0685-Three weeks in retrospective

Nijmegen, The Netherlands 19th July 2018 - Ambulance Just Outside ...

Friday 12 June at 9:20pm I was heading from the souterrain level to the ground level. In the hallway (1.60m wide) I slipped down. And as I am 1.75m long, I was trapped between the walls of the hallway. I felt immediately that there was a serious injury, as I could not move any more my back and legs. Pierre called the alarmnumber 112 and there arrived a small car with just one male nurse. When he could not get me on my feet, an ambulance was ordered. I was carried out via the garden gate, and moved to street level with the help of neighboring students. The report of the radiographer reads:

  • [1] Anterior wall fracture acetabulum R.;
  • [2] Fracture os pubis inferior R.;
  • [3] Fracture processus transversus L2 R.;
  • [4] Fracture costa 6 & 7 L.

The remaining part of the last three weeks is in the following video.

0684-KLM resumes flights

KLM, the Dutch national airline company, resumes as per 01 July a part of its schedule, for European and intercontinental destinations.

0683-Walk of the World 2020 (cancelled)

“This is normally the time when there is a lot of activity at Heumensoord. The construction of the camp would now be in full swing, with trucks driving back and forth from the barracks in Grave-Driehuis and Stroe-Garderen where all the equipment is located. I would have been living here for a month now. Yes, that’s how far it goes as a builder of Heumensoord: eleven months a year working on the camp, of which two months living on the spot. It is therefore no small thing that arises here: a real self-sufficient village where almost seven thousand people reside.
I am responsible for everything that comes with it: from applying for permits and contacts with suppliers to distributing the toilet paper and coordination with the municipality about combating the oak processionary caterpillar. Everything is focused on the needs of the walkers. They deliver the performance, we try to facilitate them in every possible way.
This year would be my eighth and last edition. When I look back at the highlights, that was the period 2015-2016. In September 2015, construction of the refugee camp for three thousand people started. Not much later, the camp had to be made suitable for athletes with a disability and supervisors of the Special Olympics National Games, which were organized in Nijmegen at the beginning of July 2016. My expertise came in handy for both purposes. Incidentally, I also got to know outside the Four Days Marches by building the Nijmegen refugee camp. I kept in mind that the camp might stay longer and that the soldiers might have to move elsewhere in Nijmegen during the Four Days Marches. During my exploration of possible alternative locations, I saw a lot of Nijmegen with my wife. What a nice city. I had imagined saying goodbye very differently.”

Adjutant Fred Bakker,

Construction supervisor of military Camp Heumensoord (since 2013).

0682-Solar energy (update)

As per 30 June 2020 (UTC+2):


Sunrise: 05:21am; sunset: 09:59pm; daylight: 16h 38m.


Started: 06:30am; ended: 09:15pm; time span: 14h 45m.

Monthly report: June 2020:

  • 390.830 KW produced; present total: 4.687Mw.
  • € 74.26 earned; present total € 880.25 / £ 797 / CA$ 1,342.
  • 153.21 Kg CO2 emission saved; present total 1,833.36Kg.
  • 0.51 trees planted; present total 6.91 trees.

0681-Anwar’s columns

The cats used my house as a hotel to eat and pee.

“I don’t want her to run into other men and get pregnant, so I won’t let her go outside,” my friend Hasan told me. “But you can’t keep her inside forever, that’s abuse,” I told him. We were talking about his cat. Hasan and a friend came to stay. They had brought their pets. My housemate Ahmad and I are actually a bit afraid of animals. We didn’t want to be inhospitable either, so we decided that the animals could come along anyway. What could two little cats do to us, we thought. One of the cats is a cat. He tries to keep Hasan at home. The other is a hangover, stripped of its masculinity. I find that pathetic.
For two days at home, we only heard Ahmad scare the cats. That was his strategy to deal with the cats. I had another plan: to keep them as friends. I was sitting on the couch watching television when I suddenly smelled a foul odor. I asked the guest: “Do you smell that too?” “He said,” Oh oh, maybe he peed somewhere … “I immediately felt less friendship for those animals. They used my house as a hotel to eat and pee. I became increasingly angry with them, because I also had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to find the hangover outside.
I walked down the street and I said, “Kattie, pussie!” “When I met someone, I pretended to be singing. We found the hangover and took it home. I spoke to him sternly and told him to follow the rules of this house. “You are a guest here, my house is not a hotel.” “After my speech, the cat just walked away. As if I was talking to the wall.
After the friendly guests with their thankless cats left, I washed the house for days. Never again.

