Meet the Team: Ramzi Rizk

Meet the team is a new section on EyeEm where we feature little interviews with our team members . Today it’s the turn of Ramzi, our CTO and chief developer.

We are happy to introduce you to Ramzi today! As one of the co-founders of EyeEm and our CTO, Ramzi is responsible for most of the technology behind the app. Read on to get to know about his 5 favorite restaurants on the planet, his super dog “Rambo” and the night that made him join EyeEm… but let’s get to know him by his photos first!

Who are you?

What do you love?

What really annoys you?

Your favorite place in the world?

Your best kept secret?

 

Hello Ramzi! Please tell us something about yourself: who are you, where do you come from, what did you do in the past few years and how did you find your way to EyeEm?

I come from Byblos, Lebanon. People from Byblos like to immediately tell others that they come from the oldest city in the world. I moved to Hamburg, Germany to work on my M.Sc. in Software Architecture. I knew early on that I wasn’t made for that city, and after realizing that I was spending half of my time in Berlin anyway, I decided to move here. I started working on my PhD (Privacy in Social Media) and jumped into my first startup shortly thereafter. I then worked for another software company and freelanced/consulted on the side.

One ominous evening (as we like to tell the story), Flo and Lorenz came to my place for one of my regular poker nights. After taking my money and drinking my whiskey, they told me about this idea they had. Two minutes in, I was sold. I have been taking photos since I was a kid, and always wanted to do something in that space. Many hours of talking later, the idea that became EyeEm was born.

You and your dog “Rambo” are a dream team. How’s Rambo these days? 

Rambo is awesome. I don’t get to see him a lot these days. A few months ago, he was adopted by the parents of a close friend of mine. It was a hard decision, but it was in his best interest… hanging around an office for 12 hours a day is no life for a Jack Russel Terrier. I do try to see him as often as possible, and I’m happy to announce that he’s living large.

We’ve heard that you’re a lover of good food and strong drinks. What are your five most favorite bars/restaurants in the whole world? 

That’s a tough one. If the bar is really that good, you’d probably not remember it the next day… Besides, I’m not a big fan of cocktails, so any bar that carries a good selection of Single Malts and Bourbons is my friend.

Restaurants, now that’s a different thing. One pick per country:

1. Back in Lebanon, I have a seafood restaurant that I love, chez *something* or the other. They have fishermen on their staff, so the food is ridiculously fresh. Best fish ever.

2. I loves me some breakfast, and Mama’s in San Francisco is unbeatable. I occasionally dream of their French toasts.

3. Speaking of French toast, they don’t have those in France. Instead, they have places like Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois, a must for anyone visiting. There you can eat like Obelix and drink like Asterix!

4. I’m not a big fan of Rome, but boy do they put some heart into their pasta. Felice a Testaccio is my favorite.

5. Here in Berlin, we’re spoiled for choices. One personal favorite of mine is Themroc. A Euro/Mediterranean fusion restaurant that’s perfect for those romantic tête-a-têtes.

Why don’t you like ladybugs?  

I have nothing against ladybugs. That was one of a series of photos I took around my prison of a flat in Hamburg. That photo reminds me of a pretty bad time. So there you have it.

What’s your best kept secret?

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. So why should I tell you? : )

As the creator of iconic albums such as code poetry and taking photos of tourists, the world is waiting for your next album projects. What’s next? 

I’m looking forward to adding more photos to “from an airplane window” next week. I also really like flat photos, so another album that I would love to see grow is  “rows of things”.

What can you tell us about Berlin we haven’t heard a million times before?

Berlin is a city that you have to love before it loves you back. Visiting for a few days is fine, but to really understand what makes it special and what makes it hard to leave, you have to suffer through a winter, and then go outside on the first warm day of spring. Also, there’s liquid procrastination in the water here. You have to be very careful if you want to get things done. It’s tough love through and through. Or did you know that already?

And what’s your favorite picture you recently took?

Has to be this one. they’re taking apart a building near where I live, and I’m trying to capture the deconstruction one photo at a time. Also, the filters themselves are pretty special, so yeah.


Construction at Tram H Zionskirchplatz by ramz on EyeEm

Thank you for the interview, Ramzi!

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