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What Eliya and Omri miss most in Israel is their family

“A lot of people ask me if I speak Israeli. That's a question I get a lot. I speak Hebrew, we all do,” says Eliya, pointing to her brother Omri. “There are a lot of mispronunciations of our names. When we first moved here, we’d tell people how we pronounce our names in Hebrew, but now we've realised it's different for non-Hebrew speakers, so we say it how you’d pronounce it in English.”

Is there anything you really miss that you can't get at all in Denmark?
“The heat,” says Eliyah. “Family,” Omri exclaims. “And the gathering in the holidays together. Last time we were there was last year for Sukkot, so a year and a half ago. I personally miss the culture. It's so different here. In Israel, you can see falafel stands in some places, but here you'll see hot dog stands.” “We always talk about how we miss the food there,” Eliya adds. “It’s so much different from everything we have here.” “When my grandma sends a package with sweets you can't buy here, my friends are hyped about it,” Omri says. “Sometimes, you wait to have it until you can visit. If you get it here, it won't be that special.”

Anything you’re particularly proud of?
“The cultural architecture is gorgeous,” Eliya is quick to reply. “In Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, there are so many different cultures, in one city there would be synagogues, mosques, churches ..”

“Going to school is very different in Israel,” Omri interrupts. “CIS is very fancy, you could say: You have turning chairs, you have nice tables, computers, a smartboard in the class. In Israel, you just have one ginormous whiteboard and a wooden chair and a wooden table but you do have cabinets. And in Israel, you have to buy everything for school.” “It's also a lot more intense,” says Eliya. “My friends tell me they stay up all night studying and they have tests every day.” “We do learn a lot here,” Omri says, “but it is more fun.”

The photo shows Eliya (2nd from the left) and Omri (blue shirt, black cap) and their big family two years ago on a hike to the north of Israel.

Check out our other interviews with students from Argentina, Colombia, Cyprus, Hungary, India, Kenya, Lithuania, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.