0712 – Anwar’s columns

When she said that, I felt the cold again during my run for freedom.

I met Thea. She is 88 years old. She and I understood each other before we exchanged one word. Because we both went through a war. I saw her understanding in her eyes. She told about her terrible memories of the Battle of Arnheim. I saw exactly what I experienced in my head like a film. We shared the same feeling, the same pain.

When I met Thea, she was just interviewed in front of a television camera. I listened to her story and after a few minutes I knew enough. It was like sitting next to her naked. Without masks of happiness, satisfaction or beautiful clothes to mask how you feel inside. “Oh how fierce, but would you like to tell it again, but then shorter,” the interviewer told Grandma Thea. I looked at the interviewer with a crooked face. This can’t be shorter? The events cannot be summarized as a clickbait title. “How was Thea then?” The interviewer asked her again. Grandma said: “We had to flee and we were always outside. The food ran out and we were hungry. It was cold, we had not brought any extra clothes with us.” When she said that, I felt the cold again during my run for freedom. “We were with many children and there were no toys. When we returned all my toys were gone. Everything was taken away. I did not see my house when I returned”.

Now I am here, Arnheim celebrates freedom. Celebrates the freedom where my parents miss it. Freedom for grandma Thea and me means that people in an unsafe situation can go somewhere else where it is safe. Real freedom would mean seeing the last bullet shot on this earth. Even if I had to catch it with my own body, as long as it was the very last one.

Sneaky date: “Hallo-goodafternoon-youspeakwithHans”

I was on the bus in Arnheim. There were three Syrian girls in the back. One of them came to me in panic and asked if I came from Syria. “We have a problem,” she said in Arabic. They had gone from Zutphen to Arnheim without their parents knowing. One of the girls had a date with a Syrian boy. I could see that, because she was a walking makeup box. The girl had two girlfriends with her for safety. That reminded me of Syria when I had a girlfriend there. She always had her brother with her as a kind of police officer. He had one task: to keep an eye on Anwar. I kept him a friend with sweets.

The girl on the bus panicked because her father had called. He suspected she wasn’t in school. “Do you want to pretend to be my teacher and say we are going to Arnheim with the whole class?” She asked. I saw her tears, she looked at me very sadly. She gave her phone. Infelt sorry for her, because Syrian fathers can be strict. “Can your father speak Dutch well,” I asked. “No,” she said. That was an advantage for me, otherwise he would hear that I am not a teacher with my poor Dutch. I decided to talk quickly and hard so that her father would barely understand anything about it.” “Hallo-goodafternoon-Agus talks”, I rattled.
“Blablablablabla-triptoArnheim”. I said words that I did not understand myself, but I made sure that the last word was right and did it overly confidently. The father stammered that he was also a worried father. He took a sigh of relief.

Then the stern Syrian side came up in me. “Please don’t go out into the street with so much makeup next time.” They nodded well. “Have fun, ladies.” They got off the bus laughing.

An old and fat Anwar on the couch? No thanks!!!

Before the Syrian man marries, he does his best to look as attractive as possible. He sports and pays a lot of attention to his appearance. Once he is married, he has achieved his goal, then you see the men grow in size. A married man with a belly is a happy man. At least in Syria. It is a symbol of a good marriage because your wife apparently takes good care of you. The married man works and his wife is at home and takes care of the household. After work, he spends time with his wife, then there is no time to exercise. The man works, eats and reproduces. His belly represents his happiness. If the man does not have a belly, Syrians will find him thin. Then he is probably unhappy in his marriage. We then say that he has a bad relationship with the “home affairs minister,” or his wife.

“She nags more than she breathes,” Syrians then say. At that moment the mother asks her skinny son: ‘Do you want me to find a second wife for you? What can you be happy with? ” I have a Dutch friend, he is 60 years old and is as muscular as Popeye. I asked him why he went to the gym. “I have to stay fit, healthy and attractive for myself and my partner,” he replied. In Syria, the man would say, “I don’t have to exercise anymore, I already have a wife!” The elderly in Syria spend a lot of time at home and take care of their small children. A sporting grandfather would look very strange in Syria. A big belly is prestige in Syria. Now that I am here, I mainly see a life with little activity in that big belly. An old fat Anwar on the couch, his wife brings him food. No thanks, I’ll go to the gym. Take out a lifelong subscription.

