socially distanced – Porto #ficaemcasa

Asma Mehan, University of Porto, Portugal

Porto has its own charm. It has a beautiful Douro river, the steep alleys of Gaia, Ribeira, Miragaia and shiny beautiful waterfronts. While you are strolling in the fishing village of Afurada, you can smell the sea. Watching the sunset with a mild breeze coming from the Atlantic Ocean can refresh the soul. It is difficult to be a non-local curious urban and nature lover like me and to stay at home in a magical city like Porto. While the Pandemic has started in Porto, I started a strange kind of isolation that confines me to a university residence of multiple rooms, shared with dozens of others. Although not everyone stayed, the Portuguese students went back home immediately.

The city which was famous for its tourists and romantic evenings has been completely deserted. Through my window I can see the resurgence of nature into the space vacated by humans. I see beautiful rare kind of birds singing and flying. While I try to keep the daily connections with friends, family and ex-colleagues in Iran (Tehran), Italy (Torino), Germany (Berlin), and Australia (Melbourne) I am still positive for a brighter future and try to make peace with lockdown in Porto through the power of community and solidarity.

Nature conquers the city Photo by Asma Mehan, April 2020, Porto, Portugal

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