Assad Serhal, hunter-turned-conservationist & Director of BirdLife Lebanon shares his story.
Assad Serhal © SPNL
Born in the village of Keyfoun near the foothills of Mount Lebanon, Assad Serhal grew up surrounded by nature and hunters, and he would get lost hunting in the wilderness with his father. However, as he grew older, he saw the effects hunting was having on wildlife, altering his path forever.
Conservation increasingly became one of Assad's main concerns. He went to the United States where he majored in ecology and wildlife management at Oklahoma State University, and lived for several years to gain field experience. Then, despite civil war, he decided to go back to Lebanon, where he became the Co-founder & Director General of the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNL), BirdLife’s Partner in the country. Now he also represents the Middle East on BirdLife International’s Council.
Assad has recently been awarded the prestigious MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity for 2018, alongside Dr Kathy MacKinnon from the UK, Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas; and Dr Abdul Hamid Zakri from Malaysia, Former Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Read more of this uplifting story here.