BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/II)
Name: Shareef Jasim
Country of Origin: Iraq
What do you like best about Turkey?
There are a lot of things to be liked about Turkey: the weather and the natural landscape all around the country, and the unique combination of Turkey’s traditional culture and modern life.
Are there any similarities between your country’s culture and Turkey’s?
A lot of cultural similarities and shared traditions can be observed when looking at Middle Eastern countries. Especially between Iraq and Turkey, I find the social life very similar, which made getting to know new people very easy for me.
What will you miss most about Turkey/Bilkent?
In the case of Turkey, I’ll miss its special cuisine and the Turks with all their friendly characteristics. As for Bilkent, I’ll miss the diversity it has and the opportunities there for meeting people from different backgrounds and perspectives, in addition to the open-mindedness of the community.
What‘s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The grass area near Dormitory 76; whenever I lie there, the place embraces me within its atmosphere, gives me that refreshing feeling, and opens the horizon for new ideas and ambitions with its beautiful, endless view.
Among the opportunities I had, Turkey was the choice closest to me and to my country both culturally and geographically, and I’m definitely glad that I chose it.
What’s your favorite Turkish food/ favorite part of Turkish culture?
Beyti kebab/Turkish classical music.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
After finishing my graduate degree I will be working and hopefully sharing a business with my friends.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in Turkey?
Being away from my family and organizing my time according to the priorities I have.
What cities have you visited in Turkey? Which one do you like the best?
I lived in İstanbul for a year, and I find it the most diverse, with the many rich cultural and historical fragments one can sense with every breath. I have also been to İzmir, Gaziantep, Bursa, Antalya, Eskişehir, İzmit, Fethiye and some other small cities. Each of them has its own special soul.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m obsessed with discovering different approaches and theories in architecture, which I believe I have a talent for, but this talent still needs a lot of knowledge and practice to burnish it. Although it might be considered a hobby, I could also mention that I’ve been enjoying paragliding since I was 14; once I take off, I feel how alive I am.
What’s a question you’re asked frequently, or the most interesting comment you’ve heard at Bilkent/ in Turkey?
People always ask me “Why architecture?” I’ve observed that my answer differs according to the aspect of architecture I’m dealing with at the time, but in the end I always find myself saying “I love it.” As I said before, I think architecture is an obsession for me.