'I remember wondering if a book about dogs could make me cry': Ziad Kamel

I remember wondering if a book about dogs could make me cry: Ziad Kamel

The co-founder and managing director of Couqley French Bistro on his love for books

What books are you reading right now?
I enjoy reading books about real people and by authors who are wise, inspiring, and who have done their research. Right now, I'm reading The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease and Leadership Dubai Style by Dr Tommy Weir, who happens to be a friend. Perhaps, I should ask him to sign my book!
Name one underrated book.
Getting There, A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal. It's a collection of mini autobiographies from 30 accomplished leaders in diverse fields, who share their personal stories of navigating the rocky road to success. It's like having an intimate, one-on-one talk with some of the most fascinating people like Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg and Anderson Cooper.
Most memorable literary character.
Billy Colman from Where the Red Fern Grows, a 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls about a boy who buys and trains his two hunting dogs. I read it when I was 12 and it was the first book that made me cry. I remember thinking to my young, naïve self, "Geez, a book about dogs can make me cry?" It's about Billy's relationship with his dogs, from the kind of innocent perspective only children have. It also depicts boyhood as it once was - gritty, emotional and honest - against the backdrop of great outdoors. No shiny iPads, smartphones or marble-lined shopping malls.
Your favourite book quote(s).
Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers says, "Autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward are the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy. Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful." There's also Jim Collins in Good to Great: "You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit." These two quotes resonate with me daily because owning a business is hard and growing a business even harder. Leading my French bistro Couqley in Lebanon and the UAE is about daily fulfilment and meaning and not about the money or taking credit.
- Staff Reporter

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