Mr. Mostafa Helil: I’m impressed with the moral ‘tôn sư trọng đạo’! – University of Languages and International Studies – VNU,Hanoi

Mr. Mostafa Helil: I’m impressed with the moral ‘tôn sư trọng đạo’!

My name Mostafa Helil, I’m 43 years old. I come from a beautiful city in the land of pharaohs and pyramids. As an individual taking part in the cultural exchange between Vietnam Ministry of Education & Training and Egyptian Vietnam Ministry of Education & Training, I came to Vietnam in January, 2016, and have been living and teaching here, at the Division of Arabic Language & Culture, ULIS since.

Before I departed to Vietnam, I had been impressed with the long-standing history of Vietnam and wondered how the country and the people had been getting with life in the new era. I would have said, that was the main reason that brought me to Vietnam. So, here I am now, confidently saying ‘That’s a right choice’.

Well, like many others, some things didn’t work right to me. I got struck by the unique weather of Hanoi as soon as I stepped out of the airport. It was raining, humid and freezing. I had never experienced that in my life. When arrived at ULIS, I couldn’t manage to be off the room where I had been arranged to live in. I talked to my self ‘How can I go out, then, the rain is so heavy, how Vietnamese people can’. But, nevertheless, all of the sudden, I discovered how Vietnamese people get over the rain. A group of students kindly gave me a ‘waterproof coat’. Feeling unexpectedly, that was the first time I got to know this magical stuff. In Egypt, rain is rare so I had no idea what waterproof coats are.

Another hurdle that I had to overcome was food. I’m a Muslim, and I can’t eat pork as a result of that. However, almost everything in Vietnam is made off pigs or its ingredients are extracted from pigs. Therefore, I have been cooking myself since day one instead of eating out. In fairness, I can save up an awful lot of money by doing so.

I’m personally impressed with the moral ‘tôn sư trọng đạo’, which means that students are meant to respect teachers. Right at the first time I met some students at the airport, I were already overwhelmed by that enthusiasm. They also helped me a lot along the journey. In Vietnam, there is a certain day for students to express their gratitude towards teachers on November 20th, which is very rewarding.

About ULIS, I highly appreciate its activeness, proactiveness, creative and professionalism in terms of training and extracurricular activities. Particularly, in recent years, the Division of Arabic Language & Culture has had outstanding new advances, and would have a promising development in future as well.