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An Interview with Mario Kfoury: Author of Coffee Shop University

Mario KfouryMario Kfoury is a private investor with credentials in martial arts, physical education, real estate, aviation and Technical Analysis. Self-taught in the streets of Beirut, Brussels, London, LA and New York, he synthesizes his views on life through different disciplinary and cultural prisms in favor of a peaceful/secular agnostic Deism. The story he shares appeals for democratic-socialism founded on sensible educational and healthcare systems, rigorous tax regulations; and cautions against the perils of religious beliefs, demography, and the reckless attitude towards the planet and its ecology.

Tell us about your book.

Coffee Shop University is mainly a book about cross-cultural differences.

Why did you want to write a book?

I wanted to write it to sort out the confusion and misunderstanding on paradigms and definitions such as, “morals and ethics – fate and destiny – creation and evolution – left and right – anarchy and democracy – chaos and order – communism and socialism – the god of men and the god of everything – human justice versus universal one,” people lock themselves in to construct their identities and personalities, get attention and exchange the necessities of life. As well share my personal experience in what I have discovered from the various backgrounds and places I come from.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

For a debut author and new kid on the block, it is very difficult to get noticed and today’s book industry offers many alternative paths. Self-publishing might even be the best options for aspiring authors who have the patience and means to do it. It is an independent and very rewarding form of publication. You get to appreciate and savor the process heart and soul, wholly, from beginning to end.

Coffee Shop UniversityWould you self-publish again?

Definitely, as I have learned every step of the way, a great deal about it.

What tips can you give other authors looking to self-publish?

The self-publishing learning curve is at the same time tough and rewarding. The first time is always the most difficult. Be patient and humble and don’t take it personal.

As a writer, what is your schedule? How do you get the job done?

Personally I like to write mostly in the early morning hours but also anytime I get an inspiration. I don’t just sit to write. Sometimes a few lines are laid down, at other times a few pages.

Tell us about the genre you wrote in, and why you chose to write this sort of book.

The interesting thing about life is that it is like a crystal. When light goes in, it comes out different colors. Some perceived the book as philosophy, other as psychology, some as memoir and autobiography, but very few were able to read through its essence and meaning: cross-cultural differences and realities. The actual ongoing problems we are facing in our contemporary societies are the same we had experienced thirty years ago in the Lebanese war that ended in compromise and eroded little by little our Western values and democracy. They try to sell you today a sweet poison as the perfect formula for inter-religious and inter-faiths cohabitation. The West is in danger of committing a collective suicide for being too lax and tolerant on non-democratic people it is inviting in with all their troubles and problems from various non-compatible values and cultures to the extent of sacrificing and letting abuse the founding principles it fought millennia and centuries to establish, namely: freedoms of thoughts and expression, and equal women’s rights.

Are the characters Paco, Gaia and Pythagoras real?

Yes they are. The Native American encounter was the first catalyst for change I experienced. Although Gaia and Pythagoras are not real names, they represent a series of encounters embodying the ideal caring feminine and wise masculine archetypes.

What message would you like to convey to your readers?

It is summarized as I had received it, in the Golden Principles.

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