Istanbul&I News

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Hanieh Kachooee - Volunteer Spotlight

December 12, 2022

Hanieh was born in Iran and raised in different countries. Due to her parent’s adventurous lifestyle, she became acquainted with people from all walks of life. Hanieh is a huge food enthusiast and she expresses herself through the food she makes. She is currently residing in Turkey where she teaches English for a living. Hanieh joined Istanbul&I as the newsletter editor back in 2021. In her free time, she likes to read, paint, make ceramics, try new cuisines, and develop recipes in her kitchen. 

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  98

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ÇayTalks: "First Impressions" over tea

December 7, 2022

Winter has taken more of a hold over the city of Istanbul, and the weather has become slightly more consistent. On another chilly November night ÇayTalks, a staple of Istanbul&I's events, was held in the office. The topic of the discussion was "First Impressions'' and as always, the attendees answered a plethora of questions in a roundtable-style rotation.

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Social Inclusion Event  .  3 min read  .  129

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"Moments in Life": Virtual Language Exchange Event

November 15, 2022

October 31st is known around the world as Halloween but on this fateful night, Istanbul&I held their virtual Language Exchange Event (LEE). Trick or treating and attending a Halloween party could be memorable moments unto themselves and so is attending one of I&I's LEEs. The online event was attended by 15 people, looking to sharpen their skills in a different language.

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Project Highlight  .  2 min read  .  185

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Language Exchange Event and the Acceptance of Different Opinions

November 13, 2022

On the first Sunday of November, there were more than 26 volunteers in the Istanbul&I office, including new and old volunteers from all around the world. All there for a chance to exchange ideas and meet new people.

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Project Highlight  .  3 min read  .  88

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Orientation Day and the Meaning of Being Part of the Istanbul&I Community

November 1, 2022

On the last Saturday of the month, the Istanbul&I office was filled with eager new volunteers. There were 27 newly-recruited volunteers and 42 participants in total. It was a great day,  and I got to know people recruited from all over the world, trying to volunteer and help with such wonderful people because Istanbul&I is not an organization; it is a team of friends or rather a family that tries in various ways to support the city in which they reside.

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Major Event  .  2 min read  .  166

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Yusuf Ziya - Volunteer Spotlight

October 30, 2022

Yusuf Ziya is from Şanlı Urfa, Turkey. He has been working as an accountant since 2008 and as Istanbul&I’s human welfare project manager for the past six months. He joined Istanbul&I as a volunteer in 2021.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  177

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Self-Care Workshop: An Interview with Paz

October 16, 2022

It’s a rainy mid-September afternoon as Paz Paulsen-Sacks sets up the Istanbul&I office for his weekly Self-Care Workshop. The 14 attendees seated in a circle, take off their shoes and listen to the soothing sounds of the Karaköy rain. Paz begins the meditation with ringing a Tibetan bell as he gives the attendants prompts to ponder about, like “Breathing in, I’m aware of the person I love. Breathing out, I offer them a smile.” Each ring is followed by silent meditation.

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Project Highlight  .  7 min read  .  324

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Eylül Üstünçelik - Volunteer Spotlight

October 3, 2022

Eylül is a 23-year-old intern lawyer, from Samsun, Turkey. She has been living in Istanbul since 2017 and volunteering at Istanbul&I for a year. She started volunteering as a Turkish Speaking Club co-manager. After three months in that position, she became a part of the legal committee and has been working with the team since December 2021. She enjoys ice skating and climbing.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  457

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Pakistani Culture Night

September 30, 2022

The longstanding Istanbul&I tradition of culture night roars on with the Pakistani Culture Night on September 24, 2022. It was an evening featuring a country full of history and culture. The event was attended by 90 participants on a chilly Saturday night. With the place being packed with everyone excited to drink in the traditions, geography, and cultural landmarks of Pakistan, the event commenced.

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Social Inclusion Event  .  3 min read  .  374

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Interview with the Ex-Executive Coordinators, Junko and Tahiya

September 21, 2022

Istanbul&I has been around for quite some time, and throughout our history, we have had many wonderful executive coordinators (ECs) making sure the organization runs as smoothly as possible. About two terms ago, the organization tried something new!

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Featured News  .  11 min read  .  614

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French Culture Night: Not Only Croissants and Baguettes

September 17, 2022

Croissants and baguettes, foods that immediately conjure the thought of France. But there is far more to the French culture. On a fair-weathered Sunday night, the Istanbul&I French Culture Night was held in the grassy fields of Maçka Park. A large crowd of nearly 50 people was present and ready to learn about what the culture had to offer besides its baked goods.

