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Human Capacity Drives Internet Advancement in Lebanon

December 3, 2018
Nabil Bukhalid Photo

Although he has long been working with machines and code, the human aspect of the technical world is what keeps pushing Nabil Bukhalid to give back. 

A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Bukhalid led the team at the American University of Beirut that initially brought the Internet to Lebanon. He is also the founder of the Lebanese Academic and Research Network, co-founder of the Lebanese Broadband Manifesto Support Group, and BeirutIX - the first Internet Exchange Point in Lebanon.

In a recent interview, Bukhalid said he was truly taken aback by the collegiality he experienced when he first met with other online pioneers in the early 1990s, and this inspired him to help improve access in his home country.   

“When I went in 1993 to Stanford, I was looking for a technical solution [to our connectivity problem]. What I came back with was a people solution,” he said. “I came back with an address book of friends and colleagues who were ready to assist free of charge. That was not very common, especially if coming from an industrial environment. It was the openness and friendship of the core community that surprised me. It gave me the drive to do the same, to offer the services to whoever needs the support and it’s been very fulfilling.”