BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/IV)
Name: Wissam Al-Ali
Department: Industrial Engineering
Country of Origin: Palestine/Lebanon
What do you like best about Turkey? The landscape of Turkey is very diverse; it has everything from mountains to the sea. Also, each city has a unique thing of its own. Plus, the country is also diverse when it comes to Turkish cuisine.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
My culture is very close to the Turkish culture. In terms of food, for example, our cuisines share many aspects. Dolma, kebaps, künefe, etc., are almost the same as in Lebanon.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
Comparing Bilkent with the university I went to on Erasmus, I would say that Bilkent makes you feel at home. The vibe of Bilkent, its atmosphere and the people I’ve met here will all be missed. I can say the same things about Turkey as well.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
My favorite place on campus is the socializing area around the library, because I like to take breaks with people after studying in the library. Recently I’ve started to like the area near the tennis courts because of the amazing sunsets that are visible from there.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
Being in Ankara, my favorite part of the food culture here is Aspava. Going there with friends and having Beyti kebap and SSK is a good experience that I’ll never forget.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
For now, I’m planning to go abroad for a master’s, but I plan to return to Turkey in the future. So 10 years from now I expect to see myself having a job and being settled here with my family.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
I think socializing here was a bit hard at the beginning due to the language barrier, but I overcame it very well. I learned Turkish and tried to understand the culture, which helped me mingle with the community here.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I’ve been to many cities here: İstanbul, İzmit, Bursa, Balıkesir, Eskişehir, Antalya, Muğla, İzmir, Aydın, Adana, Bolu…. In short, I’ve explored Turkey quite a bit. My favorite city is İstanbul.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
The three most frequent questions I hear are: Why did you come to Turkey? Why did you choose Bilkent? How come you’re so fluent in Turkish?
Describe yourself in three words.
Committed, hardworking and sensitive.