After two years living in the Czech Republic, Mohamed Hadi Nibou appreciates a lot about the country. Regarding Prague in particular, he wound up here on accident — a phenomenon he finds common among most foreigners — and stayed for all the marvels of life in the city.
What was your childhood like and how did you end up in Europe?
Born and raised in Algeria, I can say my childhood was pretty amazing. I grew up in an African culture, which is quite different from European sensibilities. So yes, you can imagine me living in a tepee and, as a three-year-old child, playing outside fully naked (as my wife loves imagining me).
When I was 8, my parents decided to move back to France (my mother’s home as a child) to achieve and set up a better life for the family. My first days in France were a dream. I remember being amazed by the wet green grass on a June morning; and, discovering an automatic bathroom tap for the first time ever at a highway rest area and trying to make the water stop coming out with my hands.
During my teenage years, I lived the European culture. I attended school, reached university, and obtained my Master of Science. Given my background, I knew I wanted to visit more countries, experience more cultures. To me, travel represents self-development and growth, and I enjoy these changes in myself.
What came next for you after university?
Once out of school, starting a career in France was quite tedious. After a few months, I decided to go to London, United Kingdom, to improve my English for my future career and get some professional experience. I worked as [a] waiter in a great pub where I met people from many different horizons. I had the opportunity to mix with a large and diverse cultural group. It was exactly what I had wished for.
Living in London was great, but I knew it wasn’t my final destination. London is huge and crowded, and I felt it wasn’t for me. Not knowing where to go next, my destiny tapped me on the shoulder, and I met my wife in London. In the beginning, we were friends. The more time we spent together, the closer we became until we understood we were meant to be together.
She is from the Czech Republic, born and raised, and she introduced me to the Czech Republic, a country I barely knew at the time. Though this was a time of personal and geographical discovery, I decided to give love a chance and explore another new culture. So, I moved to Prague, Czech Republic.
What has it been like for you since arriving in Prague?
Since arriving in Prague, I’ve been working at Wunderman Thompson. WT gave me a great overview of what working in Prague is like: great work atmosphere, a fitting career, and a perspective of inside a company.
Compared to other EU countries, starting a career here is faster. Job opportunities seem to be many, and career evolution happens quickly. Companies aren’t afraid to give chances when it comes to position change or promotion. If it’s not quite true, it is for me at WT.
What are some aspects of life here you really enjoy?
The capital city of Prague is foreigner-friendly. I haven’t needed to master the Czech language yet. A good level of English seems to be enough to get by. Having a great place to work means I can really enjoy my lifestyle and what the city has to offer — outdoor activities, great places to eat and drink, and meeting people from the world over.
Living in Prague is not only about discovering its culture and personality, it’s also about embracing the new, and being willing to stay for more than a while.