0717 – Nijmegen

Upgrading Graafseweg: fewer lanes, more space for cyclists.

De Graafseweg will be undergoing major changes. The stretch from Rozenstraat (just behind the bridge over the rail track) to Wolfskuilseweg goes from four to two lanes. The section from the Wolfskuilseweg to the Cavaljéweg (a line of about 400 meters) remains four-lane, but gets narrower lanes. According to the lord mayor and aldermen, the changes ensure that traffic from outside the city no longer uses the center as a transit route to Arnheim. In the new situation, cyclists also get more space thanks to the construction of a wider cycle path or service road. Work on the Graafseweg will start as soon as the renovation on the Waal bridge is completed. This is estimated at the beginning of 2021. The Commission expects motorists to be on the Graafseweg for a maximum of 15 seconds in the new situation. According to alderman Harriët Tiemens, the redesign of the Graafseweg has many advantages: ,,It will improve road safety and quality of life. The Graafseweg is now sometimes used as a highway. We really have to get rid of that.”

New bicycle crossing

Also new: a bicycle crossing at the Cavaljéweg. This would mean that the current bicycle crossing at the Verbindingsweg, just under a hundred meters away, would be removed. Two years ago a serious accident took place at the Verbindingsweg, in which a 31-year-old cyclist died. Tiemens: ,,The planned adjustment also has everything to do with safety. The Connection Road is not a logical place for cyclists to cross.” The narrowing means that there will be room to construct a wider cycle path or even a service road on the residents’ side of the Graafseweg. That happens in consultation with the residents, says Tiemens: “They have the best view of that.” The number of lanes remains intact between Wolfskuilseweg and Cavaljéweg. “If we remove lanes there, there is a chance that nearby roads will be used as shortcuts and become overloaded.”

PR dgfoto Gelderlander Nijmegen: Graafseweg stad uitwaards

Previous work on the Graafseweg

In 2017, the section between Keizer Karelplein and Rozenstraat was already reduced from four to two lanes. Research has since shown that the effects of this on car traffic are minimal. According to the city council, the layout of the Graafseweg is still largely the same as in the seventies of the last century, when it was considered an important route between the north and south of the Netherlands. With the arrival of the A50 in 1976 and the construction of the bridge “The Crossing” in 2013, the Graafseweg no longer has that function. A narrowing is therefore only logical, according to the commission. GroenLinks, the largest party in the Nijmegen city council, also believes that changes to the Graafseweg are necessary. “There are reports of motorists driving 114 kilometers per hour on the Graafseweg,” says councilor Quirijn Lokker. ,,The redesign greatly increases the quality of life for local residents. There are hardly any disadvantages for motorists.”

Criticism from opposition and coalition party SP

Not everyone agrees with this: the Nijmegen groups from the VVD, Stadspartij DNF and VoorNijmegen, among others, have always strongly opposed a narrowing. That is no different now. “An idiotic plan,” says Maarten Bakker (VVD). “Why should bicycle paths be widened there? I have never heard of bicycle jams on Graafseweg. And liveability can also be increased without lanes disappearing. For example, consider extra green spaces along the road.” Finally Bakker finds changes to the Graafseweg premature: ,,Why don’t we wait until the s100 (route over Energieweg and The Crossing) flows through properly before we even start thinking about these kinds of things?” coalition partner SP is critical. “First I want to get all the facts right,” says SP leader Hans van Hooft. ,,What does an adjustment to the Graafseweg mean for the surrounding neighborhoods? On what does the alderman base the 15-second delay? If I am honest, I see few clues for this plan at the moment.”

0716 – Happy Birthday, KLM 100y!!!

SCHIPHOL – KLM is a hundred years old, and therefore officially the oldest airline in the world. Where British Airways, which claims the same, painted no less than four airplanes in historic colors, KLM keeps it modest: almost every aircraft carries special stickers. Over the past few months, the hangars have worked hard to put the stickers on the fleet. This happened during the regular maintenance of the devices and lasted an average of three to four hours. Almost all aircraft, from the small Embraer 175 to the large Boeing 747, now carry special inscriptions on two sides to celebrate the KLM anniversary. Even the Fokker 100, which is parked on the panorama terrace at Schiphol, was given the stickers, and also the cargo fleet and the striking Boeing 777-300ER in Orange Pride livery are provided with it. Excepted are the three aircraft that wear the SkyTeam colors, and the PH-BKA, the first Boeing 787-10 for KLM that has been painted in a festive jubilee jacket. The stickers represent a new challenge for aircraft spotters: all aircraft from the fleet must be recorded on the sensitive plate by the true enthusiast. From January 2020 the stickers will slowly disappear from the fleet. Some haste is therefore required.

