Not too long ago, I took the camera down to Carlsbad State Beach to see what or who I could find. After about five minutes, Hakim Chishti found me. He introduced himself and asked a few questions about who I was and what I was doing—and then I interviewed him.
He was a little reluctant, but as we talked, I realized the reluctance comes from his humbleness.
You see, Chishti is a Carlsbad businessman. A very smart and successful businessman. While his corporate accomplishments would make a great story in a business journal, it's his pre-corporate studies, writings and credentials that illustrate how many hidden gems we have in this town.
He, his wife and sons chose Carlsbad as their new home after living in New York for some 20 years. “We began to look at where people we admired lived, and they all lived in San Diego or North County,” he tells me. The Chishti family found Carlsbad irresistible and made that transmigration a little over a decade ago.
Today, Chishti, whom you will see quietly strolling about the village or out at the beach on any given day, is credited with introducing Unani Medicine in the West some 25 years ago. As director of the American Institute of Unani Herbal Healing, he has done hundreds of media appearances and is considered the world's premier expert on Unani medicine.
Before living in New York, Chishti lived in India for 14 years studying Eastern medicine and spirituality. He has authored 15 books on natural therapies, spirituality and healing. “There are three great traditions of healing—Unani Traditional Medicine, Chinese Traditional Medicine and Ayurvedic Traditional Medicine. I believe if one wants to use so-called natural remedies in an appropriate way, one should use a proven treatment from one of those systems,” he explains on his website. “What I'm interested to see occur is more knowledge of and investigation of these herbal traditions that have existed for 2,500 years or more and are still viable in over half the world. I don't think that we can just ignore them,” he writes.
When asked what keeps him here in Carlsbad, Chishti tells me, “The people are very laid back, there's low crime, beautiful weather. ... What's not to love!”
Hakim Chishti's bio showed me there's much more to this unassuming man than I can possibly cover. Yes, indeed, there are some interesting folks around these parts.