Two of a kind. Twice the fun or double the trouble? How does it feel to be a twin? What mischief can one get into with the luxury of having a genetic double at university? Or how can a duo be called a twin and yet be different? Reema Saffarini talks to three sets of twins to find out

Identical Twin
Name: Hazem Sawaf
Age: 24
Qualifications: Bachelor in Marketing, American University of Sharjah
Position: Marketing executive

How was your experience in college?
At school, we spent most of our time together during school as we went to the same classes and had the same friends.

In university things changed a bit. I majored in marketing while he chose architecture. He was buried in the studio to work on his assignments and projects, while my studies allowed me to go out.

Do people find it hard to differentiate between you and your brother?
Not really, but one of Hamza's professors still gets confused between the two of us.

Have you ever played tricks on people?
Not really. We never did any- thing crazy like take each other's exams. However, a friend of ours, whom we've known for four years in college, always thought that there was only one of us. It took him four years to find out!

Name: Hamza Sawaf
Age: 24
Qualifications: Bachelor in Architecture, AUS
Position: Architect

Is it fun being a twin?
It is, but each one of us now has somehow formed his own life. We are independent, have different jobs and know different people. Actually professors in college differentiate between us. I used to try hard not to take any courses with professors who taught Hazem and gave him low grades!

At the beginning people may be confused when they see us, but the minute they get to know one of us, it becomes so easy for them to distinguish between us.

Fraternal twin
Name: Mehdi Katanbaf
Age: 24
Major: Master's in Business Administration (MBA)
Institution: University of Wollongong Dubai

As a teenager how different were you from your twin brother?
Very different! I always liked to socialise more and be out there. Mohammad, however, was always concerned with schoolwork. He always got the good grades! I was more into activities and sports.

We benefited from each other and depended on one another. It was like having a roommate whom you could always trust and not worry about formalities.

Privacy may be an issue as you always have someone who knows your business, but at the end of the day you have someone who loves and supports you all the time.

How was your experience in college?
When I entered college I wasn't worried because I had Mohammad there. We ended up having common friends and sharing everything.

Is it fun being a twin?
It's not like I had a choice, but it is. Sometimes it can be frustrating. We argue and fight, but in the end we always support each other.

Name: Mohammad Katanbaf
Age: 24
Qualification: Bachelor in Architecture, American University of Sharjah
Position: Architect

How did growing up with a twin brother affect you?
I always had the assurance that there is someone I can rely and count on in any situation.

I don't think not having a twin brother would have made me change the way I've done things in the past. Maybe situations would be different, but I would have still done the same things.

How was your college experience with a twin brother?
In college we had each other. We were the newcomers who already had a friend. We have the same circle of friends, but I often follow in his footsteps and get to know his friends because he's more outgoing.

Fraternal twin
Name: Tarika Wickremeratne
Age: 20
Major: Spanish, Art History and Film Studies
Institution: The University of Sydney, Australia

How did growing up with a twin affect you?  
We are definitely dependent on each other. That has made us a little shy around others.

In a room full of crowded people, we never really felt the need to go around and introduce ourselves like an only child or a normal sibling would have done because we always had each other to talk to.

We've got a lot better, going to university because we don't see each other all the time anymore. But we still spend a lot of time together.

How was your twin experience in college?
We helped each other a lot. We made the same friends, not because we can't be bothered to make friends of our own, but because we like the same people.

Sometimes people look at me as part of a duo instead of an individual.

I hate it when I'm expected to be exactly like her or vice versa. I remember, when we were younger, we used to hate being referred to as 'the twins'. Now we don't mind it so much but it tends to be irritating sometimes.

Name: Tehara Wickremeratne
Age: 20
Major: Molecular Biology and Genetics
Institution: University of Sydney, Australia

How dependent are you on each other?
When we were younger, we were quite dependent on each other. We're much more independent now. We've always had each other to fall back on at tough times, and without a doubt, I trust her more than anyone else in my life.

Growing up with a twin sister is much like growing up with a best friend. We're both the same age. She's the one person I never have to worry about running out of conversation with!

How was your experience at college?
We definitely helped each other adjust to college life. But if we stuck together, it was mostly because we had to get used to a whole new culture coming from Sri Lanka to Australia.

Do you have a 'weird psychic connection'?
Tarika and I can often guess what the other is thinking and we can interpret each other's moods too. But that's only because we know each other so well. I think two friends could achieve the same.