07 October 2019, Istanbul Internaional Airport. KL1613 (AMS-IST) arrives at gate D7, in a welcome shower by the Istanbul International airport fire brigade.

0715 – Solar energy (update)

Monthly report: September 2019

Figures as per 22 September 2019 *

  • 179.767 kW  produced;
  • € 34.18 earned;
  • 70.51 Kg CO2 emission saved;
  • equals 0.24 trees planted; total 3.65 trees.

* The connection between the solar converter and the house wifi network was lost as per 20 September; the data about the production of the last 11 days of September are NOT included in the above table. I hope to get the data when the connection is restaured, but we are still waiting for a sign of life of SOLAR NRG to send a reparation team.

0714 – Royalty

It was her final crusade and proved to be her lasting legacy.  On the outskirts of the war-ravaged city of Huambo in central Angola, Diana, Princess of Wales had walked through a minefield that would lead some months later and after her death to a global landmine ban. Twenty two years on, her son the Duke of Sussex made that same journey today. But he insisted the work she had begun had not yet been completed. Had his mother still been alive, he declared, “she would have seen it through.” In a moving speech made at the exact spot where the princess was photographed in January 1997, the Duke said: “It has been quite emotional retracing my mother’s steps… to see the transformation that has taken place, Prince Harry walks the same route his mother took in 1997 an unsafe and desolate place into a vibrant community.” Citing statistics showing a “staggering” 60 million people around the world” still live in fear and risk of landmines”, he argued: “We cannot turn our backs on them.” Visiting Huambo, he had walked the same path famously taken by the late princess in 1997, through a once dangerous area now populated with businesses and houses. He added he had found it moving to “see the transformation that has taken place from an unsafe and desolate area into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges”.  Citing statistics showing there are still more than 1,000 minefield in Angola, he said: “I wonder if she [Diana] were still alive today if that would be the case? I’m pretty sure she would have seen it through.” Speaking with the help of a translator, the Duke said of work in Huambo: “This is a wonderful example of how UK partnership with Angola can address the issue of land mines, bringing prosperity to an area, creating jobs, helping people access education and healthcare, and making communities safer,” he said. “The work of demining is dangerous, expensive and laborious.  “And I have the utmost admiration and respect for all who do this hazardous work and risk their lives in service to their country.

The Duke of Sussex meets landmine victim Sandra Tigica, who Princess Diana met on her visit to Angola 1997, during a reception at the British Ambassadors Residence in Luanda“I am incredibly proud, as I know my mother would have been, of the role that the UK has played in this transformation.  “But of course none of this progress would have been possible without the spirit and unwavering determination of the Angolan people. The credit goes to you.” But, he said, there was still some where to go to achieve the aim of being “landmine impact-free” by 2025.  Pledging the UK’s “unwavering support”, he added: “I call on all those countries that had their names stamped on these weapons, but have not helped in the clean up, to please commit to ensure we meet out collective goal. “Let’s finish what was started. Let us consign these weapons to the history books.”  Prince Harry ended the second day of his visit to Angola by meeting Sandra Thijika, 38, a landmine victim who was famously pictured with Princess Diana sitting under a fig tree in an orthopaedic workshop in Luanda in 1997.

