Every first Monday of the month the sirens roar in the Netherlands. That is quite important to know, but you do not learn anything about it in the integration course. In order to obtain your permanent status, you have to learn a lot of things that you do not need and those things are always asked for in the exams. For example: you need to know what insurance you should have if you buy a car. I am a refugee. Why do I have to learn that? By the time I have a job and a car, I speak enough Dutch to find that out. It is much better to know that the sirens are tested on the first Monday of the month in the Netherlands.

We also have sirens in Syria. But I have not heard them in the seven years that the war is taking now. The only time they were used was when I was 15 years old and attending school. The sirens were tested because the government had a conflict with Israel. But now that it is really war and half Syria has died or fled, you do not hear the sirens. I think they are not going now, because the war between parties in our own country is playing. We are not occupied by another country.

The first time I heard the sirens in the Netherlands was when I was in refugee shelter The Dome (Koepel) in Arnheim. The reception staff told us that the sirens were tested. I do not think it’s smart to do that every first Monday of the month at noon. What if another country wants to attack us? Then they can do that exactly at that time, nobody who knows.

I still have to get a few parts when it comes to my state exam. Coincidentally, I was recently invited to come and read my columns at a party, which is celebrated because the state exam lasts twenty years. I think I’m going to put it on a deal. I read those columns when they tell me which questions are in the exam.

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