Growing up, we were educated on the importance of getting along with our neighbors. As a matter of fact, this is a rather important socioeconomic value of our religion as Muslims - one that is slowly fading out in the Greater Male’ region, but is still evident among the residents living in island communities.

We are all different: we come from different backgrounds; we were raised in different conditions and we have different values. We simply should not expect others to share our beliefs or see the world through our eyes. Hiyaa flat will become home to a vast population of over 30,000 residents. Which means you could potentially be sharing your tower with roughly over 1000 other residents. This brings us to some important points to be taken to make coexistence a peaceful and beautiful experience for all.

At Hiyaa, you will be sharing common spaces such as hallways, lifts and stairs; meaning, we will often find ourselves in each other’s space. Apart from thoughtfulness, we must also demonstrate responsibility. The best way to start is with ourselves. We will be familiar with the saying, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” If we do not litter, chances are, we wouldn’t need to spend time on cleaning either. First and foremost, let us aspire to keep our home clean. All we have to do is hop in the elevator, go downstairs and gently place the bags in the dedicated bins - which wouldn’t even take 10 minutes out of our schedule.

The first step to a solid friendship always lie in the first impression. Make it a habit to interact with your neighbors. Start with the ones who live on either side of your apartment: share food like the old times, lend a hand when they need it. Before you know it, you could be making plans to go down the beach this weekend.

Five fingers are not equal and that does not mean any of them have an upper hand. Each finger is equally important. Some of us grew up without accessibility proper education, healthcare and resources that make the bedrock of sustainable living. Some do intense labor work for 16 hours a day, while others scrape their brains out with strict deadlines. We have just one goal and that’s living a happy and healthy life. One where we are no longer stressed about making our ends meet. Let us learn how to recognize the circumstances we share. We are all in this together and we are trying to move forward. There is no actual resentment towards each other. There never was. We are just frustrated. But, we should learn how to practice gratitude. Gratitude does not mean say, “thank you”.

It could be the mere act of reflecting on our day and finding three things we are thankful for. Our first step to Hiyaa flats might not have been the dream moving day we thought it would. That doesn’t mean it can’t become our dream home. It could just hold the key to the calm and collected home we’ve always wanted.

Many of us have experienced the painstaking experience of living next to construction sites. The drilling, the hammering and the sound of concrete mixers churning cement and gravel. Sleeping through that music would be impossible. With all those experiences behind us, some of us continue to carry out similar activities right inside the apartment - at night. Let’s picture a baby, only a couple of months old, just trying to fall into a blissful dream - following hours of trial and error by an already exhausted parent.  Would be want the same for our own? Undoubtedly no.

After months of living at Hiyaa, we’re now completely familiar on how we should use amenities such as elevators and parking spaces. There is a service elevator dedicated to our logistical needs, and yet, we continue to use others to move furniture and waste. We dread the few times we are stuck behind a waste management vehicle on the road, yet we have no problem with giving the same experience to our neighbors. Make it a habit to use the service elevator for such needs. Habits, of course, require effort and with just a little bit of practice, we can easily master them. Same goes for the underground parking spaces. Instead of parking near the road, we could just drive into the lower ground floor of where we live. Not only does it prevent traffic jams but also bring us closer to the elevator as well.

Start picking up what you drop, gently remind your neighbors (whom you are familiar with) to do the same. Intentionally lower the volume when you speak, for it makes more pleasant conversation and prevent your neighbors from getting disturbed. Save those heavy lifting for non-peak hours; the hammering and drilling for daytime and always use the service elevator for activities other than carrying yourself up and down the building. Happier times at Hiyaa could just be a few simple changes away and they will all begin with ourselves.