The Duke of Sussex with Jose Antonio (C), of the Halo Trust and a mine clearance worker in DiricoEarlier in the day, in Dirico, Angola, the Duke had described landmines as the “unhealed scar of war” after emulating his mother Diana, Princess of Wales in detonating a controlled explosion. Wearing body armour and a protective visor, Prince Harry watched as staff from the landmine clearance charity Halo Trust painstakingly worked to rid a remote area of Angola of military munitions. Diana, Princess of Wales, was famously pictured in a partially-cleared minefield in the Angolan town of Huambo in 1997, to highlight the plight of those maimed by the weapons and to urge for a world-wide ban. Prince Harry’s mother never saw her work to help outlaw landmines come to fruition as she died the year of her Africa visit a few months before the international treaty to outlaw the weapons was signed. In a speech to mark his visit, the Duke said: “Landmines are an unhealed scar of war. By clearing the landmines, we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity.” Speaking about Huambo, he said: “Once heavily mined, the second city of Angola is now safe. “With the right international support, this land around us here can also be like Huambo – a landmine-free, diverse, dynamic and thriving community connected to and benefitting from all that it has to offer.” An Angolan minister attending the event said the “humanistic heritage” of the princess’s anti-landmine campaign was the catalyst for his country’s final push to remove all the munitions by 2025.

Prince Harry meets staff and patients as he visits the Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre in Huambo, Angolaear the south-eastern town of Dirico the Duke walked into an area in the Luengue-Luiana National Park that was once an artillery base for anti-government forces who had mined the position in 2000 before retreating. The dusty scrubland was marked with red warning signs showing the skull and crossbones, with the Portuguese words “Perigo Minas!” and the English translation below – danger mines. In 2005 a 13-year-old girl lost a foot after stepping on a mine in the area. Jose Antonio, a regional manager for the landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust, took Harry onto the site where his staff have been working since August to make safe, and hope to complete their painstaking clearance by the end of October. Prince Harry watched as mine clearance worker Jorge Joao Cativa used a metal detector to search for the mostly anti-personnel mines buried in the ground. If one is discovered staff are trained to move back and carefully remove the soil as they move forward until they reach the munition. Angola’s landmines area a legacy of a 27-year civil war which ended in 2002 leaving behind an unknown quantity of munitions that have injured and maimed tens of thousands of people. Mr Antonio, said of Harry: “He was very interested in the work that my team are doing clearing the mines. He was very impressed; he knows it’s a hard and very slow and dangerous, and that you need to be very patient.”

Prince Harry in Dirico, AngolaIn June the Duke gave his backing to a £47 million landmine clearing initiative to help destroy thousands of munitions in a huge conservation region of Angola. The Angolan government is investing the funds in the Halo Trust, which will work over five years to rid 153 minefields of munitions in the south-eastern province of Cuando Cubango inside the Mavinga and Luengue-Luiana National Parks. Working with other organisations the Halo Trust hopes the removal of the landmines will lead to the areas, with their wealth of habitat and wild animals, being rejuvenated and opening up to conservationists and eco-tourists. The Duke walked through an area of the site looking at the marked off areas which potentially could contain landmines. An anti-personnel mine had been discovered earlier and the Duke set it off with a controlled explosion which echoed around the area and sent up a large cloud of dust.

Lucio Goncalves Amaral, deputy minister for social integration, paid tribute to Harry’s mother and said his countrymen and women were forever in her debt. In a speech the politician told the Duke: “Your visit to our country is of a great human and historical significance, as it follows the visit of the late Princess Diana of Wales to Angola in January 1997. “We will never forget her priceless contribution to the campaign to ban the anti-personnel land mines. The Angolan people will be eternally grateful for her performance in the demining process of our territory. “This humanistic heritage left by the late Princess of Wales is the motivation for the Angolan executive to proceed with the demining program to free the country of mines by the year 2025.”

The Duke of Sussex meets six-year-old Barnaby Jose MarIn the afternoon, Prince Harry formally opened a hospital re-named in honour of his mother, saying her memory is with him ‘daily’. Recently renovated, the Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre in Huambo aims to become Angola’s national centre of excellence in orthopaedic care. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the occasion, Harry described the visit as a ‘deeply personal’ one said said his mother would have been delighted to see how the hospital had developed since her visit, when it was filled with landmine victims. “It has been an honour to re-trace my mother’s steps today,” he said. “I lost her 22 years ago but her memory is with me daily and her legacy lives on.” He also spent time with young patients including Justina Cesar, who lost her right leg to a land mine when she was three years old. At the orthopaedic hospital the Duke greeted her with a warm hug, and asked: “I think you were 15 at the time – do you remember meeting my mother?” Speaking afterwards, Ms Cesar, 38, said that she had no idea who Diana was when she visited the orthopaedic centre in 1997. “People just said she was a princess. They asked us to come and meet her. But they did not say how important she was. “She greeted us, and laid her hand on my brow. I was so happy about that. She was very special.” When she learned that Diana had died, “I felt a mighty sadness. Someone who cared very much for mine victims had gone. “But I was very happy that Diana’s son had come to continue the work that she had started. “I am so happy. This is a very special day. I had so much to say to him, but I could barely speak.” Ms Cesar, who has three children and works as a government clerk, said she gave Harry a copy of her project to help landmine victims. “I would like him to sponsor it,” she said.

