Born in Beirut, Yara has lived in Glasgow, Washington, Paris, and Saint Louis. She is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in international relations from the Hautes Ecoles Politiques de Paris. She is also a published author, blogger, and avid traveler who has taught art history in the US, ballet in China, and etiquette in France.
Yara's first book, “Biography of a Little Prince”, is a memoir of her adventures with a little boy dear to her heart. Her blog, “Aristotle at Afternoon Tea” is a compilation of weekly essays on politics, art, culture, economics, literature, and philosophy. Just conversation over afternoon tea, and she loves company.
Why did you decide to study abroad in France?
Having already lived in Lebanon and the United States, I wanted to see the world from a European angle. I loved France in particular, and identified with its art, culture, history… its art de vivre. I wanted to know it better.
How has your experience in France contributed to your personal and professional goals?
On a professional level, I obtained a PhD in international affairs and diplomacy (Centre D'études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques - Hautes Ecoles Internationales et Politiques, HEIP); I attended fascinating lectures by some of the greatest professors in Europe and established global connections with professionals in my field of expertise. More importantly, on a personal level, I cultivated my appreciation of literature, music, art, food, and wine, forged wonderful friendships, and made incredible memories.
Can you tell us a little anecdote or memory that happened during your stay in France?
Les cafés en terrasse on Saturday afternoons, the smell of bread from the boulangerie d’en face every morning at 5, the fresh fruits from the marché du mardi and carrying them six floors up to my little chamber de bonne, the musicians in the métro, the bottle of wine shared with friends by the Seine… To pick just one memory would be impossible, but perhaps the one that sums it all is an afternoon in the sun, in good company and with a good book, on one of the metal green chairs in the jardin de Luxembourg.
In one sentence, for you, study in France means…
To quote Hemingway, “a moveable feast.”