BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/III)
Name: Hashim Al Mahfoodh
Department: International Relations/I
Country of Origin: Kingdom of Bahrain
What do you like best about Turkey?
The environment; it has lots of green and the weather is highly satisfying since it gives a sense of belonging, even though it keeps shifting rapidly.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
The beat in the traditional music is nearly the same, since Arabs and Turks share a long history in this region; this is also true for the traditional clothing and foods such as baklava, künefe and durum.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
The subculture at Bilkent is different from that of Ankara as a whole; it’s the little things such as the social relations with teachers, friends and workers, and the unique shape of the university itself, that make this so.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
I’ll name three, because of how beautiful the university is: the FA building, because I get to spend meaningful time listening to my sister complaining about life while working; Dorm 54, because it’s where the entire group gathers and the music starts jamming while the bathroom turns into a party center; and finally the fountain in the middle of Main Campus, where I can spend time reading books, talking to people or studying.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
The majestic künefe – oh, how dramatically beautiful it looks, and how it sparks the flame in your heart when you watch it arrive at your table; one can’t resist such treasured creations. Culturally, I like the Turkish kahve thing when you flip the cup over and a wish has to be made (mine hasn’t come true yet, but will with time, hopefully).
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
As a decorated, high-ranking persona at the United Nations, an independent beginner cosmologist, and a professional freelance writer.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
I’m not a Turkish speaker, so understanding people outside the university has been and will be a challenge. Other than that, it’s either finishing that giant durum from Rocky’s or acing math.
What cities have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I’ve been to İstanbul, and it’s such a desirable city to visit, with great tourist attractions and wonderful people. Ankara is more governmental, or should I say diplomatic, since most embassies and the United Nations are here – which is why I love both cities.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Most of them are public; for example, motivational speaking, professional painting and writing.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
“Where are you from?”
“What is Bahrain?”
“Tekman is the most wonderful teacher.”
Describe yourself in three words.
Motivated, curious, challenging.
If you could master any skill, which one would you choose, and why?
Teleportation, because my 8:40 classes are far away, and also because I could attend meetings and go anywhere I wanted for knowledge, feelings, answers and entertainment/food.