15 Photos from Cappadocia

Here are 15 pictures from beautiful Cappadocia which I visited with my sister last month (July 29-July 31). We stayed in Göreme where we did a morning hike, walked around, visited the Göreme Open-Air Museum and The Cross Church and watched the sunset and sunrise (with Cappadocia’s magnificent balloons!). We also visited Avanos where Sena tried making some pottery and we wandered around it’s calming river.














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14 Photos from Konya

Konya, Rumi’s City, is a new city I fell in love with yesterday, Saturday 22-6-2019. The feel of Konya is just so beautiful and refreshing. Konya was chose as the “Islamic Capital of Tourism” for 2016 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Is definitely a city I would want to visit again and again.


Aziziye Mosque

Aziziye Mosque dates back to the Ottoman times, but it very different than the normal Ottoman mosques. It was build between 1671 1676 and rebuilt in 1867 after a fire had destroyed most of it.




A lot of people in the city, both young and old, ride bikes




The tomb of Rumi







The building in the back is the Hocan Hasan Mosque which dates back to the 13. century. It is one of the oldest Seljuk works survived in Konya.


People around these love yellow, it seems



لا تؤذ نفسك بنفسك

اليوم بينما أنا واقفة في طابور طويل في المطار، قال الرجل المصري الواقف خلفي لابنته أن ثمة لافتة مكتوب عليها بعض التنبيهات باللغة العربية لأن “معظم من يقومون بالمخالفات هم من العرب” (فتوجب كتابة لافتة بالعربية كي يفهم هؤلاء العرب فيكفوا عن القيام بمخالفاتهم الرجعية!)

نظرت إلى اللائحة التي يشير إليها ذاك الرجل، فرأيت أمام موظف المطار لافتة كتب عليها بست لغات هي الإنكليزية والفرنسية والعربية والتركية والفارسية والروسية “الرجاء الانتظار عند الخط الأصفر وعدم استعمال الهاتف…” وعدة تنبيهات أخرى.

“لا تطلق النار على قدميك” جملة سمعت والدي يقولها مراراً. لا تؤذِ نفسك بنفسك. أحياناً، نحن لا نؤذ أنفسنا فحسب، بل إننا نبذل جهداً إضافياً لإيذاء أنفسنا فنخلق أشياء لا وجود لها في سبيل الإساءة لأنفسنا. نحن نتقن جيداً إطلاق النار على أقدامنا.

على صعيد حياتنا الفردية، لنعمل على عدم الإساءة لأنفسنا أو التقليل من قيمة ذواتنا، وعلى صعيد كوننا لبنانيين أو أردنيين أو مصريين أو سوريين أو شرقيين أو كوننا عرب أو أياً يكن، لا ينبغي أن نكون من المساهمين في تشويه سمعة العرب على سبيل المثال، لا ينبغي علينا أن نطلق النار على أقدامنا.

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13 Photos from Eskişehir

Eskişehir is another beautiful city I went to in Turkey on March 10, 2019 with a friend, and on May 3, 2019 with Hacettepe TÖMER. Eskişehir is a calm student and touristic city I loved.

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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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