I find it hard to believe that it’s been 17 years since I first set foot in Cambridge. Back then, it felt like I was entering an alien realm, full of weird rituals and traditions. Indeed, at one point, all I could think of was getting away from the place. That’s what six years of medical school will do to you, mmmkayyy kids?

Now, though, coming back to Cambridge feels like returning home after a long trip. Some of the characters have gone, never to return, but others have stepped up to take their place. A friend is now a Fellow and Director of Studies at my old college; how time flies!

COVID-19 made it more difficult to do all the things one would normally do when visiting Cambridge. Still, we were able to go punting along The Backs, an activity that brings back memories of peaceful afternoons spent on the River Cam.

Trying to enter Jesus College, I hit a snag; the porter insisted that no visitors were allowed into college (alumni included). Luckily for me, I knew the porter from my days as an undergraduate there, so in the end he only smiled and let us in. Apart from the new Porters’ Lodge, College looked exactly like it was when I left more than 10 years ago.

Before leaving, we stopped by to visit the new Cambridge Central Mosque. If you haven’t been there before, I would highly recommend going, even if you’re non-Muslim. The architecture is stunning, the setting peaceful, the people welcoming.

Until we meet again, inshaAllah.