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PORTRAITS

Ahmed, Egypt.

My name is Ahmed Abd Elghany. I’m Egyptian from Elzagazig. It’s a tourist region near Cairo. I worked in Hurgada in a travel agency. I was selling sightseeing tours and working in hotels. And then I met my girlfriend – Kasia. She was a guest in a hotel. I didn’t speak Polish, she didn’t speak Arabic. Now we talk in English and “tak sobie” (“so-so”) in Polish.

My city and Poznan are very alike. The same size, the same way of living. The main difference is religion, but everyday life is the same. We are Muslims and I’m a religious person. Until now I couldn’t find a mosque in Poznan, though I was looking for a few months. But it’s not a big problem, you can pray at home. You can do it anywhere.

It was easy for me to come to Poland. Visa wasn’t hard to get, everything was easy at first, because I came for a short time. But when I wanted visa for a longer stay, the paperwork was a lot harder. We were interviewed. It all looked like a case in court, like we were accused of something. I was in one room, Kasia in another and they asked us the same questions about our family and our relationship. They said that they had to check if I was not a threat to Polish citizens. It was hard, but it’s OK. It’s over.

Now I teach Kasia my language and at the same time I learn Polish in the School of Polish Language for Foreign Students (you have to know English a little to learn Polish there). When I will know Polish well enough, I will look for a good job.

I feel lonely here sometimes, but Kasia is with me and I meet new people too, so it’s OK. I know a few guys from school: they come from Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco. School is a good place to meet new friends.

 
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