Posted by Nicoletta ()
23-year- old Hüseyin Semih came from Turkey to Croatia more than one year ago as an Erasmus student. However, his story is somewhat different than other students’ mobility stories. His life began in the city of Denizli, in the southwestern part of Turkey. As a kid, his dream was to become a police inspector, but because the government closed the Police College and the Academy, he turned to studying Law. Suddenly, his freedom was in jeopardy because his father was arrested for political reasons. Coming to Croatia was a huge challenge for him because of the sensitivity of the situation, but after this big challenge everything else was an absolute breeze: studying a complicated field of study such as law in a foreign language, learning Croatian, adjusting to vegetarian food (because it is not easy to know whether a meat is halal), finding a proper place and time to practice his prayers…
He is happy to say that from literally the first moment he landed on Croatian ground his experiences with Croatia and its people were very positive. From the unknown man paying for his taxi from the airport, through the taxi driver who helped him to successfully check in to the student dormitory, to his very understanding professors. He is especially thankful to his Croatian friends who like to spend time with him, sharing stories, activities and celebrations and, most importantly, learn from each other. One of them even found halal chicken for him to enjoy a joint dinner. These little signs of caring mean a lot to Semih. However, it’s not that he just likes to teach others about his country and traditions, he is also eager to learn. He admires Croatian churches and very often go to visit them. He is progressing in Croatian language, too.
After finishing his Erasmus programme, he applied for asylum here in Croatia and is now waiting for the official decision. While waiting in the reception centre for asylum seekers, Semih doesn’t waste his time. Every day he goes to library to study, takes walks in the city, meets up with his friends and each Friday he goes to the mosque. He feels welcomed among Croatian people and finds very few obstacles. Let’s hope Semih will have an opportunity to continue his positive experiences here in the safe environment and contribute with his knowledge, friendly attitude and young spirit.