Name: Faria Pitafi
Department: International Relations/II
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
I am not very sure which among the following I like best: its delicious traditional food; its people’s hospitableness; their pride in their language and culture; or the weather and the beautiful sights it has to offer. I just know that in one year, Turkey has made me feel at home.
Are there any similarities between your country’s culture and Turkey’s?
Many, actually; the best one being, you never return a plate empty!
What will you miss most about Turkey/Bilkent?
My friends; they are from different parts of the world, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to see them again. I know I am really going to miss the time I spent here at Bilkent.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The library; it’s the place where I can stay quiet with no one asking me why.
Well, I chose Turkey a bit randomly, but now that I’m here, I think I made a good choice. The reason I’ve stayed in Turkey is because I am having the best years of my life here, having fun while studying what I love.
What’s your favorite Turkish food/favorite part of Turkish culture?
I love Turkish baklava. Eating baklava brightens up my day, no matter how sad I feel.
Where do expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
I have plans to join the staff of the United Nations. Or maybe I will be fighting my way to becoming a career diplomat. But I don’t know; it’s very likely I will have changed my plans after 4 or 5 years and will be doing something completely different.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in Turkey?
For me, as for most other international students, it would be the language problem. It was not just frustrating; it made me feel lonely. Now that I can understand and speak Turkish (though still not fluently), I feel much more at home.
What cities have you visited in Turkey? Which one do you like the best?
Amasra, Safranbolu, İstanbul, Eskişehir and İzmir. I loved İstanbul.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I have talents, but I don’t want to brag (sorry, highly clichéd).
What’s a question you’re asked frequently, or the most interesting comment you’ve heard at Bilkent/in Turkey?
You are from Pakistan? I love Pakistan! (A Turkish shopkeeper said that to me during my first days in Turkey, and it made my day!)