0713

As my sister Clarijalke had problems with her computer and printer, I used my free travel 65+ to go to Amsterdam and solve the problems. First off to CoolBlue with a set of 63/302 cartridges, which not matched with her wifi printer HP4525. The CoolBlue people acknowledged, that the delivery should have been 302/302 cartridges. Having bought that set, we went one floor below to choose a new laptop.  The model was not on stock and will be delivered next Monday.

At home I called HP office abought the wrong delivery. CoolBlue had instructed us NOT to open the new bought cartridges before having spoken to HP. With a lot of efforts I got the following explanation: 63/302 were a new XL version of the 302/302 ones. As only the black cartridge printed a testpage, they promised to send a new colour 63/302.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that there was a lot of free time left, as there was  no computer to be installed. So my sister proposed to take a stroll in unknown parts of Amsterdam. We went to a former animal shelter annex animal graveyard, presently a beer brewery “Cats and Dogs”.

And I know she is very good in it. As there was a huge rainstorm passing over, we went back by bus and had dinner at the Italian restaurant Libero.

0712 – Anwar’s columns

When she said that, I felt the cold again during my run for freedom.

I met Thea. She is 88 years old. She and I understood each other before we exchanged one word. Because we both went through a war. I saw her understanding in her eyes. She told about her terrible memories of the Battle of Arnheim. I saw exactly what I experienced in my head like a film. We shared the same feeling, the same pain.

When I met Thea, she was just interviewed in front of a television camera. I listened to her story and after a few minutes I knew enough. It was like sitting next to her naked. Without masks of happiness, satisfaction or beautiful clothes to mask how you feel inside. “Oh how fierce, but would you like to tell it again, but then shorter,” the interviewer told Grandma Thea. I looked at the interviewer with a crooked face. This can’t be shorter? The events cannot be summarized as a clickbait title. “How was Thea then?” The interviewer asked her again. Grandma said: “We had to flee and we were always outside. The food ran out and we were hungry. It was cold, we had not brought any extra clothes with us.” When she said that, I felt the cold again during my run for freedom. “We were with many children and there were no toys. When we returned all my toys were gone. Everything was taken away. I did not see my house when I returned”.

Now I am here, Arnheim celebrates freedom. Celebrates the freedom where my parents miss it. Freedom for grandma Thea and me means that people in an unsafe situation can go somewhere else where it is safe. Real freedom would mean seeing the last bullet shot on this earth. Even if I had to catch it with my own body, as long as it was the very last one.

Sneaky date: “Hallo-goodafternoon-youspeakwithHans”

I was on the bus in Arnheim. There were three Syrian girls in the back. One of them came to me in panic and asked if I came from Syria. “We have a problem,” she said in Arabic. They had gone from Zutphen to Arnheim without their parents knowing. One of the girls had a date with a Syrian boy. I could see that, because she was a walking makeup box. The girl had two girlfriends with her for safety. That reminded me of Syria when I had a girlfriend there. She always had her brother with her as a kind of police officer. He had one task: to keep an eye on Anwar. I kept him a friend with sweets.

The girl on the bus panicked because her father had called. He suspected she wasn’t in school. “Do you want to pretend to be my teacher and say we are going to Arnheim with the whole class?” She asked. I saw her tears, she looked at me very sadly. She gave her phone. Infelt sorry for her, because Syrian fathers can be strict. “Can your father speak Dutch well,” I asked. “No,” she said. That was an advantage for me, otherwise he would hear that I am not a teacher with my poor Dutch. I decided to talk quickly and hard so that her father would barely understand anything about it.” “Hallo-goodafternoon-Agus talks”, I rattled.
“Blablablablabla-triptoArnheim”. I said words that I did not understand myself, but I made sure that the last word was right and did it overly confidently. The father stammered that he was also a worried father. He took a sigh of relief.

