15 Photos from Bolu

Bolu is a beautiful city I visited on Saturday 20/4/2019. I spent the day there with a friend. Here are 15 photos I shot through the day. The photos do not show the beauty I saw yesterday. I’d highly recommend the city to spent a day or two in.

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Yıldırım Beyezit Mosque

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The round building in the back is Bolu’s City Hall

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Abant lake

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We had a nice walk around the lake

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Plus this Lebanese flag that made my day



10 Photos from Beypazarı

Here are 10 random photos from a city I loved: Beypazarı in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve been to Beypazarı twice on Monday 17/12/2018 and Sunday 7/4/2019. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

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The city is famous because of its old Ottoman houses

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Carrot juice which the city is famous for

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How I’m Learning Turkish

Since October 2018, I’ve been learning Turkish at Hacettepe University TOMER which I’m glad I got the opportunity to join. In this blogpost, I’m talking about the things I do other than attending my classes at TOMER and doing my homework to learn the language better.


  1. Speaking:
  • Practicing Turkish speaking is something easy to do when you live in Turkey, especially since the majority of Turks does not speak English. Being in Turkey makes it possible to make conversation everywhere, you can ask where the nearest supermarket is (even if you actually know where it is), practice pronouncing the names of fruits you’ve just learned while at the bazaar, and just speak to everyone around you..
  • Last semester, I attended a speaking club managed by the International Students Club at Hacettepe a few times, and a few weeks ago I started attending a speaking club at TÖMER three times a week.

2. Listening:

I started by downloading short children movies and videos (like Calliou). I also watch Turkish movies and series, at first I used to watch them with Arabic subtitles, but now without any.
In addition, I also listen to documentaries, politicians’ speeches and TEDx talks which I sometimes find with Turkish subtitles on Youtube.
In addition to some Turkish songs.

2. Reading:

  • Books: At first I used to practice with children book, some I had with Arabic translation, but then they got too easy.


I started by reading Frans Kafka’s letters to Milena. It was so hard for me I couldn’t understand much without a dictionary. I would open both my Arabic and Turkish copies of the book, Google Translate and start reading. It was, of course, very hard for me because I had just finished the beginner level, nor did I know much grammar rules nor much vocabulary.

I decided to take a break from that book and begin with something easier that I would actually enjoy reading. I bought Diary of A Wimpy Kid (Turkish version) which I enjoyed as a kid (English version). This I read in the bus, metro, before sleeping without the need to check the meaning of every other word. Some words I do not understand, I would highlight them to check their meanings later, and I would write down phrases that I myself could use while speaking and writing.


  • I really read anything and everything. Newspapers, brochures, articles… Sometimes I would read quickly highlighting words and phrases I do not understand to check later (like when I read on buses), but sometimes I would sit on my desk and study the article with GoogleTranslate near by.


  • I follow a few on Instagram accounts like this, this and this.

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  • I used to read short poems from this list on the bus. They are also translated to English.
  • On this agenda that I don’t use as an agenda, I write down random sentences that have caught my attention. I later read them.


3. Writing:

I’m a person who likes to write. In Turkish, I write about anything and everything. Sometime diary entries, sometimes movie and book reviews, sometimes I describe cities I go to and people I meet, I sometimes write speeches (i.e: speech given by a general to his army, speech given by a politician before the elections…), sometimes letters (i.e: letter from a sick man to his mother, letter from Kafka to Milena, letter from a young girl to a friend, letter from a customer to Steve Jobs…) and sometimes I write essays, about anything from winter to school uniforms to mosques, literally whatever comes to my mind. Generally no one corrects what I write, but someone a native (teacher, someone from HelloTalk or a friend) would correct it.

4. Vocabulary:

I keep a wordbook where I write new words and phrases and their meaning.


At first I used to make simple flashcards to learn basic vocabulary and phrases.


Later on as I started level A2 and through B1, my flashcards looked more like this:


  • I used to use Tinycards which I find fun and helpful.
  • I recently bought this


Applications I use:

Things I will work on doing inshallah:

  • Write down a list of a few words everyday and try to use them in conversation. I read about someone who was learning Japanese, whenever he learned a new word, he tries to fit it into his next speech with a native.
  • I still speak in Arabic and English with some Arabs and friends. I should quit this.
  • I been looking for a word-search book for weeks but I can’t find one. I hope I will soon, it will definitely help with learning new words, plus I love word-searches.

This is what I’m doing to learn Turkish, but I think the best way to learn any language is to practice practice practice. I think what’s helping me most to learn Turkish is that I live in Turkey, love the language and of course, Hacettepe TÖMER.

