Hvar International: From Dol to Doha
Sime Surjak swaps tranquil Dol for the Qatari capital
While the 2011 census confirmed that the current population of Hvar is about 10,500, the number of people from the world's most beautiful island around the globe is much higher. Emigration, marriage, adventure, jobs and a host of other reasons have enticed many away from Hvar, and we thought it would be fun to track some of them down and find out what they are up to, and what they miss about their home island.
We begin in Qatar, where the spirit of Dol is very much alive in the form of Sime Surjak, who is helping to build the astonishing city that is Doha, the Qatari capital. With Hvar very much in his life - he is one of the founders of the excellent Tartajun association - we caught up with him in Doha while he was taking a break from his other love, his Harley Davidson.
When did you leave Hvar?
I left Hvar and Croatia on 11th May 2010 to work as a civil engineer for the Croatian construction company, Konstruktor Engineering. We are mainly working on infrastructure projects (roads, intersections, bridges, utilities, etc.).
Are there any other Croatians where you are living?
As I work for a Croatian company, many of my colleagues are also from Croatia, so I spend a lot of time with them. There are many other Croatians working for other companies in Doha as well, mostly in civil engineering, the gas, oil and IT sectors, and for Qatar Airways.
I also ride a Harley Davidson here, and there are three other Croats (all with wives) with Harleys and we ride together often.
What do you miss about Hvar?
What do I miss about Hvar? Everything! Its beautiful nature and its warm summers filled with people and events. I miss the nice, slow, quiet and romantic winters, the friendly and honest people, the beautiful girls... Everything!
What is your favourite place on Hvar?
That is an easy one to answer: Dol! And there is no need to explain that too much, as it is my home, where I am from, and where my family and friends live. The village is always in my heart, no matter which part of the world I am in.
Thanks Sime, and we look forward to a video interview on the history of the dormouse in Dol on your next visit...
If you are from Hvar and living abroad and would like to be featured in this section, email us the answers to the four questions above, with a little info about yourself, and attach a couple of pictures - one from your current location and, if possible, one of you from Hvar. Sime told us about a couple of other friends from Hvar working in the Middle East. It would be nice to get a picture of the various Hvar communities around the world.