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Abdullah

Egypt
30
I got lost in many cities and dealt with many people even without speaking the language. Many situations were very difficult. So when the opportunity to come to Barcelona came, I finally decided to say yes.

My name is Abdullah. I come from Egypt. Before coming to Barcelona, I lived in Cairo. My life in Cairo was focused on studies. I studied a lot even before going to university. I was in top classes in secondary school, which is a class for the best students. Nevertheless, I preferred to not attend each lesson. I really enjoyed studying by myself. I was also used to running away from school to play football. I was an amateurfootball player for more than 10 years. Even if I studied from 7 am to 7 pm every day, I would go to play football. This is what I love.

In Egypt, I graduated in electronics and communication engineering. My first desire was to study medicine or to work on things related to space, like an astronaut or something like that. Most families in Egypt prefer their children to have a degree in engineering or medicine. Somehow, you will walk in the street and if you are an engineer, it is your image. We are most interested in the image and not in what you are like. So most people even change careers after university.

 

I always loved to search for new adventures. I had many trips around the world. I traveled a lot.

After graduation getting a job is difficult. You should be fluent in English and at the same time, you should have high grades each year. Besides, you should have excellent interpersonal skills. I was performing a lot of extracurricular activities at university and it helped me. Thanks to God I had many job offers, even to work in Europe. As I was the only child, I shouldn’t be away from my family because we are attached, so I always refused the offers. Somehow working in Egypt can be really painful and you have to put in a lot of effort. We have huge workloads that can be 12 hours per day. So when I rejected an offer I regretted that choice. So, finally, due to some bad circumstances in my work and in my relationship, I was not happy. So I convinced my family to go out temporarily. I told them to face it like a trip, just one experience. And this time I decide to do that instead of regretting it.

I always loved to search for new adventures. I had many trips around the world. I traveled a lot. It is better to be with your friends, but it is good to do that alone and experience your limits. I got lost in many cities and dealt with many people even without speaking the language. Many situations were very difficult. So when the opportunity to come to Barcelona came, I finally decided to say yes. I’m also a football fan of the Barcelona football team. So somehow it was a dream for me to go to this city. I don’t know anyone who had the opportunity to come to Spain from Cairo.

Barcelona is beautiful, it’s a mix of European cities, and we even can see some Arabic constructions in the city.. Also, it has the sea, which I like a lot, so somehow it is vivid. It has a mix of everything, even a beach with mountains. In the other cities, you will only have one, not two. The challenge of being here for me is the language. Most people don’t speak English, especially in governments and institutions. So when I try to adjust my translator to say one sentence in Spanish the other person does not understand me, even if I try to do it with a perfect accent. Maybe he doesn’t like to reply in Spanish, he prefers to do that in Catalan. But somehow old people are very welcoming if you get lost, even if they don’t speak English. If I think about adjusting the translator, the person gets my phone to view the map and to help me, regardless of the covid precautions. The second challenge is getting rent here is difficult. Even if there are no tourists or the rooms are empty, when I asked for an appointment the landlord refused and agencies did the same.

 

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I have been here only for two months, but there are some things I miss. The first thing is family. It is a tradition in Egypt to live with our families, so we are attached to our mother and father. Somehow you have unlimited love that comes from someone who is looking after you and taking care of you without considering any return of this endless love. Then, Egyptian food. We have many different kinds of food. Egyptian food, Lebanese, Syrian food… and third, I miss my friends and going out at night. Nightlife in Cairo is really different, so many restaurants and shops start from 8 pm until 6 am. And it is fine and safe if you go when you like. If you want to go out at 2 am it is totally safe. In summer we also have places to go and travel.

My plans from now are at least to spend more time in Barcelona. Also, to think if I will stay in the city or will move to another one, maybe outside Spain. Until now I feel that living here is relaxing so I would like to stay at least the summer season here to see if everything is fine or not.  Maybe I will search for Ph.D. I’m still not sure, it depends on the stability. Of course, I also want to get into a successful relationship. A dream that I have is to have my own home in a natural place, outside the main city. Something inside the forest, where everything is green around me and, of course, to be there with someone that I love.

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Amanda Vieira