A post or two ago I asked if anyone would be willing to, and Hiba from tryingnovelty responded. Hiba is the youngest of four, two brothers and a sister, and I’m glad she responded to my plea because she has a very interesting life! The interview was conducted via email which made it hard to like build on questions, but she did a great job answering the several questions I sent her! So thanks Hiba!
In Hiba’s initial email she told me that she had moved around a lot and carried with her a lot of different cultures.
Since you said you move around a lot where have you lived and which place did you like the most?
I was born in Abu Dhabi (AD), the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Quick backstory- my parents are from Sudan, Africa. To this day that’s where my parent’s (and my) families live. My dad moved to Abu Dhabi because of work opportunity; apparently he only planned to live there a couple of years and then go back… he ended up working in Abu Dhabi for 28 years, so, that plan worked out… haha.
Up until I was about 12 years old, I lived in Abu Dhabi, apart from one year we spent in Canada, when I was about 3 years old. We were there because I think my parent’s were thinking about moving then, but for certain reasons they decided to postpone that. Anyway, it’s easier to say I grew up in AD, and moved to Canada the summer before eighth grade. In this time, we spent every summer in Sudan with my family there.
Now for which place I liked the most. Hmm. The thing about these 3 countries is that they’re all so incredibly different. For the longest time, Abu Dhabi was HOME. Like home. But if you asked me right now, I would say I don’t have a home, except for my literal house. Abu Dhabi is an incredible place. My life and the lifestyle there is so completely different from life in North America. For starters, the country is loaded. Like seriously rich, and so life there is just reaaaaally easy. I always had nannies growing up, I went to a private international school, we traveled all the time, it was a sort of paradise. This made way for the huge reality check I got when I moved to Canada. But I’ll get to that in a bit. School was lovely, again, it was an international school so you see a lot of different people, even though the majority were Arabs, but for the most part I have positive memories. It was in English, but we had to take Arabic as a second language (which was fine for me because Sudanese people are Afro-Arabs, so we speak Arabic) and French as a third. And it was the same school from kindergarten up, so you know everyone and it was great. I had two extremely close girlfriends who are my best friends till this day, even though we live on opposite corners of the world. I’ll talk about Sudan now. Sudan, well it’s kind of the opposite of AD. What is the unfortunate reality of too many African countries, there’s a lot of poverty in Sudan. And it’s obvious. The houses, shops, roads… just everything. But Sudan is rich in something I haven’t experienced in any other country I’ve seen, and that is their incredible hospitality. For that reason, Sudan is basically home to me, because the culture and the family and friends is just so warm and beautiful. I absolutely love everything (minus the heat) about every stay I have there. I miss it a lot.
We moved to Canada when I was going into 8th grade, because my dad was retiring. Since he was retiring, we couldn’t really keep up with the expenses of living in AD had we stayed, so we moved. We’re Canadian citizens, so that’s why we moved to Canada (obviously). At this point, one of my brothers attended uni in Canada and the other in the US. My sister was going to start high school in the town that we moved to and I middle school. Canada was a huge reality check. Although, to this day, I live in standards that I am so thankful and appreciative for, it is obviously not the same as life in AD, but I’m kind of glad for that. It was a good reality check. The hard part is not being able to go to Sudan or AD that often anymore, me and my sister only went back once in the five years from when we moved. I’m content here though, and now I go to school 6 hours away so everything is different. Is Canada my favourite place? Probably not, but then again, I couldn’t pick just one.
What culture the unique culture of you?
My culture is definitely a mix of all three of these main countries, and for that reason I tend to find it hard to fit in. I’m not Sudanese enough for Sudan, I’ve changed a lot from most of my Abu Dhabi friends (which I sadly realized after I visited two summers ago) and as a result, lost contact with mostly all of them except for my two dearest friends, and have yet to find people in Canada that I’ve really clicked with. I’m still hopeful though!
As I was stalking your blog I saw that you spend most of the year in Ottawa- a major city in Canada I haven’t been to, what’s you’re favorite part about it?
Yeah, I go to school in Ottawa. My favourite part about it is that it’s a city but not too busy like Toronto or elsewhere, and that the downtown area is absolutely stunning. Abu Dhabi is definitely a city vibe which I love, but the town I went to high school in is so small and boring, so Ottawa was a good transition. I also love the independence I get living alone.