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Social Inclusion Event  .  3 min read  .  422

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Hagar Soultan - Volunteer Spotlight

August 26, 2022

Hagar Sultan is an Egyptian, who came to live in Istanbul six years ago. She graduated from BAU with a medical degree in July 2022. In her free time, she likes to hang out with friends and that is one of the reasons why she started to volunteer: to socialize more. 

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  397

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Istanbul&I TALK Series presents: Hospitality and its Resentment, Understanding Local Responses to Refugees

August 16, 2022

As July drew to a close, the Istanbul&I attendants gathered in the office for another iteration of the TALK series. This one was presented by Emma Walker-Silverman, a Ph.D. candidate at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. One by one, the attendees signed up through the QR code placed by the front door to get a front-row seat to these yet unpublished findings, making them one of the first crowds to see it. A total of 13 attendants listened attentively as Emma explained her findings. The presentation was followed by a Q&A / discussion that got the audience more involved. 

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Social Inclusion Event  .  3 min read  .  499

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Noor Bhaghani - Volunteer Spotlight

August 9, 2022

Noor is from San Diego, California but currently lives  and studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She initially found out about Istanbul&I through her cousin who lived in Istanbul, and knew she was looking to work in a social inclusion oriented organization.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  559

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Istanbul&I Summer Flea Market - Beating the Heat With Kindness

August 5, 2022

As the summer heats up, so does the giving spirit in the air. Volunteers at the Istanbul&I Summer Flea Market saw this firsthand. An event held over three days (Friday through Sunday), brought out many people from all around the community. The market hosted many items for purchase and was overall a great success. A large portion of the proceeds went to the Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter, a collaborator of Istanbul&I that has also been present at previous events.

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Major Event  .  2 min read  .  455

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Half-year round-up: Interview with Istanbul&I’s Executive Coordinator, Manohur Chand Poonyth

August 4, 2022

What has been the highlight of the first half of 2022?

November 2022 will be our 5th year as a registered NGO in Turkey. What amazes me at Istanbul&I is the amount of effort that dedicated volunteers put into running the organization!

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Featured News  .  8 min read  .  532

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Hande Hepşen - Volunteer Spotlight

August 4, 2022

Hande was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She graduated from Istanbul University with a degree in  Journalism and has been working in media production since 2020. She started volunteering at Istanbul&I in 2019 and was a member of the programming committee. She was one of the volunteer superstars of 2020 because of her dedication to volunteering even through the Covid-19 lockdowns.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  3 min read  .  925

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Elif Bayındır - Volunteer Spotlight

August 4, 2022

Elif is from Istanbul, Turkey. She studied physics and has been working as a data analyst since 2020. She is also working on her Master's thesis, which is about climate change modeling. She enjoys getting to know new people and spending time with them. She also loves nature and storytelling.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  789

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Elma Haveri - Volunteer Spotlight

August 4, 2022

Elma is from Shkoder, Albania. She studied in North Cyprus and graduated with a master’s degree in Marketing Management. Despite her path in marketing, volunteering is one of her biggest passions. Her most memorable experience in volunteering is the one for Red Cross Albania right after the pandemic was over. This challenging period pushed her belief that only together and by helping each other can we progress.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  733

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Ezgi Sesil - Volunteer Spotlight

August 3, 2022

Ezgi studied Biology at Istanbul University and then started her master's degree in Environmental Sciences at Boğaziçi University. However, she decided to change her career plan and left her master's degree to study Combined Arts at Yıldız Technical University.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  483

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Taha Jebbar - Volunteer Spotlight

July 31, 2022

Taha is from Rabat, Morocco. He is a 22-year-old master’s student at Altınbaş University, majoring in industrial engineering. Taha is engaged with social entrepreneurship and believes this is how we can have a global impact. He is also interested in psychology. In his free time, Taha enjoys reading, watching movies and series, listening to music, and last but not least, volunteering. 

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  3 min read  .  455

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Wajdee Chayeb - Volunteer Spotlight

July 31, 2022

Wajdee is from Aleppo, Syria, born in 1999. He is a senior student majoring in physics at Koç University. He has been a volunteer in Istanbul&I since April 2021 and has been managing the Çay Talks event since then.

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Volunteer Spotlight  .  2 min read  .  463