Michel Behar was born in Amsterdam, and has worked as a tour manager/study leader since 1986. He has a command of 12 languages.
Michel enjoys pioneering and leading people to challenging destinations, mostly in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, to prepare new lectures, and document them with photos.
Far flung destinations and the USSR have intrigued Michel since the age of 7, perhaps because his great-grandfather was Vice President of the Communist Party in Amsterdam. If he wasn’t participating in one of the Komintern international communist political meetings in Moscow, he was smuggling diamonds on behalf of the broke Soviet regime (as Michel discovered on the front page of a 1920 New York Times when digging in its archives).
Perhaps it was that Soviet connection that led Michel to name his company Stakhanovets, the Russian tongue-in-cheek word for an ambitious worker, inspired by the exemplary Soviet coal miner, Stakhanov.
When leading tours, Michel wears two neckties a day, unless the destination is Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Somaliland or Iraq, where it’s advisable to keep a low profile. For the record, his favorite ties include his bipolar one with penguins and polar bears, and the other one featuring rubber duckies.