0696/Anwar’s column

The Syrian is just working here, and now suddenly a bomb in the building.

If you live in the Netherlands, it can sometimes be that you have a lot more appointments than you actually can handle. Because you said ‘yes’ to all kinds of requests five months ago and thought: ‘I’ll see that’ … So I’m in a busy month. At the same time my internship started at industrial park Kleefse Waard in Arnheim. I was working on my internship report when a woman came into the study room. ,, Pack your things and leave the building as quietly as possible. A bomb has been reported in this building.  People came in with special suits and we were set up outside. I immediately felt shame. Would people think I did it? The Syrian Anwar is just working here, and now suddenly a bomb in the building… I saw an other Syrian boy who worked in the building. He said in Arabic: “Could you no longer have been able to wait with this? Now it falls on this …” Let’s not just stand together, we thought. I felt guilty and did not want to make us extra suspicious. A little later we were all sent home.

The next morning I received an email from my internship address. ,,Have you all had a nice free afternoon yesterday? Yesterday there was an exercise in our building, where there was supposedly a bomb in our building. ” I could beat myself for my head. An exercise… of course. That is the Netherlands. The next time I do not really kick in and say: “Yes, I know there is a bomb threat. But I’d rather die, so I’ll just sit down. “

Then I get my internship report at least.

I can hardly believe that there is so much freedom.

For a moment it seemed that the war in Syria would not change anything. President Bashar al-Assad still at the helm, only with a lot less subjects. Now that he is rebuilding the country, he is the first to start restoring all the statues of his father. Well, there we go again. Yet the country has changed very quickly in recent years. When I watch Syrian television, I regularly get my home and compatriot Ahmed to share my surprise. Journalists in news programs ask the government critical questions, on television! Presenters of entertainment programs take to the streets and ask people: “What do you think about cohabiting?” “A revolutionary question, in Syria. During the war that revolutionary atmosphere arose. Wild parties were given in cities. People danced in the street and drank alcohol. That atmosphere has now lingered. My mother recently told me on the phone: “Anwar, you’re missing a lot here. The women show more of themselves and are very beautiful. ”

I look at the changes with slight suspicion. I can hardly believe that there is so much freedom. Can you suddenly ask the government critical questions? Or does that only apply to television, and should actually be said: “Do not try this at home”? And women who dance on the streets and are not covered, do all men understand that these women only have fun, and want to be left alone? Sometimes I am afraid that this new freedom is like electricity. If suddenly there is a lot of release, the lamps will snap.


Duke of Sussex tells of joy at pregnancy while Duchess promises to bring ‘little one’ back to Australia

Prince Harry greets people outside of Sydney's iconic Opera HouseThe Duke of Sussex has spoken of his joy at being able to announce news of the new royal baby in Australia, saying he could not think of a better place to tell the world. After a wet and windy start to their time Down Under, the sun was shining for the royal couple as they enjoyed the sights of Sydney on the first official day hmof their tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Much of the attention was on the Duchess after the couple revealed on Monday they were expecting their first baby. Sporting a cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee, Ms Markle also wore a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law – a pair of jewel-encrusted butterflies which once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. She also wore a bracelet from the same collection, assumed to be a gift from Prince Harry in celebration of a new stage in their lives. The Duke, who seemed to hesitate as he spoke of the baby in public for the first time, faltered as he told a small reception of his delight “whether it’s a boy or girl”.  At an afternoon reception at Admiralty House in Sydney, hosted by the Governor General and his wife, the Duke delivered a short speech detailing how thrilled he was to return to Australia, and to introduce his wife to the country for the first time. “We genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, whether it’s a boy or a girl,” he said, looking at the Duchess with pride. “It is great to be back in Australia,” he said. “And especially even more so as this is my wife’s first visit here, so I’m very excited to show her this incredible country of yours, perhaps not Kangaroo Flats military training area in Darwin though!

0693/Solar energy

Since 08 October 10.00AM we are connected to the servers of SolarNRG. From there all solar panel installations are available to see your “green” profit by day/month/year. There is also a screen where your whole installation is displayed with the profit per panel, accumulating over the day:


This picture was taken 09 October 2018, 08:35AM. Just after sunrise. That is the reason that the day total (green, right upper corner) is still so low: 15W.


Dinner Voucher

When Pierre had his 75th birthday, he invited his family for dinner in a nice restaurant in Geleen, a smal city in the South of Limbourg, as it is more practical that Pierre and I travel by car to the South than that his familymembers with husbands/wives travel to Nimwegen. We had that expierence ten years ago, when Pierre turned 65y and the whole family came to Nimwegen.