Foto ter illustratie.

Proud on stage, with ups and downs

There are 35,000 students at the Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen. With two others, I was nominated as a student of the year. A huge honor. During the award ceremony this week, my mother, who lives in Syria, wanted me to call her when I was on stage. She wanted to thank the teachers and the school. I had to repeat the phrase ‘thank you for you’ for an hour so that she could pronounce it well. And it still didn’t work.

The prize went to one of the girls. I was very happy for her. When I got home, I called my mother to tell her about the evening and that almost all of my teachers were there to support me. She was neat and ready to speak her only Dutch sentence she knows. ,, Mama doesn’t have to, because I don’t have the first prize. But I had a nice evening and I am proud. “My mother cried.” Forgive me Anwar that I was not with you at that time. Forgive me that I am not with you. I hope you know it is not otherwise, I am proud of you because you have come so far. You are the best student in my eyes and I am very proud of you my son.”

I also wanted to cry, but since I have been in the Netherlands, I have never done that in the ‘presence’ of my parents, because they have enough misery on their mind. I am also proud. I have felt the past few years because my future looked so different from what I expected. I would go to work as a recently graduated lawyer in Aleppo. In the Netherlands I started all over again four years ago. With a job in the supermarket and an education, as if I hadn’t done it all before. I felt proud on stage, on all peaks and troughs. But I am most happy with the satisfaction of my parents. That does not take a moment, but all my life.

Tijdens de uitreiking deze week wilde de moeder van Anwar, die in Syrië woont, dat hij haar zou bellen als hij op het podium stond. Foto ter illustratie.

0711 – Nijmegen

Loud music, laughter & party sounds at Groenestraat 356

Long live the newly wedded pair

The day after the night before.

This time not students, but a newly wed (gay) pair, who had a loud party. One “groom” was  about 30y, the other “groom” about 60y. The eldest groom informed me, that it was not necessary to inform the neighbouring households about the wedding party, because he had suffered enough from the parties by the students, living around him (and us too).

0709 – Solar energy (update)

Monthly report: August 2019

Figures as per 31 August 2019

  • 365.294 kW  produced;
  • € 69.38 earned;
  • 408.60 Kg CO2 emission saved;
  • equals 0.48 trees planted; total 3.31 trees.

0708 – Royalty

Famous friends rally to support Duke and Duchess of Sussex: ‘All they’re trying to do is make the world better’

Prince Harry and Meghan at the premiere of The Lion King

Famous friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rallied to their defence following accusations of hypocrisy over their use of private jets, saying the couple are just “trying to make the world better”. American talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who has recently visited the Duke and Duchess, and pop star Pink both issued statements lamenting the “public form of bullying” endured by the couple, after details of their holidays to Ibiza and Nice emerged. It is the latest of the high-profile support for the Duke and Duchess, whose circle of celebrity friends are increasingly using interviews and social media to act as unofficial spokespeople to protect the couple from what they view as “attacks”. On Monday, Sir Elton John claimed the Duke and Duchess had been subject to “relentless and untrue assassinations” after being photographed with their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor boarding a private jet to his home in the south of France. The images led to accusations of hypocrisy for the Duke, who weeks earlier had flown to Google Camp to deliver a lecture on the environment and published an interview warning of climate change: “We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil”.

