Ali Hassan



I was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Damascus, Syria, and have lived in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Dubai. I live in Dubai now, but travel quite a bit for work. My family lives in Beirut, so I go there often as well.

Unsettled Destination: 

Buenos Aires

What do you do for work?

I work as a management consultant. I serve clients (typically large corporates, governments, or NGOs) on a range of topics and issues. I focus primarily on tech, media, and telecom work, and have served clients in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, West Bank, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US.

When do you feel most alive?

Two things do: moving to a new city, while staying connected to my home base(s). They’re two sides of the same coin.

I’ve lived in six cities and have worked in over a dozen, yet moving to a new home never gets old. It’s always exhilarating and rejuvenating.

At the same time, these cities only derive meaning from the people we share our experiences with. I get a lot of fulfilment from staying connected to family in Syria and Lebanon, and friends in all corners of the world.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventures are experiences that can seem nerve-wracking or challenging at first, but are often rewarding and transformative in hindsight. The definition is quite wide. An adventure could be a month-long trip to Buenos Aires for a Syrian living in Dubai, or it can be something right around the corner. One of my favorite childhood memories is a weekly ritual I shared with my father: every Friday, he’d take me to Old Damascus. We’d get lemon smoothies, walk around for hours, and he’d teach me about Damascus’ long history. Priceless adventures that I’ll always cherish.

Why did you join Unsettled?

I actually signed up for Unsettled less than a week before the Buenos Aires program started! I’d decided to take a couple of months off from work to travel. I wanted to go to a new city, immerse myself, establish a routine, and ‘live’ there for a short while. It’s a bit of an oxymoron, but I wanted to ‘settle’ somewhere new. A friend of mine recommended Unsettled (he’d just done the Medellin program). Buenos Aires was already on my shortlist, and the dates worked out, so the stars aligned!

What does living Unsettled mean to you?

“Living Unsettled to me means constantly learning about oneself and evolving as a person. I can’t think of a better way to do this than travel.”

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