Interintellect Host Questionnaire: Anwar AlKandari

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Welcome to the second in a series of casual and fun introductions to Interintellect hosts! If you are a host and wish to submit your own answers, we are currently running a shorter version of the questionnaire here.

1. How did you find the ii and what drew you to it?

I found it through Haider AlMosawi on Twitter. It was during a full lockdown, and I was feeling a strong intellectual disconnection since all irl events in Kuwait stopped at that time. Not only I regained my intellectual connection with others through the ii, but the emotional connection along with that.

2. What was the first salon you attended?

The Mad King: Leadership and Mental Health by Suzan Bond.

3. What was your favorite salon you’ve attended?

From Space to Place: The Entangled Nature of Attachment by Victoria + In Praise of the Prophet – Part 1 by Tanya Raj.

4. What was your favorite salon that you hosted?

Each one has left me with different emotions and thoughts, so I think this is a very fair reason why I can’t pick one.

5. If you could only host a salon series on one topic for the rest of your life, what would it be?


6. What was your most memorable salon kerfuffle or unexpected challenge?

Hosts are improvisers on the spot. The crazy planner in me was obsessed with salon formats, and it was shocking to this planner coming to know that it almost NEVER goes according to the initial plan because of endless rabbit holes explorations during the discussion.

Now I look forward to see how the room’s synergy and serendipity break my plans apart!

7. Do you have any pre-salon rituals/routines?

At the beginning of the day, I love to practice hard passages on the piano – it gives me a sense of control when I get very excited.

An hour before the salon I prepare my tea, light a scented candle, and listen to a playlist which I love to share at the beginning of my salons to set the mood.

8. What items must you have with you while hosting a salon?

Bunch of empty papers, sticky notes for important reminders, MUJI pens, water, and cats’ toys in case one of my cat starts to stubbornly seek my attention while hosting.

9. In three words, describe the vibe you try to cultivate in your salons.

Genuine connection synergy.

10. If you could co-host a salon with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?

Leonard Bernstein!

11. If you could host a salon with any five guests alive or dead, who would they be?

I’d probably gather five dead novelists and selfishly ask them all the questions I have in mind about writing – when I meet the genie to make this wish come true, I’ll spend my time thinking about who it will be.

12. If you could host an IRL salon anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Boring answer alert: just an ordinary living room or a cafe—the place seriously won’t matter most of the time to me as long as there’s a great company!

13. What was your favorite ii moment?

It was the silent moments during one of the healing salons hosted by Catherine Woodiwiss and Amir Hajizamani. Each attendee had around 5 minutes to share their personal story of healing. And if someone finished before the set time we still sat in silence to give that time to the speaker. <3

It felt like “we’re here for each other and to listen” even when there were no words to speak, we still listened to the silence to be present with the speaker – power of silences!

14. If you could experience the life of another ii host for a day, who would it be?

Patricia Hurducaș in Switzerland! <3

15. If you could only read one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Fyodor Dostoevsky.

16. Who is your fictional hero?

Anne Shirley Cuthbert.

17. What was your favorite book/series as a child?

I remember having the full biographical series about the Imams (12 book series) which I read over and over again – that was my first series (not books) to read.

18. If you could create your own field of study, what would it be?

Somewhere between physics and music to satisfy my intellectual needs.

19. If you had to write a book, what would it be on?

I’d probably do an analysis for a collection of classical music pieces – written in a way which would look appealing to non-musicians as well.

20. Who is your intellectual crush?

Carlo Rovelli.

21. Who are your intellectual mentors (thinkers who have influenced you most)?

Adnan AlAbbar.

22. What have you been learning/thinking about lately?

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about “death” lately to the point it became triggering.

As for my reading and learning: I’m currently reading a physics textbook, Nietzsche’s Human All Too Human, and music sheets of course.

23. If you could be an expert in any field unrelated to your main areas of expertise/interest, what would it be?

Computer science.

24. What trait do you most admire in others?


25. What trait do you most admire in yourself?

What’s the word for someone who has an excellent intuition, yet who’s also able to make a decision based on detailed analysis of information?

26. What is your current state of mind?

There’s no nice way to put this: trying to get my sh*t together.

27. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Embody”, “Inevitable”, and last but not least: “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON”

28. When and where are/were you happiest?

When laughing becomes effortless and easy.

29. Which useless talent would you most like to have?

Since it’s useless, I’ll choose moving my ears.

30. What would your perfect day look like?

Days when I’m recharged from both my alone time and the company of others – and when I go to bed with happily fulfilled emotional and intellectual needs.