Mothers see no other option than to marry off their daughters.

I’ve been hearing more and more about child marriage lately. Due to the difficult conditions in large refugee camps in Jordan or Turkey, this is becoming increasingly common there. The war in Syria and living conditions there have led many Syrian families to offer their daughters to wealthy men through a so-called “marriage”, most of whom are already married and older. Parents give away their daughters to save them from starvation. They receive a dowry in exchange for their daughter. The main reason for the increase in child marriages is the absence of the breadwinner in the family, which is often no longer visible due to an arrest or death. As a result, mothers see no option but to marry off their daughters to continue feeding their family’s mouths.
In addition, the girls in question often have poor prospects for the future, because they did not go to school due to the dangerous circumstances. All family members live in a tent, so the marriage applicant makes promises of roses, as we call it in Arabic. Rose promises about money, clothes and a decent life. The bride will live in a house away from the poverty of the camp. In the Netherlands, a lot of attention is paid to underage asylum seekers. They immediately go to school and learn the language quickly. Development is also being stimulated in other areas, such as music and sports. This provides relief in the burden of the parents; they know that their child will end up well. The Netherlands recognizes that shelter should not only consist of shelter and food. Underage asylum seekers are not a commodity here. I am so happy that these young people made it to the Netherlands. A sad fate follows for the girls who were left in refugee camps.

The reality is that I already feel like an internship abroad in the Netherlands.

“I’m going to do an internship abroad,” said a classmate to our teacher when asked what her next internship would be. It seemed like a vacation to her, she said to me later. Combine holidays and school, well what shall I say about that. Going on holiday and discovering new places is part of Dutch culture. The holiday photos fly around my ears on social media.
Several people I know are doing internships abroad. And of course I have to see how much they like it. Yes, I am jealous. I can not help that.
An internship during your studies is new to me at all. In Syria, you only do that in medicine and nursing. You usually gain work experience after graduation. For example, I would start training with a lawyer when my law degree was completed.
“And you Anwar? Do you also want to do an internship abroad? “, A classmate asked me. A compliment, because apparently this student already thinks I’m so Dutch that she thinks it’s time for me to broaden my horizons. The reality is that I already feel like an internship abroad in the Netherlands.
If you see me as a Dutchman, then I am a Dutchman with 25 years of international experience. If you see me as a foreigner, then I am a person with four and a half years of international experience. Employers love that. Thanks to international (work) experience, you always have an advantage over other applicants. I hope that future employers in the Netherlands will find international study, work and war experience as relevant as a study holiday abroad. Because to go to another country to study again, I don’t think about it.

My mother thought that her son would be shot in front of her eyes.

“Al-Nusra will come to attack the neighborhood tomorrow morning, take your parents somewhere else,” a friend told me seven years ago. He was a vigilante in our Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo. Al-Nusra is one of many parties to the war in Syria. They had a list of two hundred people who they wanted to pick up from our neighborhood. It would be people who worked for the Assad regime, the enemy of Al-Nusra.
When my friend gave the warning, it was already too late. It was not allowed to go from neighborhood to neighborhood in the dark, so we would also be in danger. We woke up early in the morning from shots. It was announced that people should stay at home. My mother panicked. The neighbors wanted to flee the neighborhood with us. Once on the street we came across a heavily armed vehicle that had its weapon aimed at us, because “don’t stay home despite the orders, makes you suspicious.”
A few people were picked from the pack to compare their names with the names on the list. My brother was one of them, he turned out to be on the list. My mother collapsed, she could no longer stand on her feet. She thought her son would be shot in front of her eyes. I approached the man and begged him to release my brother. Then everyone heard planes come over. Planes of Assad. The men affiliated with Al-Nusra knew they were in acute danger. They ran away. We also ran away from the men of Al-Nusra and from the bombs of Assad. On the edge of the district was a barrier with checkpoint from Al-Nusra. 100 meters away one of the Kurds and 100 meters further one of Assad’s regime. At each checkpoint, we declared our loyalty to this group to be passed. We looked back and saw the bombs falling on our neighborhood. Seven years ago, when I became homeless in my home country.



Important traffic artery in Nijmegen has narrowed further from four to two runways.

De Graafseweg in Nijmegen staduitwaarts.

