You may only know him from his plethora of posts in Overheard in Halls (he hasn’t discovered Google yet), or from his unironic use of the word ‘lit’; but there’s so much more to the elusive BNOH that is Salem Barakat than one might think. The 19 year old Law student tells Ellie Guinan more about his Halls experience, love of travel and hopes for the future.
Ellie: Tell me about your life at Halls so far, what are the highlights and lowlights you’ve encountered up to now?
Sal: I was really nervous about moving to Ireland. I landed on the 13th of September to a country that is completely alien to me. The weather, the people, the society, it was all different. At first, I literally just wanted to go home. I stayed at a hostel for the first 2 nights and it was lowkey hell. Then I moved into halls and everything was LIT! I moved in and I instantly felt comfortable. My room was looking hella fine and I unpacked then yo boy decided to go buy 2 bottles of NIKITA and got locked for the whole weekend. And honestly, that weekend I met so many people it was lit!! Everyone was great, people were so welcoming and the halls community was so friendly! Of course the JCR were also so helpful with anything I needed,so that was great too. But there were some hard times in Halls. After a while, I started feeling homesick and I still do to this day, but I have so many great friends that I feel at home immediately as soon as we all get together, chill in someone’s apartment and order Apache Pizza. Get Lit!
Ellie: I hear you’ve done your fair share of travelling. Could you tell me about some of your favourite places?
Sal: Something I enjoy doing and would definitely love to do more is travelling. If there’s one thing I don’t regret it’s spending money on travelling. I’ve travelled around most of South-East Asia and a few countries in Europe. The best thing about traveling is learning about different cultures, which I’ve always been interested in. I grew up in the UAE, where I was surrounded by people from all around the world; Pakistani, Indian, British, Irish, Chinese, Egyptian, Spanish, Canadian and many more! So I’ve always been fascinated by different traditions. My favourite place that I went to would definitely be Bali, Indonesia! Everything about it was lit af; the people were so nice, the food was amazing (even though I literally got food poisoned like 4 times), the beaches were so clear and best of all is that it was cheap! So if anyone is looking for a getaway to South-East Asia visit Bali first!
Ellie: I know this is quite a scary question but could you tell me if you have any plans for the future?
Sal: This is one of the most daunting questions I ever get asked. I have no clue what I’m doing with my life or where I want to be in the future. I plan to travel more around Europe in the next 4 years. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my law degree because I don’t even want to practice law just doing it for the lols to be honest. However something I hold close to my heart is humanitarian work with refugees. I’m originally Syrian/Lebanese and obviously everyone knows about the war in Syria. One of my goals is to be able to assist refugees or even just spread awareness about the situation in Syria or the Middle East and the life of a refugee.