Hana Al-Manalvi is an Egyptian 27 year old who happens to have Serbian roots. She was born in Canada, after which she moved to Egypt – her father’s homeland – with her parents, and then returned to Canada after a few years to pursue her studies. Her first visit to Serbia, the country her mother is from, was five years ago, when she went to the EXIT festival. She didn’t have any opportunities to make a second visit until february this year, when she came to visit her mother. She didn’t plan on staying for too long, but the global pandemic didn’t care for her plans. Now, she can travel wherever she wants, but she’s decided to stay in Novi Sad for just a bit longer, until she’s ready to move to Berlin.

Even though her stay in Serbia was unplanned, Hana says she feels better in Serbia than in Canada. She’s spending her time in Serbia well, and has no intention to go back. She’s currently doing English translation work over the internet, which she says is easy and doesn’t take a lot of effort. She’s also working for an American IT company that specialises in marketing. She spends her free time relaxing by the Dunabe, mostly with her friends. She also visits the Horus bar frequently. She says making new friends in Novi Sad wasn’t a problem for her. She’d meet people, who would introduce her to other people, and the process would go on until she found a circle of friends she liked. As of recently, she’s even in a relationship with a girl she met in Novi Sad.

Unlike Canada, which she says goes into liberal extremes, Hana sees Novi Sad as a calm and relaxed environment with friendly people who share family values, even though she sees space for progress in terms of acceptance. As for her hobbies, her biggest passion is music. She’s been doing EDM production since she was 16, and has even released a couple of her songs under the Egyptian record label “Sound of Noise”. She became a DJ three years ago and has had performances in various places, such as Egypt, Novi Sad, and Bečej. The only thing she’d change about the nightlife in Novi Sad is that more clubs and bars be open to more experimental music. She’s currently working in music production within those genres, and she recently released an EP that you can listen to HERE

Despite the global happenings that changed her plans, Hana is enjoying her stay in Novi Sad. The laidback lifestyle of the place is allowing her to live stressless and slowly make plans for the future, which may not include living there, but she appreciates the opportunity to relax that the city has given her.

Isidora Popović

Translation: Mina Milošević

* The story was created within the project “The most beautiful stories about Novi Sad”, which is realized by the Remix Association, which is financed by Omladinski savez udruženja „Novi Sad omladinska prestonica Evrope – OPENS 2019“