Meet the People of Zagreb: Theresa, Founder of Unique Zagreb, from Egypt

Total Croatia News

Me and my camera in green Zagreb.JPG

Zagreb has a growing number of expats moving to the city, with many making an active contribution to life in the city. Meet Theresa from Egypt, who came to the city for love, stayed and founded Unique Zagreb. 

1. Tell us who you are, what you do, and what brought you to Zagreb?

I am Theresa Khalil, a documentary filmmaker, story writer, entrepreneur and founder of Unique Zagreb through which I am trying to create English speaking meetups and connect expats and English speakers to the city.

I had my own advertising company in Egypt then I moved to Europe to do my Masters degree in documentary filmmaking. It was during my final semester in Budapest when I met my now husband online, and as he was in Zagreb just 7 hours by train, he came to visit and soon after, I visited Zagreb and later on moved to it after my graduation. A few months later we got married and here I am.

Me and my camera in green Zagreb.JPG

You can check our love story in the video below.

2. What do you love about the city, and what would you like to change?

I love about Zagreb that it is small although it is a capital, it is also peaceful and green. In summer time it is magical, but then winter comes and I can just hibernate till the next summer. But I guess I can’t change the weather. I would also like to change the language. Many people speak English but still this is not the official language here. Growing up in Egypt I was all the time trying to improve my English and I think now I mastered it so I feel sorry not being able to enjoy my achievement here.


3. Your favourite place in the city, and why?

My favourite place is the main square it is full of life all year round, Everything is within walking distance from there, Cinema, shops, restaurants, cafes. There is always something organized in the main square, a festival or a concert or a market.

Me and the dog.JPG

4. How has Zagreb changed since you arrived?

I just came two years ago so, no big changes, but I am happy that the transportation ticket is now 4 kn for 30 min instead of 10 kn no matter how many stops you need. I still think it is not a perfect system as I can’t keep watching my clock to see if I passed 30 min or not, but it is a change on the right way.

5. Three cool places most foreigners miss?

First cool place is Hrelić flea market  the market in Britanski trg is a small version of this one, it is a bit far from the center but it is huge you can find many unique items there from the old times and even new products. You can also have a meal in the local restaurants.

#2 In May there is a huge spring exhibition with all kind of plants and flowers, I made a video about it. It is beautiful to walk around and enjoy the beginning of summer.

Another cool place is Jarun lake, I live nearby so we usually go there to walk around the lake or I can practice some Tai chi movements which I started learning in Zagreb. People there do many kind of sports like jogging, biking, skating.

Tai chi at Jarun lake.JPG

6. Your favourite hangouts on a Saturday night?

I am not a night person, so I prefer to be home by 10 pm but in the weekend we usually watch a film in the cinema or if there is any film festival happening at that time I try to watch something interesting. Also as now we have moved to a new apartment we are usually spending the weekends between furniture stores such as Ikea, emmezeta, lesnina, …etc. It is for me pure pleasure to see new furniture creations even if I will not buy.


7. You previously lived in Budapest. How is the experience between the two cities different? 

Budapest is bigger of course and has lots of things going on, many activities and events, thermal spas, Budapest eye which is a huge rotating wheel and my favourite entertainment activity. Many couchsurfing or expats meetups, many English speaking workshops in different fields. But I still prefer Zagreb as I am more into the peaceful atmosphere here and luckily they don’t dub the movies like they do in Hungary.

ZegeVege festival in the main square.JPG

As for the English speaking activities, I am working on it.

You can follow Unique Zagreb here.

Maksimir photography tour.JPG


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