Because it's my cultural code; it's a part of me. It is me. For her, it's obvious, and it became obvious for me, too, at some point: what I receive here is a part of me, and I want to give back, too.
It sounds very pretentious, but I really want to do what I can in Tatarstan. I want to use what I learned at one of the best universities in the world, Birkbeck College, the University of London, in the place I consider home.
I had been offered a job in Tatarstan a year ago, and, at the same time, I got an offer from Germany. I actually made lists, columns, wrote out the pros and cons.
And I had this thought, like, "I can't just go back, that would be strange." Inside I understood that I wanted to return, but, in my head, something clicked ... I wasn't ready, and I turned down the offer from Tatarstan.
And then the pandemic hit, and now you can't leave Tatarstan. That's when Natasha Fishman-Bekmambetova offered me a job with the department of architectural projects of the Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan in small towns, state farms, and villages. And I enjoyed it. We drove all over the republic: Aznakaevo, Zelenodolsk, Menzelinsk, Nurlat ...