One day during the IFPRI Food Secure Arab World conference in Beirut I decided to stroll the streets of Beyrouth with my colleague. It was so peaceful. Hard to believe the place was being bombed only a few years ago. The streets were calm, drivers polite, and everyone friendly. Nothing like the streets in Istanbul that I know so well. I was expecting that same chaos from Beirut, but it was nowhere to be found. Compared to the hustle and bustle of my life in Hong Kong, the place was a true sanctuary.