Stuck in Barcelona, thinking of Zakho and Verona INVITE Blog

Ahmed Mahdee Abdo Salih is an INVITE fellow of Computer Science PhD Programme. He currently living in Spain with his family, but his thoughts go out to his relatives in Iraq and friends in Italy.

I started my secondment in Barcelona in October 2019. My wife is studying too, and my kids are attending the primary school as well. Everything was going smoothly and steady.

Then and all the sudden, our life has changed entirely. We stuck in our apartment 24/7 days in week.

I got worried about many people in different places, as this virus spread rapidly over the world: my family in Barcelona, my parents and relatives in my hometown Zakho, my supervisor and friends in Verona.

In my hometown Zakho, the authorities forced people to stay home to contain the disease.

I looked at the situation in Verona on the internet: I can’t imagine Piazza Bra is deserted of people, while it used to be always crowded with local citizens and tourists.

I had promised my family to take them to Venice for a weekend and then to go to Verona to show them the city where I have lived for about a year, but we had to cancel it.

In our house, we rearranged our time to cope with new situation. My wife and I have to wake up at breaking dawn to study before the kids wake up. Then we spend most of the time in the day with them as the school are closed. And again, we study at late night, when the kids are sleeping.

It is tough, but we have to deal with it and adapt to it.

My contact with my supervisor is still as it was before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Let us be positive: this will not last forever, it will vanish sooner or later, and life is going back to its normal form.

I contacted some people and joined some groups to see if I can help in any way in the current situation, using my competencies.

Here you can find a drawing by my daughter Helan to express how the world is suffering from and fighting against Covid-19.