Mansoor Maitah

* 1962  

  • "There's a much harder life in Jordan - and that's why the family has to stick together, yeah. There are those relations very… very strong bonds. There, the family always sticks together… it must… just stick together. And most importantly, parents are always very important in that family. Which means when you have parents, you always have to be polite, no matter how old you are. For example, in Jordan, when a parent comes into the room, the children get up, when the teacher comes into the room, the children also get up. But I understand that it's a different culture, I mean it's different here. But of course here we have our values, we have beautiful values. Today, I stand for Czech values. I want to tell you just that; you may hear or see on TV from time to time that migrants and other problems in Europe are being addressed. And if you are interested in my opinion on it, we can have foreigners here, various foreigners, we have nothing against foreigners, we are not against foreigners. But for us, if a foreigner comes, he must respect and honour our values. This means that foreigners can be here, they can have other colours, they can come from other countries and they can have certain values of their own, but they cannot push us to have another culture here, because the one who wants to live here must to live like a Czech, and respect Czech values. This means: I, for example, here in the Czech Republic I celebrate Christmas and Easter, I go to various important events that are related to the history of the Czech Republic."

  • "Indeed, and to be quite honest, when I first arrived, it was a completely different world for me, because I actually lived in that village and went straight to Prague, so I didn't even know any Jordanian cities. Really, I went straight from that village to Prague. It was very difficult for me, because Czech is very complicated, very difficult. Otherwise, I learned a lot of languages in my life, for example I learned English, French, Spanish, I learned Chinese for twelve years. And let me tell you, of all those languages, Czech is really the most difficult. I had big issues with Czech. It was very difficult for me to learn Czech, because I studied for six months, then I started at CTU as a student and I really had to learn day and night to handle it. Not only did I have a difficult school, but I had to deal with a language that was very difficult and very distant for me. But soon, right at the beginning, I met my wife, the mother of my children. I am grateful to her for a lot, and that is why I started living here in Modřany. And since then I have been trying to learn Czech and this is how I happened to be in Modřany and I have stayed here in Modřany ever since. In other words, I am actually grateful to the district of Modřany for a big lot. I am indebted to them for everything: for home, for children, for a nice life, for work. Yeah, it's just… I really have to tell you here that I'm grateful for everything. I am grateful to the Czech Republic for giving me a home. Today I am… I look like a foreigner, I have a foreign name, but I am proud that I am actually a Czech. In other words: a Czech citizen does not have to be born only here, one can become a Czech like me here, because the Czechia is my home and I am ready to do everything for the Czechia."

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    Praha, 11.06.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 23:54
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Jordan remains in my heart, but I have a new home today

Mansoor Maitah was born on August 21, 1962 in a mountain village in Jordan into an agricultural family of olive and vine growers. After graduating from high school, he went to study in what was then Czechoslovakia. He arrived in the country on October 22, 1980, at the age of eighteen. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and later from the University of Economics and Charles University. He received several doctorates and the title of associate professor. He currently lives in Prague 12 in Modřany and works as a representative of this part of the city and a university teacher at the University of Economics and the Czech University of Agriculture.