Levant Staff Profile: Tarek Dina
Growing up in Lebanon, Tarek Dina was a shy kid. He spent most of his free time alone, reading comic books or putting puzzles together, unsure of his true interests and uncertain on what to do with his life. But when he first got his hands on a computer, everything clicked for him.“I got interested in computers in the mid-1980s,” he said. “After that, they were always a huge part of my life. I was hooked.”
As his interest in computers grew, so did his ability to socialize and express himself in a meaningful way. He made friends and became an avid squash player. And even after moving to Canada, where he finished his high school education, his interest in computers remained.
“I love programming and I love solving problems. That’s why Levant feels like my baby, I think. In web design, no project is alike and there is a variety that I appreciate. It all just comes together, and I’ve loved web design since I was introduced to it.”
In the same way he obsessed over puzzles as a child, Tarek sees programming as a sort of Rubik’s Cube to manipulate and play with to get at the root of a problem. He spent years at the University of Oklahoma honing his craft, which led to several jobs in the tech field. Ultimately, he was frustrated by the limitations of working for other companies, and broke out on his own to start Levant Technologies in 2003.
Even though Tarek is all grown up, that nerdy kid who loved comic books is still very much alive. Catch him on the right day, and you can have a lengthy conversation about the best Superman storyline, or which Star Trek series has the most interesting characters (a brazen outlier, Tarek advocates for Star Trek: Enterprise).“I don’t necessarily have a motto or any saying I live my life by,” he said. “I just try to have fun and treat people the way they want to be treated. That’s really all you can do.”