0010-Walk of the World

Walk of the World edition #100

Day 1 – Day of Elst

07:15 am Gates open for walkers 30 Km (20 M)

07:35 am Passed check

08:06 am Passing the bridge to Lent (North bound)

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A steel band on beer crates support the walkers 🙂

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In Oosterhout last rest before the end less, meandering dike along the river Waal (7 Km / 5 M)

 

 

 

WEATHER FORECAST:

322

& TEMPERATURES MAX (C):

321

WE DECIDED TO STOP AFTER DAY 1, AND TO JOIN AT DAY 4 FOR THE BIG ENTRY FOR HRH KING WILLEM ALEXANDER

🙂 🙂 🙂

0009-Moenen

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Moenen of Antwerp (Belgium)

Following the post about Mariken of Nimwegen, follows here a bit more abot this one eyed charming devil:

Moenen plays an important role in the medieval story of Mariken Nimwegen. He is the devil who tempts Mariken to go with him to Antwerp. There they go together and lead for seven years a life of debauchery. If Mariken repents, Moenen trying to murder her, but fails. Eventually Marikens sins are forgiven. The limestone statue of Moenen is designed by Piet Killaars and placed in 1968 on a staircase between the Saint Stephan Cimetary and Stikke Hezelstraat. The position in which the image is placed – Moenen turns his back to the church to – needs no further explanation.

 

0008-Nijmegen

Mariken of Nimwegen

201607121428NijmegenMariken by her uncle, with whom she lives in the house, sent to Nimwegen to do the market shopping. In the evening it’s too late to go back home safely, but her aunt Nimwegen will offer her no shelter and chases her away. Desperate Mariken goes down in a hedge. As a stranger speaks to her, the devil disguised as a man. He is known as “Moenen with one eye” and promises her knowledge and wealth if she will go with him. But she needs to change her name, because he does not like getting to a certain Mary to be reminded. Mariken now Emmeken (a name that means little M, and therefore still refers to her own name). Emmeken and Moenen travel to Antwerp, where they lead a long wild and sinful life for seven years. Then Emmeken want to see her family. They go to Nimwegen and see there on the street the staging of a play about God’s grace. Emmeken repents. The devil takes her high into the air and let her fall in order to break her neck and taking her soul to hell. But she survived the fall because her uncle for her prayers. With him, she travels to the pope to find forgiveness for her sin of years. The pope gives her metal rings around her neck and arms. If the rings will fall off, that will be the sign that God has forgiven her. Mariken goes to the monastery. After many years of penance appears an angel that removes the rings in her sleep. If Mariken died two years later, the rings are placed over her grave.

Statue of Mariken on the market square in Nimwegen, in front of the porch (AD 1605) leading to the Saint Stephan Church (AD 1274).

Picture: July 12, 2016

0007-Scotland

The Order of the Thistle is the greatest order of chivalry in Scotland, recognising sixteen Knights with the highest honour in the country and recognises Scottish men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in a particular way to national life. The Order is second only in precedence in England to the Order of the Garter. The date of the foundation of the Order is not known, although legend has it that it was founded in 809 when King Achaius made an alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne. It is possible that the Order may have been founded by James III (1488-1513), who was responsible for changes in Royal symbolism in Scotland, including the adoption of the thistle as the Royal plant badge. James II (James VII of Scotland) established the Order with a statutory foundation under new rules in 1687 – to reward Scottish peers who supported the king’s political and religious aims. The Queen is the Sovereign of the Order, and appointments made to the Order are entirely her personal gift, in recognition of men and women who have held public office or have contributed significantly to national life. Current Knights and Ladies of the Thistle include music teacher and ex-Director of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, Lady Marion Fraser, and previous Chief Scout of the United Kingdom, Sir Garth Morrison. In addition to the 16 Knights and Ladies, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, and The Duke of Cambridge –  known in Scotland as The Earl of Strathearn –  have been appointed as Royal Knights of the Thistle.

Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (No one harms me with impunity). Chapel: Thistle Chapel, St. Giles’ Cathedral. Ranks: Knight or Lady. Post-nominals: KT or LT.

