Mothers, are all over the world the same. Since this week I live in a house with lovely people Gerda (63) and Erik (56). They live near the refugee center Dome and asked me if I would stay with them for three months (longer stay at one address may not COA). Gerda is like my own mother. Therefore, it remains strange to call her by her first name. My mother would give me a slap if I could use her first name. Then I just sat in the Dome, Gerda took me into town and bought clothes for me. Now she takes care of me like her own children. It feels like home.

Pasta:  As a welcome gift, a neighbour came and brought a jar cholocolate pasta for me. I knew her from the street. In the morning as they walk to school, I whistle out the window on my fingers, and then they shout “Good morning, Anwar!” Besides, I know now more people around than Gerda and Erik. It seems to be normal in the Netherlands that people do not know anyone from their own street. I think that’s crazy. I suspect that at the end of the sleepover the whole street knows each other, I’m going for sure.

Study:  The first day I stayed at my Dutch ‘parents’, I made the first mistake. I remain a fugitive, so I went here along with my friends at The Dome. When I got home at midnight, Gerda was waiting for me at the kitchen table. She said, “Anwar, this is not the Dome eh! Dutch drink in the evening a cup of coffee, read a book and go to sleep. If you want to integrate, you have to study and sleep in time.” I apologized. Then she laughed again and asked: “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat something?’

Worried:  That would immediately ask my mother. My parents in Aleppo have to eat less every month. If there is even a shop with stock, will strike the whole city, because no one knows how much worse it is going to be yet. Despite my mother is mainly concerned with me. She’s worried whether I was eating enough. She asks me every morning if I’ve had breakfast. “You look so thin on the photos, you’ll get enough to eat, Anwar?” They need not worry, because Gerda will have breakfast is important. She says she does lock the door as I want without breakfast the door. Yes, it feels like home.


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