Series Classification: G (General Programmes)
Engin is originally from former Yugoslavia - now the Republic of North Macedonia, his family were forced to emigrate due to the possible threat of a war. Engin grew up in Istanbul, Turkey where he met his wife, Ayla who grew up in Germany. After finishing university, Engin and Ayla had worked as university lecturers before they decided to move to NZ in 2003.
Engin completed his Master’s degree in American Culture focusing on Toni Morrison’s novels in relation with racial, cultural, lingual issues through the eyes of the “other” and he went on to complete his second Master’s degree in Educational Management at Auckland University of Technology and his expertise area is in Organisational Culture and Change Management.
He is currently employed by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as an Educational Manager. He is also working towards his PhD at Auckland University of Technology. He has two major passions: his family, two teenage boys and spending time with them outdoors.
Engin wants his two boys to get a good education, travel the world and experience different cultures, like he and his wife have.
He also hopes that the boys understand their faith, set of beliefs and as human beings they develop a sense of obligation to help others without reciprocity.
Engin says he sometimes visits Istanbul occasionally including the little town where he grew up. He says the suburb has changed so much that he now feels foreign, but not necessarily in a bad way.
For Engin, home is where the heart is and he and Ayla made Auckland's Birkdale home where they live together with their two boys.
"When you have a physical house, it's not a home necessarily. You can buy this anywhere. But when you raise your kids and family in that house and that community, it becomes your home."
Series Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar who has recently completed her PhD in Media and Communications.
She has written and directed award winning short films. Ghazaleh is currently developing her first feature screenplay and publishing her first book of personal essays.