The Leuven Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

We’ve joined forces with Leuven to highlight 100 local people, places and projects that contribute towards making the city what it is today. From artists and architects to producers and professors, these are the driving forces powering Leuven forward one ingenious initiative at a time.

Mustafa Kör

Mustafa Kör

Author and poet (1976)

Can you describe what you do?

I’m an author and poet – having already published works such as Ben jij liefde, De lammeren and Uitverkorene – currently living in Wilsele-Dorp. I’d call myself a night-writer: once the world goes to sleep, I appear. A bit of a loner, I suppose.

How do you perceive Leuven?

Leuven’s a big village, bursting out at its seams. Downtown, it’s a totally different area compared to its surrounding neighbourhoods with “traditional” folk. You can really feel the presence of the internationally renowned University all around you, when frequenting the city centre. It never ceases to surprise me that anytime I’m in a shop, employees will presume I’m a foreigner and start to speak English to me.

Thanks to the enormous presence and influence of languages and dialects, it makes you realise that one has to become adaptable and open to new things.

What would you say is Leuven’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

Its location: bang in the middle of the country, and right on the border with Wallonia. All the culture and art that your heart can desire, all in the same compact space. Thanks to the enormous presence and influence of languages – especially French – and dialects, it makes you realise that one has to become adaptable and open to new things.

On the flip-side, it would be great to see the City work on improving its sidewalks, streets, and public facilities in general.

A local legend, neighbourhood anecdote or urban myth that, to you, encapsulates the spirit of the city?

The legend of Fiere Magriet: a sad yet powerful story about a maiden who was murdered following a violent assault, all because she was “too proud” and would not give in to the aggressor.

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