What’s wrong with me?

I typically use this blog to talk about UAG and IAG stuff, but this time, I want to tell you about something a bit more personal.

A lot of people have asked me what is the meaning of my double-name “Ben Ben”, as it appears in my Email. Now, with my and Ran’s UAG book coming out, revealing my “real” name as “Erez Ben-Ari”, more and more people are interested what’s wrong with me, suspecting I’m some kind of spy or a deranged mental patient. I guess now would be a good time to share this with you.

My birth first name is Erez, and my last name is “Ben-Ari”. The names are from Hebrew, as I was born in Israel. Erez means “Cedar” (the tree) and Ben-Ari means “Son of a Lion”. I spent most of my life in Israel, but when I moved to the US in 2008, I figured people will have a hard time understanding, pronouncing and remembering that name, so I decided to just drop it, and be known as “Ben”, with the last-name “Ari”. In fact, when I did register with certain service providers in the US, things never worked out. Even though I have a good accent, I still got listed under crazy names like “Ebez Ben Avip” and “Eric Ben Harry”. I’ve also heard some customers make a nice-sounding salad out of my dear colleagues Bala and Tarun’s names. Tragic, really, believe me!

So, while I never changed my name legally, I did present myself as Ben, but when I tried to modify the record in Microsoft’s HR system, I was able to set my first name to Ben, but I could not remove the Ben from “Ben Ari”, so the result ended up as “Ben Ben Ari”, which earned me the nickname “Ben Ben”. People still come over at noon calling out “Ben Ben! Luncn lunch!”. Hilarious hilarious.

So, now, 2.5 years later, where pretty much every UAG customer knows me personally, I’ve decided to take it down a notch. I’m still going to be Ben for everyone, but I decided to put out the book as “Erez”.

So that’s my story for today. Now go out there and buy the book! The Amazon page says Feb 10th, but the publisher told me they’ll start shipping on JAN 10th…4 days from now. Hope you like the result!

Comments (3)

  1. George Ku says:

    I pre order your book…And I also got RAW file first. Very helpful book.

  2. Jamie Nelson says:

    Ben this is pretty funny. Thanks for sharing sharing!

  3. Vic says:

    I knew you as Erez when I visited you in IL, long before you came to US. I did think there was something fishy about you changing your name like that! But then again, I can totally relate having gone through similar transition names myself. Vic, Vic Singh, Vic S. Shahid, Vickramjit.. One day I'll publish a book and print my full legal name too! 🙂