Anwar’s column-NL

Allowance

I am the first refugee in Arnhem who has stopped his social service allowance after a year to study. That’s what the social services staff told me. I am proud of that because for me a benefit is more a problem than a solution. Syrians want to work. We are not used to getting money for nothing except our father. That’s why I feel now, with this benefit, just one child. The Dutch state helped me with it for fifteen months, and for this I thanked the social services employee. She did not think so, because she did not, but the government gave me the benefit. I see it so that if I thank her, I actually thank the government. When I said that to her, I saw she got a tear in her eyes. After the summer holidays, I begin to design industrial product training at the HAN. In Syria I was a graduate lawyer, but I have to start all over again in the Netherlands. In fact, I always wanted to be an architect, but in Syria my grades were not high enough to study architecture. Here I could go to study architecture, but it’s hard to find work and that’s why I do not. The Netherlands needs technical people. The study I’m going to do now is close to architecture and is technical. I hope I can do some back for this country that has provided me so well and has given me fifteen months of benefits. I have therefore thought about becoming a funeral entrepreneur. It turns out that there are many old people in the Netherlands. When I told Julie, my girlfriend, she began to tell me about the babyboom; that after the Second World War there there was a birthwave. Once those people were born at once, they all died at the same time and there were many funerals. It seems to me more fun to be a product designer. I hope that I will find a job in addition to my studies. When I had a benefit, what I earned was deducted from my allowance, but I can just keep the money I earn in addition to the student loan. That motivates me. I do not go anymore with the municipality and if I work later, I walk like a proud Syrian by Arnhem.

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