RajaRaja Fayes al Madhoun is one of those foreigners who are not only staying in Bulgaria. She calls Sofia her home and her hall life that she could remember so far has past here. Raja is 26 years old. She was born in Kuwait. Her parents are Arabs, who decided to move to Bulgaria in 1992. She works at the office of one Bulgarian company for online games as representatives for the Arabic market. But she is well-known to the Bulgarian music audience as a music artist. She sings and plays the guitar in her own projects – the first one is acoustic collaboration between her and Iliyana Georgieva (cello) and the other one RaJa & the Band when they perform rock’n’roll live concerts. You can listen to her live on February 14th as a guest at Ostava concert at Club Terminal 1.

- We are at club Terminal 1 where you are performing on stage very often. Is this also your favorite place in Sofia and why?

- Yes, the music club Terminal 1 is my favorite music scene in town. I like to visit it as a musician and as a listener too. My friends usually always come here and the experience on a Friday night is unique. The club invites variety of bands and their program is always rich and full of events. The atmosphere here is great and I just love to listen to music here.

- How you find Sofia as a city to live in?

- Do you know that two or three days before you’ve even called me for the interview I thought about the same question: “How could I describe Sofia as a city?”. I came to the idea that it looks to me as a “Redhead woman who you love and hate at the same time”. The city has different phases like the moon and the waves. The people who live here transform the city depending on their mood. I adore this town. I grew up here and this is my home.

- What was the reason to come to live in Bulgaria? Why you decided to stay here?

- I was born in Kuweit and my father decided to move here during the war in Irak. I live in Sofia since 1992. I was almost 3 years old when we came and at this age I remember nothing. May be if I return there I will feel it more strange and odd place to be. I’ve only been once to Jordan on a vacation and although it was very beautiful there isn’t any tranquility and peace as you can find here in Sofia for example. Here I feel calm and I could imagine myself living in Bulgaria rather than in the Middle East.

- How you’ve learned Bulgarian?

- I could say it was a long process. At first I studied at an Arabic school and my Bulgarian was really bad. I started to become friend with many Bulgarian kids and while we’ve played together I’ve started to speak more fluently. I visited a Bulgarian high school later and as soon as I changed the environment, my skills became better. I’ve learned to read and write on my own. I had the desire to be part of the society and not to look like a foreigner in the eyes of the others. Now I communicate almost only in Bulgarian on every single day and I speak rare in Arabic.

- What is your favorite word in Bulgarian?

- ЧУШКА [CH’ U’ SH K A] is the first word which comes to my mind right now. I think it sounds funny may be because there is not such sound “Ч” [ch] or “Ц” [tz] in the Arabic language. When our Arabic friends and relatives pay as a visit to Bulgaria they always notice this sound like it’s repeated constantly in the Bulgarian language.

- Do you want to share something about the Bulgarian character as a nation which you have discovered as an unique feature?

- Bulgarians are very modest people and also very kind. Their hospitality has no limit. The last one is very unique feature about the Bulgarians. I’ve never been to a different town in the country where I could find a shelter or food for the night even though I am not from there. I think we have many things in common between the Bulgarian and the Arabic culture – the hospitality and the kindness and also we can be a little bit lazy sometimes.