Interviewer: İrem Bali
1) What is your average weekday and weekend like?
Basically, in Israel we have a different week format compared to other countries of the world because Israel is a theocratic democracy. As many people know, starting from Friday evening, Saturday is holiday in Israel and this is why our week structure is different compared to others. Our weekend starts from midday Friday to Saturday night. For European countries and the US, Sundays students don’t have school. However, in Israel it’s the first business day of the week.
2) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Currently, I’m studying at Tel Aviv University. I’m studying economics and as a student now, I’m interested in finance and economic studies. So I have two options for the future. One is academic and the other one is professional. Either way, I’m going to be concentrating on research. So what I can definitely say is, I’m going to be a research analyst in a financial company or I’m going to be doing my PhD somewhere in US.
3) What do you like and dislike about living in Israel?
This is the country that I was born and was raised in. So I can’t really dislike a lot about this country. However, what I can say is that there is always mayhem in the politics Israel. So, although I can name myself as a nationalist person, sometimes the politics and the politicians are awful for the sociology and the social structure of the country. So this is what I really dislike. But the thing that I like about my country is basically everything! Israel is a multicultural country, and, as you may know, most of the Israeli families have been in Israel for two, three to four generations. So, people still leave their own cultures. For instance, we have many Russian origin Israelis, Turkish origin Israelis, many Moroccan, Jews and so on. Although we live in the Middle East and we can say it’s a very small country, we live in a very multicultural society. This is what I really appreciate about my country.
4) What are Israeli students most passionate about? Their interests?
Well, Israeli students are passionate about studying and are committed to research studies. Whatever they do, whatever subject they study, they always try to understand it, grasp the theories and try to develop it in a way. If this is a social science, they try to have articles that are published in academic journals. Or if it’s an engineering science they try to find a new theorem or create something new. So, I think this is the main motivation of Israeli students. But other than this, I should highlight that they are also very active in terms of extracurricular activities like camping, many university tournaments, sports, theatre and many other clubs they have in their universities. Mainly, the model for Israeli universities is the American ones. Whatever you see in American movies, if they are correct, they are also valid in Israel.
5) What do Israeli students know about Turkey and how do they view Turkish people?
I should start by talking about Turkish people. As I mentioned before, we have many Turkish origin Israelis and Jews here. So what I can say is this: we like them and we live in harmony with them. However, recent political tension between Israel and Turkey changed a bit Israeli people’s views on Turkey. We, as student groups and the youth of the country, used to travel to Turkey a lot. However, since the incident in Davos happened, meaning the tension between Shimon Peres (our president) and Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, we are a bit tense about Turkey.
6) What are some of your favorite things about Israeli culture? Dislikes?
Israel is not a very old country. However, we always celebrate our national holidays with lots of fun and gathering, like a social festival in the country. This is what I really appreciate and like. What I dislike about the culture of Israel? Not much really. The truth is I can’t be objective about this question. I can’t really mention anything bad about Israel, sorry.
7) If someone were to visit Israel, where would you recommend they visit first?
Jerusalem: It’s a hub of all salvation religions in the world: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. So, it’s a really interesting mixture of cultures in a very small pot. Therefore, I really recommend visitors of Israel to go there first.
8) Any random or interesting fact about the Israeli way of life?
I am not sure if it’s going to be very interesting but I can easily say that any random Israeli person is very hardworking and business oriented person.
9) Briefly, what do you think about the general economic status of Israel?
I really like this question as I study economics and as you know, there is turmoil in the world in terms of the economical situation. We are also getting affected a lot as we have an international trade with both US and European Union so it’s not going well at the moment. However, as we are a social country, people still living in good circumstances.
10) How does technology affect the daily life in Israel?
Well, in terms of the technological development Israel is one of the leaders in the world, obviously. Especially, the genetics is our special area in terms of the technology. However, this is not something that really changes our daily lives. So the thing is, I can’t really say that any technological development enhances our lives, it’s very ordinary. However, in terms of medical treatment and telecommunication, maybe it’s an advantage for us.