A friend to discover the city

A friend, the 1st key to discovering the city

One of the person i got to know during my first stay in Marseille, was a young Syrian that whom i met for the first time when i came to the CROUS. He had seen my documents and knew i was from Yemen, whereas i hadn’t seen his papers.
He went in before me, and when he came out, he told me he would wait for me until the end of my appointment. I was astonished, especially as i had a stereotypical image of Arabs in France, and i was afraid that he might be a thief or a scammer. I laughed at my fate, thinking that i might have to fight on the day of my arrival ! Nevertheless i said ” Yes, gladly.” I didn’t understand why he would wait an hour if not because he was a scammer.
Unlike my expectations, he was a very nice guy. He helped me choose a student accomodation and pointed out places i needed to know about. We got to know each other, became friends and, even though we didn’t live in the same residence, we visited each other every weeks.

The young Syrian was mu first key to move in the city. He introduced me to places in particular to restaurant where i could eat, to the “Anahit” supermarket selling oriental products and also to the local library. He also introduced me to Arab friends who were doing doctoral research.

It went well, and as i had a scholarship, they gave me a room straight away. Frankly, financially it went well with the scholarship, because they gave me a thousand euro a month, and i paid 130euro in rent. Then the CAF gave me 100 euro in housing aid which bring my rent to 30 euro only.

The scholarship also enabled me to go to Yemen the first summer, as TOTAL bought two round trip tickets a year. They also paid five hundred euros yearly to buy books and study material: papers and research work… They also paid us a travel allowance for meeting with their company in various European coutries. To visit the company’s factories and their installations.

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