He and the Duchess are reported to have undertaken at least four flights by private jet on holidays to Ibiza and Nice this month. Sir Elton said he had arranged the latest trip because the Sussexes needed the “safety and tranquility” offered by his villa on the French Riviera, and had made “an appropriate contribution” to a company that specialises in offsetting carbon emissions. Now, Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and talkshow host who has worked with the Duke on elephant conservation, added to the A-list voices defending the couple. In a post on Instagram, mentioning her wife, she said: “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. “They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people.  “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.” Pink, an American singer whose links to the Royal couple have not been made public, said: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? “Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.” Between them, the three celebrities have a Twitter following of 111 million, with a further 83m people watching on Instagram. DeGeneres’ following alone, of 78.3m on Twitter and 76m on Instagram, dwarfs both the Royal Family’s main official social media accounts – 4m on Twitter – or the SussexRoyal Instagram page at 9.3m. The wisdom of Sir Elton’s intervention has been questioned after it sent the story of the private jet global, elevating it to a spectrum of British newspaper front pages, television and radio. Some were left concerned that the support of multi-millionaire celebrities would not win over the couple’s critics, adding to the confusion over their difficult dual role as global stars and working members of a Royal Family whose activities are funded in part by the taxpayer.

The celebrity PR blitz is understood to have unfolded without the knowledge of staff in the royal household, and is not part of an official communications strategy. It will likely be welcomed by the Duke and Duchess, who have become frustrated at their recent portrayal in the media and the restrictions placed upon them as members of the Royal Family. While the couple have a communications team based at Buckingham Palace, aides are bound to issue factual statements rather than speak on record about the Sussexes more abstract personal attributes or good intentions. Instead, the Duke and Duchess have increasingly forged their own methods of communication, writing lengthy Instagram captions giving away “behind the scenes” information about who they have met and publishing personal photographs.

The Duchess’s recent project to guest edit British Vogue gave her a platform of hundreds of pages to share her world view unencumbered by outside scrutiny. The Sussexes have previously received the support of George Clooney,the actor, who claimed the then-pregnant Duchess had been “pursued and vilified” during her New York baby shower, and said of media coverage: “It seemed to me to be a little unjust since she hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life.” Gayle King, a broadcaster and best friend of Oprah Winfrey who attended the Duchess’ baby shower and visited her at Frogmore, regularly speaks up for her on American television. The BBC’s fact-checking team have calculated that the Duke and Duchess’s two return flights by private jet would have created 37.6 tonnes of CO2: “more than six times an average Briton’s yearly emissions, or 111 times those of a person in Lesotho”.

0707 – Nijmegen

“I see it as my duty to cherish this house”

In the series The most beautiful house in Nijmegen this time a look at Jurriaan Gerritz, resident of Sint Annastraat 175.

,,This house, from 1910, is of incredible beauty, with a mix of styles. All original elements have been preserved and beautifully restored by the previous occupant. Even the garden is original. If you cycle past this building, you will hardly notice it. The façade, with blue natural stone and sober ornamentation, is understated: Dutch Jugendstil. The tower at the top seems low, but inside it is twice as high. Inside you enter the spacious hall with the beautiful staircase. A bit of English country house style. The hall serves as a living space there. We also use it as such. Sometimes we eat here with a lot of people. And beautiful, that skylight with stained glass on the roof. Also special.”

,,During the Four Days Marches, a lady suddenly stood at the door. She was the granddaughter of the man who built this house for himself, one of the Haspels brothers. These were leading designers and builders who left a big mark on the Nijmegen canals. We took a picture of her on the stairs. She will tell us more about the house one day.”

,,In the interior you can see the Arts and Crafts movement, which connects art and craftsmanship. Painting of walls and ceilings. Stained glass windows with details of flowers, bees … I still keep discovering things. For example, I found a wood paneling behind a panel. With this technique, a more expensive type of wood was painted on a cheap plate. And I discovered a place where a fireplace had been.”

,,It’s a family home. We would move here after the sale, three years ago, when my father-in-law fell. We have adapted the house so that he could live here on the ground floor. We are a few doors down, but we also use this property. It is wonderful to be here with friends, or alone, without the hectic pace of family life. Or to come together with people for dinners or parties.”

“Some friends live upstairs and there is a practice room. My father, a painter, uses the house as an exhibition space. The intention is that we will withdraw here in a while. I see it as my task to cherish this house and make good use of it.”