The Graafseweg is further narrowed. In the future, the section between the railway bridge and the crossing with the Wolfskuilseweg will also go from four to two carriageways. The Nijmegen city council decided that on Wednesday evening. The narrowing creates space for a bus lane inland, cycle paths on both sides of the road and a parallel lane on the Willemskwartier side. Work will start as soon as the renovation of the Waal Bridge is completed, probably next year.
After an earlier narrowing of the Graafseweg between Keizer Karelplein and the railway bridge, the approach between the bridge (crossing Rozenstraat) and Wolfkuilseweg was long discussed. Months ago, traffic alderman Harriët Tiemens proposed to reduce that trajectory from four to two jobs, but found no majority on the council. Coalition party SP put his heels in the sand. As expected, the majority came up on Wednesday evening with the plan to expand the Graafseweg on the relevant section into a two-lane road with room for a bus lane. The PvdA recently announced that it embraces that option. Because there is also support from coalition parties D66 and GroenLinks, the shovel can soon be grounded.

Spandoeken op Graafsewg ivm 4baans/2baans dispuut. Nijmegen, 18-11-2019 .

In recent months, the municipality had seven scenarios for the Graafseweg calculated. The bottom line: at worst, narrowing down would lose fifteen seconds of travel time. VVD councilor Maarten Bakker criticizes this calculation: “The city is growing, but the Graafseweg is narrowing. That road is filled with eyes and the city is locked. How will residents of Dukenburg still get to the center?”
According to Ammar Selman (PvdA), people who do not have to be in the center can detour via, for example, the S100. “This way the Graafseweg will remain accessible as Nijmegen grows. The city is not locked. There will be more space for public transport and cyclists on the Graafseweg. Moreover, the quality of life for local residents improves.”
Incidentally, the entire Graafseweg is not thickened. The last section out of town – between Wolfskuilseweg and Neerbosscheweg – retains four lanes.

0679-Spring in Canada

⇒ Quote from a mail from Brian Holden, Canada:

“We have an explosion of growth outdoors now that season is between spring and summer. We are still very much remaining at home although now with very low number of cases of Covid-19 in this city we have ventured out and brought along our protective face masks to pick up groceries and visit outdoor gardening retailers to get flowers for the yard. The photographs attached show some of flowers and also the landscaping to a section of the yard that I began two years ago to create a nice space. It has been slowly expanding out into the yard at the back of the property and I am pairing found objects with both perennial and annual plants.”


0678-Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh Cartoons by Alireza Karimi Moghaddam

Iranian cartoonist Alireza Karimi Moghaddam shares his admiration for Vincent van Gogh in an ongoing comic series starring the Post-Impressionist painter. His colorful illustrations tell the story of the iconic artist’s turbulent life and the artwork he produced during his short career. From cycling through a meadow of sunflowers and laying in wheat fields to paddling in the ocean and observing the night sky, Moghaddam often illustrates Van Gogh exploring the nature that inspired some of his most famous works. In one image, cartoon Van Gogh looks up at the swirling night sky, which Moghaddam illustrates as stylized, painterly brushstrokes of color. This references one of the artist’s most iconic works, The Starry Night (1889), which visualizes the view from the “iron-barred window” of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise. Digitally rendered in colorful line work, Moghaddam’s comics are aesthetically cheery, but that doesn’t mean the talented cartoonist shies away from portraying Van Gogh’s darker side. Many images illustrate the troubled artist’s battle with mental health. One comic shows Van Gogh feeding his cut-off ear to crows, and another depicts him standing atop of a bridge, contemplating suicide. No matter the situation, each illustrated scene gives a true representation of the iconic artist’s life in Moghaddam’s distinct, animated style. Scroll down to see some of Moghaddam’s comics starting Van Gogh.

The article was sent to me by Mr. Brian Holden, artist/painter, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


0677-Flying: starting 15 June


0676-Lockdown a bit released

As per 01 June at noon, there was again a decrease of the lockdown conditions. From that moment the pubs and restaurants opened their doors for the public, since 12 March. There is a strict policy: only 30 guests max inside, where the tables are placed according the conditions given by the government. Mainly: respecting the 1.5 meter distance between persons. Only people, who share in the same household, can take place at one table. On the terraces the distance between the tables is also according the 1.5 meter rules. Upon entering the queue you have to wash your hands with desinfectant gel, and there is a list with questions about your health. Then you take a place inside or outside on the terrace.

The heron on top is watching our pond in the backyard. The yard is full of blooming flowers. And with these high temperatures we can have our drinks and dinner outside.