A Beninese student first heard about Islam in his country and was inspired by his teacher in Turkey to convert to Islam.
As part of Turkiye Scholarships, Beninese Thibaut Gbetolossi Gbaguidi, 27, came to Turkey in 2017 to do doctorate in Zoology at Ankara University.
Before he came to Turkey, he used to study at a university in Benin, where he met a group of Muslims for the first time when he was 17.
“I heard the Azan (the Muslim call to prayer) and loved it but never thought that I would become a Muslim someday,” Gbaguidi told Anadolu Agency.
Last year during the holy month of Ramadan, Gbaguidi was invited by his Muslim cousin Attikou Amadou, who is also studying in Ankara, to Asma Kopru International Student Association where people break their fasts.
“I went there but I was not a Muslim. However, I fasted 14 days to empathize with my friends during that time. Since then, I started to learn about Islam.” Gbaguidi said.
One of his friend Malian Mahmud Konta, who is studying theology in Ankara, used to tell Gbaguidi about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.
“I have read the Quran a few times before I converted to Islam.”
After he studied Turkish language in 2017, he went to university for doctorate.
“My supervisor Zehra Saricicek asked me many questions about my belief and inspired me to convert to Muslim,” he said.
“Now after converting to Islam, some of my Christian friends did not like my decision. But, I do not regret being a Muslim and I am very happy. I daily pray 5 times a day.”