BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/IV)
Name: Abdullah Junaid
Department: Molecular Biology and Genetics
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
I would say the atmosphere. I’ve only been to Ankara, but the city itself feels beautiful in a different way from any other place I’ve ever been. It also gives me a sense of being in a city greater than myself, with people from everywhere in the world.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
A lot, to be fair. I’m pretty sure everyone who reads this part and sees a Pakistani knows what’s about to come. I’ll try to say something that people might not know: the flags of both Turkey and Pakistan have a crescent and a star. The biggest similarity, however, is that both countries have a Muslim-majority population. Then too my language, Urdu, is basically a product of the amalgamation of Turkish, Persian and a few others, so there’s a similarity of language to some extent as well. Pakistan and Turkey also share a love of food (which I’m not complaining about one bit). The thing that I like the most that’s similar in both countries is the love of tea. I love tea, and seeing it available almost everywhere is such a beautiful sight.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
I’ve only been here for four months, so I’m not emotionally attached to a lot of things “Bilkent,” but one thing I will miss is living in the dorms. I lived in dorms in high school, but the dorms here are different, and I’ll definitely reminisce about just walking out when it’s snowing or meeting up with friends to go play random games. As far as Turkey goes, döner. I love it!
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The lake on East Campus. When I’d been at Bilkent for just a few days, I went to the lake with someone who was showing me around the campus. She told me it would be a long walk, but it was worth it in the end. Since then, whenever I feel overwhelmed with emotions, I go to the lake and just sit there in silence for a while, and everything starts to make sense and fall into place.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
It has to be döner. My order history is filled with me ordering döner. It’s the closest thing to my favorite food back home, paratha roll, so I just had to try it. And you don’t need to try it a second time to develop an addiction.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully as a published author of a book and also doing my own research in genetics.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
Language; you can’t go out and just talk to people or even ask where something is.
What cities have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I’ve only been to Ankara, so Ankara wins by default.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
“What’s wrong with Bilkent?” (asked by every student I’ve had a proper conversation with).
Describe yourself in three words.
Moody, logical, selfish.