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Xpat Interview: Mark Milstein
Mark Milstein is an American born photojournalist who first came to Eastern Europe during 1991, then in his early 30's he was the chief photographer in Europe for Atlantic News Service.
Over the past decade and a half he has covered events in more than 60 countries for the world's most prominent newspapers and news magazines including: Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The [Sunday] Times of London, Die Zeit, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Die Welt, Stern, Spiegel, Focus, Dow Jones Publications.
In 2001 he founded Red Dot, Central Europe's first privately owned on-line photo agency. Then in 2003, with Red Dot?s success secured, he founded the region's second on-line regional photo agency, Northfoto.com
In addition to his full-time career activities, for the past ten years or so he has worked as a trainer with IREX/ ProMedia in Eastern Europe and Eurasia - developing and teaching seminars and workshops on photojournalism and newsroom management. IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board) is the premier U.S. nonprofit organization specializing in higher education, internet development, independent media, and civil society programs in the United States, Europe, Eurasia, the Near East, and Asia.
As well as his mother tongue, Mark speaks German at a business level, Hungarian at a conversational level, both Serbo-Croat and Spanish at a basic level, and he adds he speaks Russian at a very basic level - he can read and write in Cyrillic.
He has covered many historic international events, notable items from the mid-1990's include: Taliban overthrow of Afghanistan (Oct. 1996), U.S. bombing of Baghdad and CIA withdrawal from northern Iraq (Sept. 1996), NATO airstrikes, and IFOR/ SFOR deployment to Bosnia (Sept.1995 - March 1996), Turkish invasion of Kurd-controlled northern Iraq (April 1995), Russian invasion of Chechnya (Dec. 1994 - Feb. 1995), Civil war in Rwanda (June - Aug. 1994).
1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in September of 1994 from Bosnia, where I had been covering the war in the former Yugoslavia.
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I lived in Mainz, Germany, in the mid-1980s
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
How utterly different it was from other European countries.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Eat at the Four Seasons (dessert, at least), The Jewish District. Pioneer Railroad. The Kõbanya Street Chinese Market.
5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
7.What is your favourite Hungarian word?
8. What do you miss most from home?
A well-stocked deli
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
The career of my closest competitor
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Clerk in any government office
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
New York City
12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
The Beatles, 2001: A Space Odyssey
14. What can't you resist?
Anything that includes sugar as a main ingredient
15. Red wine or white?
16. Book or movie?
Hmmm. How about a movie based on a great book.
17. Morning person or night person?
18. Dog person or cat person?
19. Buda or Pest side?
Depends. I like my apartment, but my house also has its pluses.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?