My First Conference Paper Presentation in Istanbul


It has been long, hasn’t it? After 2 months+ of hiatus, I think it’s now time for me to make a comeback. Actually I had been busy preparing for my first ever conference as a PhD student.Few months ago, I sent an abstract to a conference without any expectation but when it was accepted, reality finally hit me. What the H would I write/present?

Honestly, the writing process was painful for me because I still had not started serious writing for my thesis. If I had written a few chapters of my thesis, it would be easier to write the conference paper. Oh My God! I had mental block for a few days. I was even afraid to think!  I was worried if my ideas would be immature or not at par with the level of a PhD student. All sorts of negative thinking kept haunting me. Uh oh, not good Firuz!

Then I started to indulge in the books written by my SV to learn the way she thinks and writes. Finally I sort of got it and pushed myself to think and compose a paper. Alhamdulillah, I survived the ‘frozen’ phase and managed to write the paper although it took quite some time. Despite being time consuming, the paper actually became my unofficial entrance to the thesis writing world. The paper might not be well written but I am so proud of myself for being able to fight over my fear and finally produced a 10-page conference paper that is closely related to my thesis.

I was excited to attend the conference because it was held in Istanbul where my brother lives currently as a student at Bogazici University. However due to money constraint, I had to travel alone without hubsy and Arish. Of course, I felt a bit ‘giddy’ because I could have my lone time after a long time ;p but I was also sad to leave my sweethearts for a couple of days. Arish was so upset when he realized that I was leaving with a travel bag without him. Oh poor baby!

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Nevertheless, I was so happy to meet my younger brother in Istanbul. He picked me up at the airport and took me to my hotel in Taksim. Of course, we had our delicious Turkish dinner together!

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My conference venue was literally 2 minutes walk from my hotel. It was so convenient for me because I could return to my hotel for a quick food grab and prayers.

Alhamdulillah, my first ever conference paper presentation went smooth. Most of the other presenters worked with English literature, but I still learned a lot from them. For the Southeast Asia region, apparently, I was the only Malaysian and there were 2 Singaporean ladies and 2 Indonesian ladies. Wonderful!

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That night, Halim took me to a fish restaurant by the river and a premium baklava restaurant. I had so much fun with my baby brother alhamdulillah!

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Overall, I had a splendid time in Istanbul! Hopefully I can go there again with my other family members insya Allah❤