The Thistle Service

Every other year, dressed in their striking green velvet robes, glistening insignia and white-plumed hats, the knights take part in a grand procession to the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle in Edinburgh, for the Order of the Thistle Service. The Knights and Ladies meet for a ceremony at The Thistle Chapel in St Giles’ Cathedral, where any new Members are installed into the Order by The Queen. The procession begins in the Signet Library in Edinburgh Town Centre, while just outside the Library in Parliament Square collect The Guard of Honour with the Colours (flags) of the Royal Company, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The Sovereign and the Knights, accompanied by the Chancellor, Dean and Secretary of the Thistle, then process into the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, where The Queen installs the new Knights. The procession then continues to the Cathedral for the remainder of the Service. Following the Service there is a short Reception in the Signet Library, and a lunch at the Palace of Hollyroodhouse.

0006-Anwar: columns 011 – 020

020 – Babysitting The choice of “what-would-you-be-later” I made long ago.

Lawyer. I studied law in Aleppo, got my diploma as a lawyer and was started. When the war in Syria started and everything went completely else. I have been living in the Netherlands, where my education completed hardly of any value. Now I’m 26 and I must again make the choice for my future. What do I want here? I have been told that law school is only possible if I can speak (and write) both Dutch and English at the highest level of management. I must then learn to speak Dutch, I like the King of the Netherlands. I’m not sure I really still want it. I speak now Kurdish, Arabic, English and Dutch together. My head is sometimes completely full. There is an other possibility.

Architect was always in second place, but it seems in the Netherlands a totally unnecessary appeal. All the houses are the same. You may perhaps only think of a different color roof. If I am called to ask where I am, I reply standard: “In the Netherlands”. Where in the Netherlands, I never know, because everything seems similar. That is probably the reason that everyone has a navigation system here. Friends say I should choose a profession with children. Children are happy with me, I like them. That’s true. In Syria it is a profession that men do not choose. The primary work is only for women. Does not matter to me, I think it is indeed what it is for me. When I later have children, I can tell you at least that their father, “the babysitter”, was a lawyer in an other life.

019 – Men’s rights

As a child I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to fight for rights and especially the rights of women. My father is a nice man, but I often had to cry like a child as he hit my mother. I thought it was unfair that men and women were not all. The mothers could not work around me. But they were always cleaning and cooking at home, even if they were very tired. When I went to college, my motivation was clear. I wanted to help not only women, but also children. The sadness that I myself had in my youth about the fate of my mother, I wanted to save other children. How different it is in the Netherlands. I see women as a bus driver, police officer or owner of a restaurant. When they come home, they are often there the boss. I met a Dutch family where the husband gave his wife money to go shopping. If you eat here with a woman, she pays her own part. I even married couples keep their finances separate. I understand nothing of it. You do share everything together when you are married? When I am waiting at the station, I always wonder the same thing: why is heard through the speaker ‘ladies and gentlemen’. Why not “men and women”? Women here are always number one. I’ve seen it, I have to use my training in the Netherlands to fight for the rights of the husband. Because of this equality is not so bad here. I will not rest until you are in the train and hear: ‘men and women’. Then we have guys at least that.

018 – Reading

My vacation began last week actually to look a bit like a holiday. I was taken away by two Dutch friends to an outdoor swimming pool in Arnhem. I expected that we would go swimming there, chatting and people watching. I did eventually, but only. My friends had a book with him and sat reading all afternoon in the grass, like many other guests at the pool. In the beginning I thought that reading people are very busy, because they might soon have a key. It turns out that Dutch like to read just. I know people here who just before they visit the bookstore go on holiday to buy books and magazines for their holidays. A Dutch couple where I lived at home, even read in bed. In Syria, people watch only television. There are 24 hours in a day, but Syrians watch about 25 hours of TV per day. Dutch put the visitors come from the television. Syria would be an insult, if you want to go visit home. In the big city of Aleppo is perhaps one store where you can get some books. There is a library. The man who works there, it slaapverwekkendste job in the country. He probably heard all day cicadas, because there really is no one. Only if, for example receive a Minister to be in town, this is done in the library. That is good, lots of books and a large building. Then they talk there and they broadcast it on TV. And look Syrians then all together. they see the library once inside.

017 – Aleppo

I had just started my integration course if I got vacation. I have weeks to tell now about my family in Aleppo. Now the city is surrounded by the Syrian army and food and drinking water are increasingly scarce, people do the craziest things. Men join to get rebel groups in the city because of the promise that they money or eat there. Widows with children offer their bodies at soldiers in exchange for food for their children. Shops are looted. My parents say that they still have supplies at home. I hope that’s true. My brother will be 27 in three months. That means, according to the new rules in Syria that, although he is studying, he should join the army. Soldiers now have just one week of training instead of one year. My brother is smart and sensitive, but not exactly Jackie Chan. If he goes in the army with one week experience he dies right away, I’m sure. He can not leave the country, because Turkey does not take refugees anymore. When connecting a group such as Free Army of the Kurds is useless, because he will have to fight immediately. Hiding in the house until the war is over is possible, but that is the worst option. We have several times to flee from our home for military groups marched through the neighborhood. Then our house was destroyed and we had to look for another house. If it happens again then my brother is still visible in public and taken. I would like him want to come across. He is a man, his life is worth as much as that of any other. In one of the nights I lay awake, I thought that I would say that I’m gay and that my friend (my brother) is still in Syria. A stupid idea that I’m going to run, but nights can now once last very long.

