I did interview about how is coming Turkey with Aiesec project, what did he live in Turkey, his observations and experiments and more.. with Omar Soliman from Egypt.
1-Could you introduce yourself?
My name Omar Soliman from Egypt, 23 years old, Bachelor’s Degree supply chain management and logistics.
2-How did you decide to come to Turkey for a holiday?
One of my classmates mentioned me for volunteering work as English teacher via Aiesec. Then I searched online about whats mean Aiesec and why turkey spot-on English and search about culture, food, religions, dress code. Finally it was interesting for me because I see many things common between Turkey & Egypt.
3- How was your Aiesec Project?
From the beginning, they texted me and sent me the process and duration of the project everything. They confirmed me and I didn’t see any leak. At first day I met a manager of the kindergarten and she was very friendly and told me what tasks should you do to with kids and first impress introduced me to all colleagues even kids and was getting popular nickname (Omar Teacher with very loud sound and cheerful :)). Then I started with them and I was very energetic and optimistic. I was teaching alphabetic words them. In the beginning, it was hard to communicate with the kids because of a language. After that I got some help from my assistant to translate what I want to say about instruction. Then everything was understanding.
4- How long have you been to Turkey and which cities you have visited?
I have stayed in Turkey for a month. I visited Antalya. Then Istanbul for a week.
5-How have you observed these cities: Antalya and Istanbul?
Firstly I chose my project at Antalya. Because it is not crowded in winter. It is touristic city but for summer. In winter there is not much. So I like it so much. I went to many spots like Konyaaltı Sahili, Antalya Toy Museum, Three doors, Hadrian’s Gate.
Secondly, Istanbul which has a population of over 15 million people, so it makes me feel that I’m in Cairo, Egypt which everything full up with people.
6-Which places you have gone and liked in Istanbul?
Hagia Sophia Museum, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, The Grand Bazaar, Bosphorus Bridge, Galata Tower, Taksim Square, Suleymaniye Mosque, Istiklal Street, St. Antonio Church.
7-Did you like Turkish foods?
Yes, I Like it so much so delicious, Doner Kebab, SIMIT, Shawarma, Pide, Kebab, Dolma, Lahmacun, Orman Kebabi , Etli Bezelye.
8- What did you observe about Turkish culture?
For Turkish culture, something can`t describe by sentence and I can`t judge it . But what I see in this country “its open culture mixed by Islamic view & European view”. It can be confused in everything so I adapted when I understood it.
9- Which side is common with Egypt and Turkey?
Food, some words (greeting, accommodation), culture (Mosque design, museums).
10- Was it easy to communicate with the public?
It was hard in the beginning because of being alone without meet any person. Then I started to talk with old people and they didn’t understand what I said. Then I went to young guys. They can understand me a little. I showed on google maps I want to stop on this location.
And also I started to use google translate. When I stayed with a host family is to learn basic Turkish. So I wrote in my note all I need. I left home then I got a bus. I went to the market and found it so easily.
11-How was your accommodation?
I came with Aiesec project. When you came with Aiesec, you can have options for accommodation. My accommodation was covered by a Turkish family. It was good impression when I came. I got many smiles and they welcomed me so much. It gives me feel warm and felt too in my second home.
I mean it after feeling that I’m one of them inside the family I practice like if want some help or something and the funny thing during we talk I get a drink much of tea which was a culture. “This culture: if you finish one, suddenly a second glass comes”. Then early morning invite me to have breakfast with them and I was shocked from what I found 🙂 many dishes like (cheese, olives, salad, bread, juice, egg). I asked that. The answer was having a smile, Turkish breakfast is wide :).
Also my host family showed around and how to use the transportation. We went to discover a city together. Every time I will be grateful to know this family. I also can’t forget the family’s grandmother. He treated me like my son and always asked if I needed anything.
12-How is transportation?
Transportation was good. When I went everywhere I found my bus, metro on application. Any transportation comes after 3,5 minutes so all transportation tracked.
The first thing I know that I have to go machine. I found at the street to get a transportation cart to be able to use it. When I need to add some coin and machine shows you have enough through the card. So when I get inside I have to show my cart and press button that I pay this service and sound ring and green mark.
I have to avoid the time all people out of university, school, workers. (Between 4-6 pm).
It is easy to use as the bus and subway voices the station and the next station in English.
They don’t separate women and men at the metro which looks different like in Egypt.
13-What were useful applications that you use in Turkey?
Trafi, Antalya kart, Pegasus Air.Line, Moovit, Trabee Pocket, My Currency, Couchsurfing, Google Translate.
14-Did interesting events happen to you in Istanbul?
Yes, sure. I went to all my favorites places except Sufi and during visit Süleymaniye mosque. I meet the sheikh who was prayer. Muezzin did interview. It was very interesting voice. It sounds good.
The second event: I went to St. Antonio Church and see how it different looks and I read the history of this church it was intersting to see the structure.
Last thing, I met many local people with different standard living to see how people live in this country and I get many different opinions, political and economic, on the other hand about the quality of education.
15-What would you say if you define Turkey?
Turkey’s my second home even local people said it’s not best country. go to Europe I see different look. Because I make many friends and still keep in touch. Another thing I know how much they work hard. I want to do it but not like machine. When I need something, I could found in everywhere. It is open country and has many different people who lived there. They aren`t Turkish. Also I can’t say Turkey is expensive or cheap but it is depending on which area or your community standard.
(( Tesekkuler ederim 🙂 ))
16-How is becoming a tourist in Istanbul for you?
No, I didn’t see myself as a tourist. Because I always act that I’m local person. Of course if anyone look at me, they said “Look Mo.Salah!” which takes selfie photos with me 🙂 so friendly.
* Mohamed Salah Egyptian player, play in Liverpool
17-What were you thinking about Istanbul before you came? And now what are you thinking about Istanbul?
Before I saw Istanbul, I was worried. Because it is the first time to abroad Egypt and far from my family, friends. It is challange for me to out from comfort zone. But now I missed Istanbul, spirit of hangout at night, rainy time and having Turkish coffee. Surely I will go back and live there or maybe study for my master degree in supply chain.
18- What do you offer to people who come to Istanbul?
Start and take tips which places should visit.
Thanks for your answers, 🙂
He is interest in taking photo. You can visit Omar’s account and also watch the fascinating video about Egypt which he is in part of filming.