BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/III)
Name: Hassnain Ali
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
The historical sites (I’ve only been to the ones in Istanbul, though). They have Moses’ staff at Topkapi Palace – a replica, I guess, but it’ll still give you goosebumps.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
They are ethnically, culturally, attitude-wise and socioeconomically totally different. The only similarities, I guess, would be Islam as a common religion and the fact that the name of our language, “Urdu,” comes from the Turkish word “Ordu.”
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
The Bilkent Library. You can find everything there (I found Saadat Hasan Manto, and in Urdu at that!). Plus, you can ask them to order books for you that aren’t available, which is awesome as well.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The tennis court. It was there through my best games, best times, worst games and worst times. I’ve cried there alone a couple of times sitting on the floor next to the hitting wall, so there’s a massive emotional connection.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
I don’t fancy food much in general. As part of the culture, I like the free tea offered after meals.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Still working on my long thought-out goals (some practical, some idealistic). As for achieving them, only time will tell.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
Staying focused through a tough time for the family, with the added weight of not being able to be there with them.
What cities have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
It’s my fourth year, and I’ve only been to İstanbul. So I don’t have many choices to pick a favorite from.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can rap (not saying I’m good at it) probably over a thousand songs (not exaggerating) word for word, if that counts.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
Udhr tau suna hai uncle bhi bohat chiknay hotay hein (I’ve heard even the old men there are good-looking).