Met a Deaf Family in Istanbul!

Had the most INCREDIBLE day! As of a couple of days ago, I am now staying with my friend, Melissa, from the LDS Turkish branch. We went to find a bank this afternoon at Taksim and as we were making our way through the crowded streets, I met a Turkish Deaf family!!! I know the Lord helped us meet–it was a life-changing experience for both Melissa and I.

Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey

Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey

Like in India or Singapore, I was in the right place at the right time. The husband (Iskender), the wife (Hanife) and their 15 year old daughter (Sibel) were visiting Taksim Square from the Asia side for Bayram (the state vacation after Ramadan) when I passed them in the street and stopped to meet them. It was one of the most friendly receptions I have ever had in my travels. We were instantly dear friends and sharing laughs, hugs, and kisses together.

Sibel, Hanife, Me, and Iskender together on a street at Taksim.

Sibel, Hanife, Me, and Iskender together on a street at Taksim. They were a wonderful Deaf family who welcomed me so warmly to Turkey!

We talked for a good half hour, took pictures together, taught each other ASL and Turkish Sign Language then gave many hugs before parting ways. However, within 10 minutes we met them again in a different part of Taksim. They invited Melissa and I for a drink at a restaurant as a “gift” or “welcome” to Turkey! I was so touched as we made our way to the top floor of a restaurant and shared Sprites, Fantas and fruit juices together. 🙂

We became so incredibly close within the hour or so that we knew each other. They told me how they met and their story. What was SO obvious to Melissa and I were that they were SO in love with each other. They have been married for many years and have 3 1/2 children (one on the way in 2 months!) and they kept praising Allah that they met. The husband repeated many times how much he loved his family and that they would be together until they die.

Taksim Square

Taksim Square

The spirit was so sweet as we spoke of such uplifting things. I asked Sibel about her dream to attend a university and study computer sciences/coding. She was so enthusiastic in her desire to learn and I cheered her dream to change the world in her way! I hope that The Deaf Dream may be able to open some doors for her dreams in the future.


Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey. I’m the girl at the base of the tower in white shirt and gray shorts 🙂

We went to Galata Tower, ate dinner at a beautiful restaurant, enjoyed Taksim Square and even saw the infamous Gezi park.

It was the perfect day.

This entry was posted in Travels 2013, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Met a Deaf Family in Istanbul!

  1. Pingback: DEAF and ASL Online Internships | Bring Me That Horizon

  2. Pingback: Sarcophagi, Harems, and Dancing in the Streets | Bring Me That Horizon

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