“Growing up my dad always wanted me to learn Greek but I always told him that very few people spoke it so it wouldn’t really be useful to me. Fast forward 20 years from that conversation I ended up meeting my wife at Harvard Business School and now I am learning Greek.”
Funny how life worked out for Tewfik, one of our School’s Students who was born in Egypt to a Greek father and an Egyptian/Syrian mother. Tewfik’s grandfather was a Greek of Egypt and his grandmother was from Istanbul but her family moved to Egypt in the 20s. Growing up maybe he hadn’t seen himself learning Greek but life had different plans which I guess made his dad very happy.
Tewfik is now based in London and works at Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp doing product marketing.
“I help lead the Product marketing team based out of London that builds globally the e-commerce capabilities for businesses who want to sell on Facebook. If you are ever on Instagram and see a product tagged, and you go to that product, see prices and visit the website. I work on that stuff.”
It all sounds very exciting and interesting. Is it, though?
“Yes, it is super fun, super innovative, I think it’s probably one of the most fun jobs you can have in tech outside the US. I work with really smart people, really nice, open and collaborative.The fun about it is that you are working on a massive scale. And that is also what’s challenging about it since everything has to work for a huge number of people around the world.”
His job, however, is obviously not the reason why Tewfik is learning Greek. Like a lot of our students, he is learning to communicate with family and why not eventually move to Greece in search of a… warmer climate.
“My wife’s dad is from Monemvasia. We go to Greece 3-4 months a year. So I am learning to communicate with the family and our friends in Greece. Obviously my dad speaks it so it’s nice to speak to my dad in Greek.”
It is obvious Tewfik loves the country and I am curious to hear why that is besides the family ties of course. His answer brings a smile to my face.
“What is there not to like? Nice weather, beautiful scenery, welcoming people, I obviously have historical ties through my family. My wife has a hotel in Monemvasia, Kinsterna and we love to go there. So Greece actually sounds like a perfect place to live, work and retire later in life.”
As for his future learning goal, Tewfik wants to be fully ready for his move to Greece whenever that is.
“My hope is to be fully proficient in Greek. I do sort of see us potentially moving to Greece at some point so I would like to be able to conduct business and read and write. That would probably take 10 years to get there. But we just had a baby daughter and I think I will probably be proficient in Greek around the time she is proficient in Greek.”
We sincerely hope that Tewfik accomplishes both his learning and personal goals. Thank you so much Tewfik for being a part of our online Greek community!