The International Chronicles

22 February 2022 Comments Off on The International Chronicles


Name: Abdullah Junaid

Department: Molecular Biology and Genetics

Country of Origin: Pakistan

What do you like best about Turkey?

The unique atmosphere. Walking along different city streets, you can feel the history that Turkey has to offer, but at the same time you have modern technology everywhere. It’s just a pleasure to be here.

Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?

There are a lot of similarities. The flags of both Turkey and Pakistan display the crescent and the star; there is a long-standing Islamic influence in both countries as well. Then, my country’s national language, Urdu, has been influenced greatly by the Turkish language; they share certain words and phrases. My favorite among them has to be “çay” – or chai, as we spell it – which is also drunk a lot in both countries. As someone who loves çay, it just makes me so happy to be in a country where I can have it nearly any place I might go.

What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?

From Bilkent, most definitely my friends. I’ve made so many close friends here at Bilkent, and the idea of everyday life without them in the years after graduation (if I graduate) just seems lacking. For just about anything I’ve done and experienced here, my friends have been there too, and I’ll most definitely miss the time I’ve spent with them. As far as Turkey is concerned, for me it would be the food. I love food, and Turkish food is some of the best I’ve ever had.

What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?

I have a few at this point, but the winner is the lake on East Campus. It’s such a beautiful and serene place that just going there and sitting in silence is therapeutic for me, especially when it’s snowing or after it’s snowed; then it becomes nearly mystical.

What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?

My favorite food would have to be döner; it’s just one of those foods that you try, and love. The spices in it are also stronger than in other local Turkish foods, and for me that’s a win. As far as culture is concerned, the tea culture is an undisputed winner.

Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?

Hopefully as a published author and doing my own research in genetics.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?

The language barrier is something that’s really hard to overcome. Outside the campus not a lot of people speak English, so sometimes it’s really hard to meet new people in the city.

What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?

I’ve been to Ankara and Eskişehir. Out of those two, Eskişehir wins for me because it feels like a small city with everything a big city has to offer. And as beautiful as Ankara is, walking in the streets of Eskişehir with so little traffic going by makes a difference.

What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently at Bilkent/in Turkey?

“What’s wrong with Bilkent?”

Describe yourself in three words.

Moody, selfish, logical.