BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/III)
Name: Dawood Muzammil Malik
Department: Computer Engineering
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
The historical background. You take your first step in cities like İstanbul and Ephesus, and you realize that all the stories of the Ottoman and Greek empires you’ve read in history books are right there in front of your eyes.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
So where do I start? I usually make the joke that Turkey and Pakistan are cut from the same cloth. People’s welcoming nature, their love for food and the scenic beauty in both these countries make them quite similar to each other. And I think that’s the reason it didn’t take much effort to fall in love with Turkey.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
The friendships I’ve made along the way. No matter how hard and stressful life at Bilkent has been, my friends have always been there to help me pull through.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
That’s easy. Bilka Hill, because of the magical view of the city from it. I think Bilkent students sometimes don’t realize how lucky we are to have a view like that right in the heart of the university.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
My favorite part of Turkish culture is the basic manners and how people have kind words for even the simplest of situations. I wish Urdu had phrases like “afiyet olsun” and “kolay gelsin.”
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully traveling and exploring the world, meeting new people and feeling blessed to have been able to attend a Coldplay concert; all that while being a leading figure in a tech company.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
The language barrier, without a doubt. I remember my first month at Bilkent; I didn’t imagine I could survive three complete years in a place where I didn’t even know how to ask for directions. But as time went by, I think we all got used to it. And of course, learning a little Turkish helped immensely.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I’ve been to İstanbul, Konya, İzmir, Çeşme, Fethiye, Antalya, Alanya and Trabzon. (I hope I didn’t leave out any city!) Fethiye is a clear winner in my eyes; it’s heaven on Earth for me. Aside from being the beautiful city that it is, I believe it also holds a special place in my heart because I fulfilled my lifelong dream of paragliding there. It was surreal.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I recently started learning how to play the ukulele. It’s not really a talent right now, but I hope it will be in the near future.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
My friends and family in Pakistan still find it hard to believe that İstanbul is not the capital city of Turkey.