Osama Atef, Egypt:
This is the first time for me in Greece and specifically in Hania. From the moment I arrived in Hania I recognized the calm beauty and nature. It makes me feel the peaceful calm and enjoyment, as I come from Cairo, which has the largest population, nearly the same as the whole population in Greece and more, which is around 12 million, that means a crowd and a lot of malls and shopping areas and a non-sleeping city that is interesting but sometimes you feel so nervous and not comfortable and you need the calm peace green side of living that is found in Hania.
Hania inspired me and helped me to study with its beautiful scenery and amazing nature and beautiful beaches, which helped me to relax and have more time to think without being stressed, which is important during study time, as well as staying in MAICh, which has a beautiful garden and green areas all around. This has a great positive effect in focusing and quiet studying.
I liked the quiet places, the beauty of the colors of buildings that gives you joy during a walk, the helpful people and the smiles on the faces of waiters and people working in stores, which is a reflection of the beauty and calm of the place on the people.
The working hours of stores were confusing, and the city in the early night is mainly all closed expect for some cafes but I knew after a while that this is the system of the city and I respected that.
Living in Hania I understood that there is a lot in common between the Egyptians and the Greek people. We are friendly, our cultures are close, as well as our architecture. Also I learned a lot of information about Greek history and I was surprised to hear that harbor area was built at one time by the Egyptians.
Regarding Europe, as Greece was my first gate, I think it has some of the same characteristics of Mediterranean countries but they helped me more to understand their way of life and thinking and added to my experience through interactions and living with the Greek people around me. I liked also the respect for traffic issues that drivers show in Hania; they are careful because of the narrow streets .
As a general evaluation for my year it was very interesting and I learned a lot and enjoyed myself during my stay and study period in Hania. For sure, it will be one of the first places that I will revisit several times.