In the US (where I’m from) 17 is almost two years younger than when most people finish their first year of University/College. Is that the average age in Canada or are you ahead of the game?
That’s the exact same case as Canada, I’ve always just been the youngest in my year haha. If you remember from my monologue of an answer for question 1, I said that I lived in Canada for a year when I was around 3 years old, so I did my first year of kindergarten there, and when I went back to AD after that year, they let me skip to first grade without doing the second year of kindergarten (I was obviously too much of a genius for nap time). That mixed in with the fact that I have a late birthday is why I started uni at 16! People tend to assume that I’m really smart because of it, and I never correct them.. haha.
What made you start to blog?
I gather that you want to be a writer, but why blogging? (She doesn’t want to be a writer, my mistake)
Perhaps my favourite thing in the world is admiring people’s ability to use words in a beautiful and powerful way- that’s why I really REALLY appreciate poetry and spoken words (I have a little red book where I’ve collected my favourite poems over the years).
I started blogging because I had a compilation of thoughts and ideas that was quickly building in the Notes app on my phone, ones that I jot down every time I get, and I decided to just kind of develop them, so I started my blog! I figured that a blog is probably a better option for opinion based pieces. I don’t actually want to become a writer though, because as amazing and unparalleled the feeling of finishing and being proud of a piece is, writing really stresses me out.. I tend to get insecure and unhappy halfway through my pieces, and I end up just discarding or saving them as drafts. It’s especially annoying when it’s a thought that I find really important, and I can’t articulate it. I love editing though. I’m actually a premed student, but I hope to incorporate writing/editing courses into my curriculum.
Does your title “tryingnovelty” mean anything imparticular?
The title tryingnovelty can be taken exactly as it is, as starting something novel to me. I was getting extremely sick of my routine- I realized that I was not doing anything worthwhile with my time apart from studying, and that I had the potential to do so. I wanted to write at least a couple of decent pieces and to read and be inspired by the amazing stuff that fellow bloggers have written, so starting the blog was just that- trying something new.
Do you have a blogging inspiration?
My blogging inspiration mostly comes from things that I experience or read or see. When I experience something in my life that I want to write about, I try to write about it in a more general way so that it’s relatable to other people rather than just a personal complaint. I’m also often inspired by things, usually things that shock or sadden me, that I see on the news.
Since starting your blog three months ago, is it going in the direction you thought it would?
The only expectation I really had when starting my blog was that I would write a lot more- like I said, I have a reaaally long list of things I’ve wanted to write about saved on my phone, but for many of these topics, I started and stopped halfway through. And weeks and weeks go by between posts, which is something I’m really not happy about. So that’s really not what I expected, and I need to keep working on it.
I love your post on friendships, did something happen to spark that?
*Blushes* Thank you!! That means a lot.
That post was definitely inspired by my personal life. I have been unlucky with friendships, to say the least. I definitely don’t think that I’m perfect and that everyone I met sucks or anything, I just attribute it to bad luck. Moving has taught me who my friends are. When I moved from AD to Canada, my friendships with two lovely girls managed to stay strong and to this day I consider them my best friends, even though I have seen them (physically) once in 5 years. Obviously, when I lived in AD, I was friends with many more people, but time and distance drifted us apart; it was hard but I moved on. Eighth grade and high school was a whirlwind in terms of friendships, as that time period always is, but by the end of grade 12 I thought I had my people, you know? Then I moved 6 hours away, alone, and my closest friends went to the same uni in my hometown. In just one year I felt like we had completely drifted apart, despite my best efforts. It happened again. This experience I took a bit harder, and to be honest sometimes I’m still a bit bitter, especially being back and having everything be different, but I really wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m happy with how things have worked out.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I definitely, definitely can not answer that question. I have absolutely no idea where I might see myself. I’m in pre med, so naturally I would hope to be in medical school, but I just never tend to think about the future… it freaks me out too much. And I know how fast things can change, haha.
What’s something you have always wanted to do, but you never have?
I’ve always wanted to go to Brown University, but I didn’t get in. Apart from that there are probably a million things I’ve wanted to do and didn’t… “no regrets” isn’t really my motto.
Thanks again Hiba! I think everyone should go and follow her, her link is at the top. I think this type of thing is a great way to promote other bloggers so people can learn more about each other to find more blogs to follow. If you want to be interviewed leave a comment or email me at email@example.com and I would be more than happy to! I think it would be cool to start an interview series.