0034-Anwar’s columns


Recently I know that it is possible to use organs from someone who is (almost) deceased. Never known. The idea appeals to me. You can save someone, while you can nothing more. I do wonder how that works. If I’m grieving for a family member seems to me no fun if the body is suddenly removed. we get it completely opened again? What I’m more concerned about making, is my funeral. If I’m going to die my funeral will be arranged through the municipality. I have no money and no family here. But could it be that they do not bury me, but cremated? I know that happens a lot in the Netherlands. I find it strange. People do not like fire, they are afraid of. Why suddenly or make your body into a fire when you’re dead? I thought she did such a thing only in India. I can not imagine that choice, because who wants to disappear? You are then no more. People who loved me could not speak to me in my grave. You can put a bottle with the ashes in your living roome. I see it all for me I’ve got a table in my living room with all bottles with my family in it. One for my mother, one for my father, one for my brother. If I can see it I laugh. That’s impossible. My family in a bottle. Maybe cremate people because it saves money. Because I know now that you have to pay to be in a grave. At least, your next of kin. And after ten years no one pays, you will be removed from the tomb. I would not at all. I love the idea that it is unlikely that I will die in the Netherlands. I prefer above a beautiful funeral in Syria.

Silence from outside

Whenever I call my mother in Aleppo, she’s home. Outside it is unsafe. When they speak, I have to use Syrian first say a few things. I’m glad I’m her son, that I will make her proud, and so on. This week I called her and just when I was working on all those greetings, I heard in the background outside noises. I asked what she was doing. “I sit with the neighbors in the park, in the sun,” she said. I almost fell off my chair in surprise. This was not possible in five years. The cease-fire in force in Syria, perhaps is already over again as this column in the newspaper, is a relief for everyone. If there is an advertising brochure in the bus with an offer. “One week of rest for the price of five years of war!” Even my brother, who dives into home, just went outside. Soldiers are just not as active with the detection of potential soldiers. It seems as if they are tired, tired of the war. My mother told me about the atmosphere. There’s suddenly time to talk with people on the street. It is equally no need to be in back home as soon as possible. Everyone looks around, the buildings are still there, which neighborhoods have been spared? Friends, neighbors and acquaintances are not all been the same. They have become thin from lack of food or have lost their zest for life. Some are very quiet as they used to be nice and busy. The pause is used by residents to assess the damage, to talk, but also to prepare for what is coming. Men climbing the roof to put walls around plates. If then bullets flying through the air, the dishes would not break up and remains in touch with the outside world. While residents catch his breath, his troops engaged in completely different things. I know my country. They use the time to collect ammo to get overview and strategise. So that they can significantly again against it.

House decoration

A garden is only reserved for rich people in Syria Although Syria is still more than four times larger than the Netherlands, there is lack of space. Do not ask me why, but the streets are narrow, the houses are close together and in a building only the upper residents a dash sun on their balcony. They are therefore often social people, for those who live less like to be drinking tea on the top, sunny, balcony. In my new home in the Arnhem district Presikhaaf I feel like a king. Having a garden is only reserved in Syria for rich, important people. I am neither, but I now have a garden. If I walk out there sun and nature. Netherlands used its surface well. Achmed my roommate and I are busy painting. On the floor we put laminate. We are actually used to a tiled floor drainage. Our mothers clean with buckets of water to throw on the ground and then scrub. Syrians have almost all the same memories there. Gliding through the living room with the water that your mother had flushed out. I’ve been there twice with my broken nose. In the Arnhem refugee shelter Dome is a huge slick feed. A few months ago there was a small nocturnal revolt in which people threw food. The next day we had – of course – the floor in the middle of the Dome cleaning together. All Syrians in the shelter began to pick up buckets of water and throw it with big bows on the floor. Employees of the COA came running in panic, “What are you doing???”. We had no idea, we just did what we always do our mothers did. But yes, of course there is no drain in the floor.


I spent a week in Germany. I went to visit my Syrian friend Hadi. It was the first time I as “Dutchman” crossed the border. What a good feeling to wear a Dutch passport with you. If an agent asks for your papers, and he sees a Dutch logo, you get almost immediately back your passport. If he thinks: “Is he from the Netherlands? Then it’s good. ” Every time Hadi wanted to go outside, I looked out my passport and put it in my pocket. It felt like the logo of the Netherlands protected me from everything that could go wrong. I am a person with rights. I do not fleeing police dogs, afraid of being taken to a closed refugee camp. That happened during my first visit to Germany, when I was fleeing from Syria to Netherlands. Although I now confidently bus got off in Hanover, my arrival was different than expected. I wanted to get in immediately and returned to the Netherlands. Everyone spoke Arabic and begging everywhere Syrians on the street. Hadi took me to the place Salzgitter. I ended up in districts where no German was in sight. Although I was shocked first, I felt later suddenly good at seeing so many Syrians. It means that they are not in the war. The more I looked, the happier I became. They are all here and alive! I do not sound so nice German and Dutch. According to Hadi Dutch sounds exactly like German. Yes, we began to compare. In Germany the cars better, we thought. “But we have WiFi on the train,” I said proudly. He laughed. “Sir is also a year in the Netherlands, with your ‘we’.” On the way back on the bus, I looked out the window. Suddenly the landscape changed. The weather was beautiful, clean and green. Netherlands I recognized immediately as my own.

City hall

Because of the severe shortage of food in Aleppo is the available food is incredibly expensive. I want to send my parents money so they have to eat anyway, but that is not so easy. Syrians do not have a bank account. ATM’s do not exist there. On the first day of the month running Syrians with a pocket full of their work home. The salary is inside. A monthly wage means a large pile of banknotes, because the Syrian pound is worth little. It’s quite exciting to save money in your home. Hence, many women hang out there full of gold. The gold is not necessarily buy because they like it but because it is a way to save money on your body. I’m going to send my family money via a Syrian family in Germany. They have a business in Syria and can arrange that the money gets to my parents. In order to travel to Germany, I applied for a refugee passport. I had to make an appointment via the internet at the town hall in Arnhem. Once there knew an employee with a single click everything about me. I thought back to the time I applied for a passport in Syria, it took me a day. An employee of the government sent me to a room with thousands of books. “Find yourself but in one of these books, I’m not going to do for you,” he said. I enlisted help from a friend, who then looked at pictures of girls from the city and wrote down their phone numbers instead of to trace my name. In the Netherlands I have fairly long wait to get my passport in the end, but fortunately I do not have to search among 154,000 Arnhem people.

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