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Ali Farhan: Someone, who does not like Kyrgyzstan, has never been in Pakistan

Ali Farhan is a Pashtun from Pakistan. He works as an engineer in a construction company in Kyrgyzstan. A difficult life situation forced him to leave his homeland. But he does not regret that he ventured once: he has a beloved wife, daughters-twins, work in Kyrgyzstan. There are some difficulties also. For example, the foreigner who has been living in the country since 2008, still can not get a residence permit.

When Ali graduated with honors from a college, he started thinking about a higher education. Tuition fee in high schools of Pakistan is very high. Ali Farhan decided to leave for Kyrgyzstan, especially since he had friends here.

— The first years there were difficult. We were caught. We did not know the language. And then we got used to, finished language courses. There are difficulties, but it is better here than in Pakistan. There are a lot of people, 200 million, competition is high, and it is difficult to find a job. It is easier in Kyrgyzstan.

Ali enrolled in the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. In 2013, he graduated from the university as engineer. He thought about leaving the country, but love disordered all his plans.

— What surprises you in Bishkek?

— It’s calm in Kyrgyzstan. There are political disturbances, but they do not reach a critical level. I saw the revolution with my own eyes. People came out against the president. It is quite different in my home country. People are at war with each other.

I see nothing bad here.

— What reminds you of your hometown in Bishkek?

— The people I meet, relationships, places, buildings are similar. I went to my homeland only once in 2015. I already forgot.

— Do you miss your homeland?

— Of course. There are my parents. I started building a house there. But the biggest problem is that I can not get a residence permit in Kyrgyzstan. I have three expired passports. I submitted documents but was denied without explanation.

— What do you lack in Bishkek?

— Mango! There are no Pakistani sweets and achar (pickled vegetables). Even now I want to eat it. I remember this taste. But most of all I lack mango. I know where Chinese mangos are sold, but they are different.

— What do you like in the national cuisine? And what are you afraid to try?

— I do not eat pelmeni, manty, noodles — everything that is made from dough. Sometimes I can eat beshbarmak at a party. At home, we try to cook our own dishes. I tried a lot. Local people like meat. I’m often invited, and I’m already used to it.

— Where do you spend your leisure time?

— Near the fountains on the central square. Almost every day we go there. Bishkek itself is beautiful. I especially like the weather. We go to the mountains from time to time — in Ala-Archa, Issyk-Ata.

— What has fascinated and disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?

— When I came alone, I could not find a common language with the local population, did not understand language, traditions, or customs. When I learned the language, it became easier for me. Now I’m almost Kyrgyz. There are the Kyrgyz around me. They respect me, I respect them.

— You Russian is very good...

— I learned it before going to KRSU. In addition, I speak six more languages: English, Kyrgyz, Pushtu, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, and Turkish a little, because my wife is Turkish.

— What would you change in Bishkek?

— The biggest problem is roads. I compare with Islamabad — there is a big difference. I advice people, who want to come here, to stay in the center. If we go only two kilometers away from Bishkek, the roads’ state immediately worsens. My uncle came to visit me. He liked everything except for the roads.