For inviting the family to dinner, Pierre got as a present a dining voucher of a very large Dutch hotel – restaurant chain. Their last project is a 14 stories high hotel – restaurant just across the river Waal, in Lent (Nimwegen-North). This hotel is very sought after by the participants of the Walk of the World: the hotel provides bus transfers in the (early) morning to the start location (Wedren) and the double rooms are only €99 (£87 / CA$149) per night.

Today we went to Van der Valk in Lent to cash the voucher and have a dinner party. The service was excellent, as was the food. Only… what a lot of people come there!!! The restaurant can accomodate 300 guests!



Image result for van der valk lent adres

0691/Anwar’s column



My state examination at level B2 is done. I wonder if I made it. In the listening exam I heard an old grandfather and grandmother say something with a crackling voice. I did not understand it. When I left the examination room in Eindhoven, fortunately I was not the only one who had found it difficult. I ran into the city to blow off steam. There were soldiers lined up in the city center, with weapons. Never before have I seen such a scene. They laughed and let everyone who wanted it sit on their arms. I was there and asked if I could take a picture. ,,Of course, that is what we are here today”, said a soldier. I asked if he liked his work. ,,Yes, great work”. The soldiers looked happy and proud. In Syria I often had to deal with soldiers during my volunteer work at relief organization UNHCR. I can already see that I would sit on their arms and ask them if they like their work.

From childhood I have learned never to talk to soldiers, to look at them or to get in the way. Their eyes are not happy or proud either. Rather black and evil. Not because they have always been like that, but because they became like that during the war. Such a military position in the city center would be inappropriate in Syria. Then you get: “Look, with this we have killed your uncle” and “With this weapon we have thrown your house down”.

The soldier asked me if I want to join the army. I said: ,,If this is what the army does in the Netherlands, then it seems nice to me”. The man looked at me from head to toe. ,,You have to weigh 65 kilos before you can work with us. So go eat first, boy.”


The new Syrian students at the HAN (Highschool Arnheim / Nimwegen), I feel sorry for them. I felt the same way a year ago. Lost and stupid. In the first month of a study the language level is getting used to. My roommate Ahmad said: ,,I sat in front so that I could hear the teacher well. Then he gave me the turn! I had understood nothing of the question. I felt so stupid towards the rest of the class. It is as if they are treating the Koran, it is that difficult.” (The language level in the Arabic Quran is very high and sometimes difficult to understand).

A year ago around this time, I was able to hang crying at the local government desk. “Please, please, take me back.” But I continued. At the end of each lesson I asked a classmate: :Do you want to write down for me which chapters we have handled and what kind of homework we have received?” At home I continued to translate, read and learn until midnight. That is how I got my first year. I try to cheer up my friends and tell about my development last year. ,,How should I develop then?”, Mahmoud said. ,,We have to do something at home, but I have no idea what”. Ahmad: ,,And during a lesson about Excel, they skipped the first six steps because ‘everyone who knows’. But I am not Anwar, I do not know those first six steps. So I made some sound on my keyboard throughout the lesson, so as not to stand out.”

Yet I am confident. Syrians are like an arrow from a bow. First backwards, then full speed ahead.


The (nearly) 95 year old ex-collegue of Pierre, Jan Holthuis, also an ex-G.P. and former neighbour of Pierre in Horst, is suffering from Altzheimer Disease. We visit him on a regular basis each 3 weeks. Pierre is also stand-by in case a 24h presence of a help becomes necessary. However, after my duty in the Saint Stephan Church we went -later than normal- Southwards.

Sunset over the garden of Jan Holthuis at 6.08PM:


The water control system along his garden:

0689/Solar energy

Today, 2 October 2018, from 10.30AM till 07.15PM the solar panels were installed on our roof:

However, as the installation of the panels, the inside electric cable work and all the paperwork had finished after sunset (about 6.30PM), there were no results for this day. Then it took time to install our installation on the servers of SolarNRG in Germany. As from 8 October 2018 we can check the solar power installation on the computer, on the screen of the converter (pictures below) AND on a smartphone:


On the picture: the middle section Vdc represents the voltage that the panels give in a single current power; the left section Vac represents the voltage in alternating current, as we use in Western Europe. The right section represents the number of Watts produced that day (in this case: at 2.30PM 1,109kW). The P_OK indicates the number of panels that are functioning; in our case that should always be 10/10.


This picture is taken just before bedtime: only the alternate current number is used now. There is no input from the panels, so the production in Watt is zero.

0688/Spain – Fly-Drive 2

Fly-drive Spain, part 2:

Plasencia – Mairena del Aljarfe – Pelligros – Granada – Aranjuez – Madrid – Amsterdam – Nimwegen