‘I wondered why people are so busy in the Netherlands’

In Syria, nobody does anything for nothing. Of course you bring a soup to your sick neighbor and you help the neighbor when he builds a barn. But no-one does voluntary work, so on a regular day in the wind and wind go somewhere to work unpaid. Even those who reported themselves in the Unicef war to help tents and food, got some money or something to eat in return. Actually, the fulfillment of your day in Syria is very simple: you work or you’re free and when you’re free, call someone to talk or watch tv. Older people who no longer have to work can not do anything anymore because they do not move. Then they need the help of two people to go to the toilet. They soon die because they only sit still. Here people continue to do something after retirement, no one is going to sit still. When I was still in the refugee shelter The Dome in Arnhem, I thought that every Dutchman had to deal with a refugee because there were so many people coming to the Dome. Other Syrians also encountered this and there was a rumor that you had to do hundreds of hours of volunteering to get Dutch nationality soon. So when a paper was put on the wall with the question of who wanted to help painting an elderly home or who wanted to help clean, everyone was urged to sign up. People thought, “Now I can do volunteering hours that hour. After that, I have work and I have no time for it. “If they had done a job, they stated that their name and the number of hours they worked were noted. Now I know that Dutch people do all kinds of unpaid work without anyone obliging them to do so. I see very often older women who make up their minds and do well-dressed volunteer work. Sometimes I sometimes think: Madam, go to bed and sit down with your husband. I wondered why people are so busy in the Netherlands. Perhaps it is because they feel lonely. In Syria no one is lonely. If you’re free, just call your friends or your children to come by. This is not the case, because everyone is always at work. Then you can stay busy if it does not really need it anymore.

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