By: Christine Soussa
Featured Father: Dr. Joseph Soussa || Pharmacologist, Historian, Traveler, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend
Remember the character Gus Portokalos from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, my Dad is the Lebanese version. He believes all things originate from the Phoenicians. A scholar of History and International Politics, my Dad can enthusiastically and accurately educate anyone on a range of topics from International Affairs to International Football.
Proud of his Lebanese decent, Joseph Soussa was born in Alexandria, Egypt. After graduating among the top of his class in all his academic studies, at the age of 25, he left behind his family, friends and everything familiar to move to the United States of America. He left to pursue “the American Dream” with $140.00 in his pocket. Yes, $140.00.
To further his expertise he went to USC, and graduated with highest honors as a Doctor of Pharmacology. Thus, the creation, composition, design, formula, combination and application of chemicals/drugs is a matter of life and death, so he rarely sweats the small stuff. Precision is paramount to my dad only when it matters. Over his career, he maintained a calmness driven by his unwavering faith and deep knowledge.
My Dad unequivocally supports me, even when my ideas are farfetched. I simply get an approving grin, followed by a glow in his eye. My Dad euphemistically calls my outrageous ideas, “acrobatic”. A great example of this was when I applied to only one University. I knew where I wanted to go and wasn’t settling for a fall back plan. When I was accepted, my Dad gave the amused grin and approving nod suggesting he had no doubt that I would get in.
Living a simply principled life is something my Dad is known for; he has a knack for seeing the essence in things, especially when complex. My Dad is one of the most frank, decisive, humble and selfless people I know. He’s also one of the easiest to talk to and has helped many people navigate the complexities of life. Over the years, I have watched many people, including global leaders, seek his council on topics ranging from international politics & policy, dating, economics, medicine & health, sports, finance & investments and travel.
Among my Dad’s professional accomplishments and the importance he places in having skills that are internationally relevant, by far, his biggest joys are his family. Thank you Dad, for being such an incredible role model and inspiration to your family and entire network of friends!
Some principles according to Joe include:
– Honesty is the only policy.
– Trust God.
– Have a lifelong love for learning: Be a scholar. Consider the Source. Take a few min to go the extra mile. Read the fine print. Start at the origin.
– If it’s not a matter of life or death, relax.
– Travel, always and often.
Can’t wait to travel the world with you Dad – and love watching you now start to influence your Grandchildren with your wisdom.
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