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Chronicles of Delhi

Students from Qatar, who were in the Capital for Doha Debates, share their ‘Delhi experience’.

entertainment Updated: Feb 18, 2010 20:26 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

On his first visit to Delhi, Adel Mohammad Saad, a final year student of Qatar University, was so taken in by the Capital’s magnificence and heritage that it pulled him to Mecca once again. It is with the same dignity with which he talks about Bollywood movies.

Saad, one of the 10 students from different universities in Qatar, was in town for four days to attend the Doha Debates at St Stephen’s College.

The topic of the debate — ‘Muslims are not getting a fair deal in India’ — saw more than 63 per cent of the audience voting against the motion. Like most his peers, Saad, too, voted against it.

What these students know most about India is cinema. Saad, for one, is so fond of Bollywood films that he watched Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and 3 Idiots in a single day! In no time, the popular song, Tujh mein rab dikhta hai, was his Facebook profile status.

“As I am not well-versed with Hindi, I have to look for CDs with subtitles. But I have been loyal to them since the Baazigar days. My favourite one is Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, besides all Aamir Khan films for the message intertwined in them,” he said.

Abdullah Al Falasi, another participant and a student of a local college in Doha, liked Delhi so much that he wished to settle here, were it not for his mother back home. “The development work being carried out in Delhi (as a part of the preparation of Commonwealth Games 2010) gives the city an image of a world-class city-in-the-making. I’d love to return one day,” he said. Saad finds Delhi the perfect amalgam of old and contemporary flavours. He liked its heritage as much as the new flyovers and chic Metro.

Nabil Gaber, president of the debating society, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, compliments the city by saying, “Mashallah! It’s very well-maintained. It’s a magical city. The moment I stepped in Delhi, I found its air somewhat poetic.”

Though Gaber has features which are strikingly similar to Indians, autowallahs managed to con him. Sahaim Al-Thani, who studies in pre college bridge course, was chased by a toy seller at India Gate. “Give me some space,” he shrieked occasionally.

They also find the people lovely. “Despite language barriers, they find the way to express themselves. When I was buying scarves at Red Fort, a vendor offered to sell three of them for the price of two. But when he couldn’t make himself clear, he took out three pens and explained the offer through gestures. That was sweet,” said Gaber.

So it does seem like a fair deal now, doesn’t it?