0674-Anwar’s columns

I don’t have to cry, because I’ve seen my parents exclusively on my phone for years.

“I am curious how you are doing in this strange time,” an acquaintance told me during the video calling. By ‘you’ he meant the refugees. It has two sides to me. On the one hand, it is not difficult, because we have already experienced a similar situation. The difference is that you will not be worried during this crisis until a test shows that you have the coronavirus.
The result was immediately known in Syria: death from a bullet or bombing. Because of the planes and bombing we often had to stay at home and when we were outside we walked anyway anyway. Then there are fewer deaths in a missile attack.
A friend I spoke to was crying on the phone. “It is very difficult for me, Anwar, because I cannot go to my grandfather.”
Well what should I say then. I don’t have to cry because I can’t congratulate my grandfather. I have seen my parents exclusively on my phone for years. On the other hand, I am concerned about the corona virus in Syria. The health system is not good. If people become infected, in many cases it means that they die. That is my main concern now. If my parents get infected, I can make video calls with them for the last time. Then I would never see them again, I only think that to cry. The other way around, my mother is worried about me. She knows that her son cannot stay at home because I am a social person. During our last conversation I said to her: ,, To be able to cope with corona, a person must have a good immune system. Do you think that after five years of war, a flight in a dinghy and wandering through foreign countries, your son will die of a virus? I am not a computer dying from a virus! ” She laughed. I know it doesn’t work like that, but you say something to reassure your mom.

I will continue with social distancing until I have an appointment with the hairdresser.

Wow, the hairdressers are open again. Happy! One of the important things about looking groomed is that your hair is in good shape. For corona I did my best to keep this neat. I was in the garden a week ago. I saw the neighbor cut her husband. I didn’t know she was a hairdresser, but apparently she wants to make a career switch. Unfortunately, after two hours it turned out that it had not worked out completely, so it became a Grapperhaus model. So bare. In the past few weeks it was easy to see who followed the measures and who did not. On the street you saw bald people, people who look like cavemen or people with a ruined haircut, who follow the rules. People with a perfect haircut I no longer trusted.
When I was little, I worked as a tea boy at a hairdresser’s for five months. So I am an experienced hairdresser. That is why my friend Basel, who pays close attention to his money, was cut by me, no matter how risky. My hairdresser also closed during corona, after which Basel offered to cut my hair too. It was a difficult decision, because the image of the neighbor with his bald head was still fresh in my memory. It’s better than nothing, I thought, and I accepted his offer. I told Basel to only update the back of my neck. Basel turned on the music to distract me and started using the clippers. After four songs, he was still busy. “Is everything still going well, Basel?”, I asked a bit worried. In a flash I envisioned myself shaving my head like the neighbor. I saw the result in the mirror. He had a kind of triangle shaved in my hair.

I think I will continue with social distancing, until I have an appointment with the hairdresser.

The school is not only a place where I learn, it is also where I connect with others.

“Dear all, I quit my studies, because I can no longer find my twist and motivation in my studies,” a classmate told us. It’s a nightmare I get every night. Temporarily stopping and resting during this crisis means increasing study delay. I do not want that. However, it is not possible to find the same motivation as for the corona crisis.
The schools are closed to protect the students and to limit the number of infections. Staying at home and continuing to study, it turns out to be a knockout not only for me, but also for other students. The school is not only a place where teaching is given, it is also a place where I connect with others and learn from my fellow students. We inspire each other. That helps me enormously as a new Dutchman, because the way of learning in the Netherlands is very different from what I am used to. In the Netherlands, students learn to figure things out for themselves and to use the internet if they don’t know something. In Syria I am used to getting the material with an example, and then discussing it with fellow students and working on our assignments together. The solution of distance learning is the least bad solution out of a range of bad options. The system is being improved in the process. It remains difficult to live your life from your own room and to continue to develop. It’s like using a device at full power continuously. It will go just fine for a while, but after a while things will overheat and explode. It is a matter of waiting and biting through. Will I stay in my room forever because of the burnout I will soon have, or will I have finished my academic year despite the difficult circumstances?

Let’s hope for the latter.

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