17. What Becoming Fluent in Arabic, Experiencing a War Zone and Traveling Taught Cynthia Dearin About Communication

cynthia dearin

Cynthia Dearin’s resume is lengthy enough to require its own filing cabinet. With nearly 20 years experience in international business, she’s also been a diplomat for the Australian government, a consultant in Iraq, and a teacher.

Now, Cynthia is managing director of Dearin & Associates, an international business consultancy that looks to help businesses access new and exciting opportunities in emerging markets — all while utilizing the power of cultural understanding and empathy.

On the show, Cynthia shares some of her stories from Iraq, how her fluency in Arabic gained her a host of opportunities across the world, and why understanding another culture — rather than criticising it — is so important.

In this episode, we also chat about:

  • How Cynthia (unexpectedly) ended up in the Middle East

  • Common misconceptions about Middle Eastern culture

  • How Cynthia became fluent in Arabic

  • The dynamic of being a white woman in the Middle East

  • How a tragedy in Iraq forced her to reconsider her priorities

  • Why there are more things that unite people than divide them

  • What you can do to become better at understanding other cultures

  • Why learning a language can change your life


Dearin & Associates