, I love Canadian rock like Blue Rodeo.

Favorite jet lag remedy? My secret to getting over jet lag is that I make sure I have fabulous dinner plans for the first evening wherever I land. It forces me to be up until after dinner time and helps me normalize my sleeping.

Five items you never travel without

  • iPod
  • Lucky tee-shirt – the shirt says “one love” in Arabic and was designed by Jobedu
  • Laptop – I can’t go more than 12 hours without checking in at work
  • Running shoes – I don’t always workout but I feel better knowing I tried
  • A new book – I read something new every trip

Favorite App? Google Now – Google understands me better than most of the people I know. Scary.

What are you currently reading? The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel.

Early bird or night owl? Night owl. In fact, I have been answering these questions after midnight.

Which song is best suited for the soundtrack of your life? Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone. It is a song about finding a path after the loss of privilege and I think we are all on that road – me more than most.

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Favorite dessert? Kanafa – Palestinian dessert.

Favorite type of cuisine? Southern Italian.

Who or what inspires you? I am lucky to be inspired by those near and dear to me. My mother inspires me to be a hardworking person. My father inspired me to be committed to quality in all things. My brother inspires me to be kind, and my wife inspires me to be supportive. I continue to be inspired by the people who I meet because I believe we are all impacting the world, and many people are silently doing something positive. I try to learn from them all.