Mr. Filip Noubel
Filip grew up in a Czech-French family in Tashkent, Odessa and Athens and spent summers in Ireland as a teenager. After studying Slavonic and East Asian languages in Tokyo, Prague, Paris and Beijing, he entered the field of media and media development that brought him back to Central Asia, and later took him to South Asia, the South Caucasus, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe. He also served as an analyst for the United Nations and the International Crisis Group.
Filip continues to work as a journalist and a literary translator, and frequently speaks publicly in Czech, Russian, French, English and Mandarin Chinese on current affairs.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I read a lot, really a lot – about 120 books a year. I also translate literature from Chinese, Czech, Russian and Uzbek. I keep learning new languages, including Lingala, Kalaallisut.
Really hard question as I have lived for long periods of time in over 20 countries, mostly in Europe, Eurasia and Asia. But Nepal and Taiwan are the two countries that inspire me the most.
Who inspires you the most?
People who resist and remain human, and have enough empathy to include all sides in a story. Some of them are real people, like the Dalai Lama, whom I had the honor to interview. Others are literary characters, like Nasreddin Hoja.
How do you deal with stressful situations?
I studied Buddhism in Nepal and Bhutan, and practice meditation on a daily basis. It allows me to not be completely submerged by emotion, and to create a small space to observe my own reactions and bring in more rational thinking to make better decisions.
If you could witness one moment in history what would it be?
I think I would love to live in the 20s in Europe. To meet Kafka at Louvre cafe and Tsvetaeva in cafe Slavia in Prague. Joyce in Trieste. Proust in Paris.