Bangladeshi Australian couple Rejul Asan (45, “Rejul”) and Pahana Hak (41, “Pahana”) moved to Songdo three years ago. This global family came to Incheon, the city they were not familiar with, through a year-long plan. We wonder how they have lived in Incheon. We met Rejul and Pahana and talked about how they settled down in Incheon and the strength of family that makes them endure the cold winter.
Reazul Ahsan & Farhana Haq Family
# The Birth of a Global Family
Before coming to Korea, Rejul and Pahana had been involved in international activities around the world. Rejul has taught and researched at prestigious universities in various countries. His wife, Pahana, worked for more than eight years as a nurse and in the human resources department of a company in Australia. She worked as a producer for state-run broadcasting company in Hungary and worked at the post office while studying English literature in England, building up various talents. Pahana, currently concentrating on raising the children, is leading a busy life, serving as the Vice President of Parents at the Canadian International School in Songdo, where her children attend.
When they first came to Korea, they originally planned to stay for about a year and return. However, the couple is satisfied with their life in Incheon and planning to stay in Incheon for a few more years. Currently, Rejul is a professor at the University of Utah Asia Campus, where he oversees the process of building the Smart City Laboratory Platform. He said, “When I was teaching smart cities in other countries, I couldn’t actually show them, but in Incheon, I feel worth because I can go out to the site and explain them directly.”
# Incheon, a City like Home
The most satisfying thing about Songdo, a global city, is ‘safety’ and ‘neighbors,’ who are always friendly. Most of all, because the couple's children, Aisha and Ibrahim, spent their childhood in Incheon, it became their hometown. “I have lived in many countries, traveling the world, and I can say that Songdo is a very family-friendly city. These days, I spend time with my children in the park, and that makes me happy.”
Last summer, they planned to send the children to Australia to attend school for a year. However, Aisha and Ibrahim, who went to Australia, strongly insisted on going back to school in Korea. “They spent about a month in a school in Australia, and they cried because they missed their Korean friends and teachers. Eventually, we had to bring our children back to Incheon.” For their children are popular among friends, they hang out with friends and their families every weekend. The Rejul and Pahana family is busy every week.
# Family, Reassuring the Support for Each Other
COVID-19 broke out shortly after they came to Incheon for the first time. The past two years have been a difficult time for everyone. However, the Rejul and Pahana family could spend more time with the families because of this. Sometimes the children comforted and supported the father who was having a hard time, and Rezul also strongly supported the children and Pahana. They say they feel the energy of becoming one with each other when they support each other. “After coming to Korea, I became closer to my family and felt that they are the source of my strength.” In particular, Rejul really looked out for Pahana, saying that the family would be in bad shape without her. It was cold when we had the interview. We could feel his love toward the family in the way he took care of his children and wife. “We have not decided any specific plans, but we are going to have new experiences in various countries.” To Rejul's words, Pahana also added, "Wherever Rejul goes, I would love it." We support the life of the Rejul and Pahana family in Incheon who always support each other.