Then the stern Syrian side came up in me. “Please don’t go out into the street with so much makeup next time.” They nodded well. “Have fun, ladies.” They got off the bus laughing.

An old and fat Anwar on the couch? No thanks!!!

Before the Syrian man marries, he does his best to look as attractive as possible. He sports and pays a lot of attention to his appearance. Once he is married, he has achieved his goal, then you see the men grow in size. A married man with a belly is a happy man. At least in Syria. It is a symbol of a good marriage because your wife apparently takes good care of you. The married man works and his wife is at home and takes care of the household. After work, he spends time with his wife, then there is no time to exercise. The man works, eats and reproduces. His belly represents his happiness. If the man does not have a belly, Syrians will find him thin. Then he is probably unhappy in his marriage. We then say that he has a bad relationship with the “home affairs minister,” or his wife.

“She nags more than she breathes,” Syrians then say. At that moment the mother asks her skinny son: ‘Do you want me to find a second wife for you? What can you be happy with? ” I have a Dutch friend, he is 60 years old and is as muscular as Popeye. I asked him why he went to the gym. “I have to stay fit, healthy and attractive for myself and my partner,” he replied. In Syria, the man would say, “I don’t have to exercise anymore, I already have a wife!” The elderly in Syria spend a lot of time at home and take care of their small children. A sporting grandfather would look very strange in Syria. A big belly is prestige in Syria. Now that I am here, I mainly see a life with little activity in that big belly. An old fat Anwar on the couch, his wife brings him food. No thanks, I’ll go to the gym. Take out a lifelong subscription.

Foto ter illustratie.

Proud on stage, with ups and downs

There are 35,000 students at the Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen. With two others, I was nominated as a student of the year. A huge honor. During the award ceremony this week, my mother, who lives in Syria, wanted me to call her when I was on stage. She wanted to thank the teachers and the school. I had to repeat the phrase ‘thank you for you’ for an hour so that she could pronounce it well. And it still didn’t work.

The prize went to one of the girls. I was very happy for her. When I got home, I called my mother to tell her about the evening and that almost all of my teachers were there to support me. She was neat and ready to speak her only Dutch sentence she knows. ,, Mama doesn’t have to, because I don’t have the first prize. But I had a nice evening and I am proud. “My mother cried.” Forgive me Anwar that I was not with you at that time. Forgive me that I am not with you. I hope you know it is not otherwise, I am proud of you because you have come so far. You are the best student in my eyes and I am very proud of you my son.”

I also wanted to cry, but since I have been in the Netherlands, I have never done that in the ‘presence’ of my parents, because they have enough misery on their mind. I am also proud. I have felt the past few years because my future looked so different from what I expected. I would go to work as a recently graduated lawyer in Aleppo. In the Netherlands I started all over again four years ago. With a job in the supermarket and an education, as if I hadn’t done it all before. I felt proud on stage, on all peaks and troughs. But I am most happy with the satisfaction of my parents. That does not take a moment, but all my life.

Tijdens de uitreiking deze week wilde de moeder van Anwar, die in Syrië woont, dat hij haar zou bellen als hij op het podium stond. Foto ter illustratie.

0711 – Nijmegen

Loud music, laughter & party sounds at Groenestraat 356

Long live the newly wedded pair

The day after the night before.

This time not students, but a newly wed (gay) pair, who had a loud party. One “groom” was  about 30y, the other “groom” about 60y. The eldest groom informed me, that it was not necessary to inform the neighbouring households about the wedding party, because he had suffered enough from the parties by the students, living around him (and us too).

0709 – Solar energy (update)

Monthly report: August 2019

Figures as per 31 August 2019

  • 365.294 kW  produced;
  • € 69.38 earned;
  • 408.60 Kg CO2 emission saved;
  • equals 0.48 trees planted; total 3.31 trees.