While some friends who have previously learned Turkish or are learning it did not like the language, Turkish is a language I find beautiful and majestic. I’m still learning the language, I am yet not very comfortable speaking in Turkish, but I know I’m getting better and hope I’ll be good enough soon.

If you have any other tips or recommendations I would love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂


Quote | Stories to Tell

English | عربي

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“But how can you live and have no stories to tell?” -Fyodor Dostoevsky.

For as long as I remember I’ve been always worried I’d have not stories to tell on the evenings we spend just sit in our living room drinking tea, tell stories we’ve lived, and laugh. That’s why this quote speaks to me. We must live a life full of lively days, new experiences and embarrassing mistakes.


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“ولكن كيف يمكنك أن تعيش وأنت لا تمتلك قصة لترويها؟” -فيودور دوستويفسكي.

منذ مدة طويلة لا أذكرها وعندي خوف من أن لا أملك قصصاً أقصها في المساءات التي نقضيها في غرفة الجلوس نشرب الشاي، نروي قصصاً عشناها ونضحك. لأجل هذا فإن هذه المقولة تحاكيني. علينا أن نعيش حياة مليئة بالأيام الحيَّة، التجارب الجديدة والأخطاء المحرجة.

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رغم كل محاولاته بأن يبقى على مسافة واحدة من الجميع، بألا يقترب من أحد حد الصداقة، بألا يربط نفسه بأي بلد وأية مدينة وأي شخص، إلا أنه كان يتعلق بالأشخاص درجة البكاء عند أي فراق، وكان يتعلق بالمدن درجة حب التملك، وبالأوطان درجة العشق.

كان يتعلق بأبسط الأمور..

بغروب شمس بيروت ومطر إسطنبول وصخب القاهرة..

كان يتعلق بكل تلميذ علمه..

بكل صاحب صاحبه..

بكل مسجد صلى فيه..

بكل مدينة جاب شوارعها..

بكل شارع صوَّر فيه صورة..

بل بأشياء أبسط من تلك بكثير..

بقطعة السماء كما تُرى من شباكٍ أمام سرير في بيت قضى فيه سنتين من طفولته..

بجلسة شرفة في بيت قضى فيه عطلة نهاية أسبوع ذات شهر..

بمشهد السيارات والبيوت كما ترى من جسر عالٍ في مدينة تعلَّم فيها..

برائحة مخبزٍ كان يمر أمامه في طريقه إلى العمل منذ سنوات..

يحاول.. يحاول جاهداً ألا يتعلق، أن يتحرر من رباط الأشخاص والأماكن والروائح والأزمان.. لكن..

 دون جدوى..

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What If | ماذا لو

English | عربي

ماذا لو لم نضبط أية منبهات تزعجنا في الصباح؟

ماذا لو شربنا القهوة على شرفة شقتنا،

بدلاً من أن نشربها باردة في العمل؟

ماذا لو تجاهلنا الدوام  والعمل؟

ماذا لو تناسينا كومات الورق على مكاتبنا؟

ماذا لو أمضينا اليوم نجوب شوارع بيروت،

ونصلي في مساجدها،

ونقرأ الشعر على شواطئها..

ليوم واحد فقط..

ثم نعود بعدها إلى كآبتنا..


What if we don’t set any alarms to bother us in the morning?

What if we ignore all the tasks we have ahead..

What if we ignore the stacks of paper on our desks?

What if we spend the day wandering around Beirut,

Praying in its mosques,

Reading poetry on its shores..

For a single day..

Before going back to the piles of depression we have for lives..


مجدداً، حمزة

English | عربي


هذا حمزة.

حمزة الجميل سافر منذ يومين.

حمزة سيكبر..

سيكبر ولن يذكر تلك الفتاة، لــين، التي كانت تدرسه في مخيمٍ صغيرٍ عاش فيه مع عائلته في قرية صغيرة في بلد ناءٍ..

لكنني سأذكر..

سأذكر أنَّ روحه كانت سعيدة جداً.. سعيدة لدرجة لا تنسجم مع هذا المكان الكئيب.

سأذكر أن هذا المكان ما اتسع يوماً لأحلامه الكبيرة وابتسامته الواسعة..


Again, this is Hamza.

This beautiful kid just left Lebanon two days ago.

Hamza will grow up far from here,

He’ll grow up and he’ll not remember that girl, Leen, who used to teach him in small refugee camp he lived in, in a small village, in a remote country..

But I will remember,

I will remember that he was so happy,

So happy that his joyful soul didn’t match this sad place..

I will remember that this place could never hold his big dreams and wide smile..


وَيَبقى الدُعَاء

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «أقرب ما يكون العبد من ربه وهو ساجد ، فأكثروا الدعاء.»


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