BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/III)
Name: Fahad Waseem Butt
Department: Electrical and Electronics Engineering/I
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
I like how the people (at least the ones I’ve met) have all been welcoming and accommodating. It’s felt to me as if I was a guest in their own home.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
There are actually quite a few similarities in the Pakistani and Turkish cultures – well, aside from the cuisine (the use of spices is a pretty big difference). There are similar stereotypes and norms, like avoiding the “evil eye” and a love of tea.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
The exposure to an international group of people and all the friends I’ve made. When you spend time with someone, whether it seems pleasant or unpleasant at the time, you always remember the experience fondly.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
In the daytime, my favorite place would be the area between the S Building fountain and Coffee Break. Besides the aesthetics, I enjoy the lively atmosphere, with people bustling about, and find it to be a rather fitting background while chatting with friends. At night, I’d pick Bilka; the place has probably grown on all of us, and due to its central location on Main Campus, it’s just about the perfect place to get together.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
My favorite Turkish food is probably a well-made et İskender. My favorite bit of culture is how there are phrases like “afiyet olsun” and “kolay gelsin” for people to wish each other well on every occasion.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Not knowing if any of what I’ve planned will actually happen, I’ll still be ambitious and say that I see myself more together, working as an engineer who also makes time for the fine arts of writing and, well, art.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
My coming to Turkey has been rather smooth sailing, so honestly, I wouldn’t say there have been too many problems for me. But if I had to pick something, I’d say it’s the ongoing process of learning Turkish that challenges me the most here.
What cities have you visited in Turkey?
I’ve thus far visited İzmir and Kayseri in addition to Ankara. I’m convinced that İzmir is the best city in Turkey, so clearly it’s my favorite.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’d love to find out about them so they aren’t “hidden” anymore. Well, I guess I’m kind of good at artistic stuff (like the fine arts in general).
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently at Bilkent/in Turkey?
About Bilkent, the most common comments I come across are about how tough the exams are (I’m not going to lie, people have that right). About Turkey, even before I decided to come to Bilkent, all of my friends kept talking about how the Turkish people were gorgeous and a treat for the eyes; well, they weren’t wrong.
Describe yourself in three words.
Fire. Fox. Earth.
If you could master any skill, which one would you choose, and why?
Having faced a language barrier in a new country twice now, I’d definitely pick being able to communicate with everyone and hence knowing a number of languages to help me in that.