0706 – Hattem

Hattem is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. The municipality had a population of 12,170 as per 01 January 2019. The municipality includes the hamlet of ‘t Zand. The name “Hattem” is a typical farmyard name. The exact origin of “Hattem” is yet unclear. In general two explanation exist. Hattem would be the ‘heem’ (home) of a people who belong to the tribe of Chattuarii (or Hattuarii or Hatten). A second origin could refer to the leader of a people under the leader Hatto. This fits with the fact that a lot of farmyard names are deduced from persons names.

HISTORY

A document referring to Hattem is found is dated around 800. This document is the Codex Laureshamensis, in which the settlement Hattem is mentioned because two farmhouses in this place are donated to the Lorsch abbey. Despite this early statement, no church or chapel was built in Hattem. In 1176 Hattem became a parish (‘kerspel’). The chapel, measuring 17,5 by 9,5 meter, was not built at the current city centre, but at the Gaedsberg (‘Gods-mountain’). The borders of the parish coincide with the latter borders of the jurisdiction Hattem. Hattem obtained city rights in 1299 from the count Reinoud I of Gelre. In the decades before a fortified town is founded at the northern border of the Veluwe. The city plan lies around the current church. The tower of this church is dated to the 12th century which indicates that, beside the parish church at the Gaedsberg, a chapel was present at the current city centre of Hattem. With obtaining town privileges, both the religious and the legal centre were moved. The new church and the city are dedicated to the apostle Andreas. In 1401, duke William of Guelders donated the Hoenwaard to the citizens of Hattem, in order to feed their cattle and to manufacture bricks for their houses. In 1404 the castle St. Lucia was built, which became known as the “Dikke Tinne” (the fat merlon). The reason can be found in the thick castle walls, at that time the thickest walls found in the Netherlands. In 1778, the castle was torn down, in order to use the bricks to build houses. In 1786, both Hattem and Elburg became known as centres of the Patriots Period, a political faction. These movements however were successfully suppressed by the governor William V.

Hattem is one of the Hanseatic cities on the Veluwe, with clearly its own charm and identity. The glorious history of the medieval Hanseatic League has left its mark here and has transformed the city into an attractive tourist attraction. The small and compact Hattem is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves: the vast floodplains along the IJssel, the wooded Noord-Veluwe and the polder landscape in the north. In the city center there are many authentic taste shops and wonderful terraces. Hattem also has not one but three museums!

The picturesque appearance of Hattem and its surroundings attracted numerous painters in the early 1900s, who tried to perpetuate the Dutch clouds over the IJssel. Jan Voerman was one of them. In the Voerman Museum Hattem you can admire many of his beautiful works. The well-known illustrator Anton Pieck was also charmed by Hattem. Here he recognized something of the atmosphere from his own work. No wonder the Anton Pieck Museum found a place there, designed by the master himself. The history of bread and pastries is displayed in a surprising way in the Dutch Bakery Museum. Baking takes place several times a week, sometimes in the 200 year old branch forest oven. There are demonstrations and tours throughout the year.

Hattem is bustling with life thanks to its wide range of shops in pleasant streets and alleys. Fashion, art, antiques, industry and craftsmanship can be found in a radius of 300 meters. After the shopping visit it is good to be in the many restaurants and on the terraces, where traditional ice cream and chocolate are not lacking. There are plenty of parking facilities in and around the city and parking is free.

RE: Visit to Hattem and Zwolle.

 

0704 – Doorwerth

In memoriam:

Helena Maria Novozamsky-Hustoles

03 June 1937 (Prague) – 27 July 2019 Roozendaal

A very nice funeral service in the Protestant Church in Doorwerth. As Helena was a soprano in the Arnheim Slavic Choir and in the Nijmegen Byzantine Choir, members of both choirs sang nine songs during the service. After the service we brought Helena to her grave, in a pouring rain.

0703 – Horst

We celebrated Pierre’s 76th birthday in Horst, with friends, in the GASTENDONK, a very nice restaurant, with a variety of biological products.