016 – Youth in Syria

Now I know what freedom is in the Netherlands, I also know that I have never have known it in Syria. As a child I did not understand. I took everything as it came, as children do. My parents made me only speak Kurdish at home, nowhere else. I was not thinking about the reason, I just listened. Thanks for children who have property. It made my childhood quite well. You can not compare the youth of Dutch children with mine. My brother and I had no toys. I worked since I was eight. I helped with cleaning in a flower shop, later in a barber shop and then in a restaurant. My father often complimented me on my jobs. He said that we had a home thanks to me to live in. I do not know if that is really so, I think he said it mostly to make me proud. I thought it was fine, because I was very much out of the house. We lived in a very dark street with no sunlight and had to be all one bedroom. Street play was too dangerous, so a job offered required (safe) distraction. Only at the university I realized for the first time that the system in which I lived was called at least remarkable . I wanted to sign up for the party of Bashar al-Assad. Not because I wanted to, but because it is the only way into Syria to join. If you are applying, after the question of how hot and when you were born, whether you are in the ruling party. If not, you can forget about that job. I have repeatedly tried to register, but could not. I seemed to have a distant uncle who was a Kurdish party. A mortal sin, which spills over to the whole family. Freedom, it is a great thing.

015 – Test

To do tests, of which I do not know all kinds of answers, it feels strange. I had exams this week to take Dutch at level 2.

The first question: “You work in a factory and would like to ask your boss if you have to work on weekends. What did you say?’ I started thinking about the word ‘factory’. What would that be? Suddenly I heard a buzzer, the fourteen seconds I had to answer the question were over.

At the university where I studied law in Syria I always knew everything. Classmates who understood not so well, were cheating on me. I put my school card on the table and put my gum right in response to a top left to answer b, and lower right of reply c. It worked, but not for long. I was pulled out of class at my ears and the teacher demanded an explanation. Why is everyone looking in the classroom to your gum? I got a lot of hits in school. My hands are still swollen ruler of all strokes. But here I have a very kind teacher. When I did not answer one question because I was thinking, she asked to look at me kindly better.

The next question. “Your girlfriend is next Friday visiting you. You have made a plan for her visit and talks about it on the phone to your girlfriend. What do you say?“ I thought it was a complicated question. An Arab would never make an appointment a week in advance, let alone expand a detailed plan for the visit which is to come. I wanted to give that answer to the computer, maybe I should get plus points for a joke. I looked back, I saw the teacher friendly nod. My hands they probably will not work with a ruler, but after my school in Syria, I dare not joking in a test.

Bzzzt. Again fourteen seconds passed.

014 – Holiday

Hurray! The holiday season has arrived again. I remember well, last year, when I went for the first time in my life went on vacation. We went cozy with the boat. A plastic boat in the middle of the night. The trip costed us about the same as a Dutchman who goes on vacation: € 2.050. Unfortunately we had no guarantee that we would arrive alive. Leaving with four people means in some cases: arriving with only two. Dutch people can choose for a surprise trip, you will hear at the airport where you are going. You can specify preferences. “If it is warm,” for example. Such a condition we had. “If it’s just nice and safe.” Just as the Dutch we walked and had been running during the holidays. Occasionally with a couple of dogs after us, or what wailing sirens. For a first holiday I found the somewhat disappointing. But seriously, I have a lot to think about. A year ago. What it seems nice to ever really go on vacation. To make pictures that not only aim to show that I am still alive. To walk down fruit trees in Greece without me fighting with other refugees to the fruit from the trees. I proudly against the people on my vacation can say that I am from the Netherlands. That people at borders kindly look at me when they see my passport, which I do not have to beg or they let me pass. Most importantly, I can return home. I fantasize sometimes already on a holiday to Turkey. My family, the border can not, but just feel like I’m close to them seems fine to me. It will still take a long time time before I can go on vacation. But that’s okay, because I’m still recovering from my last.

013 – Elderly people

Oh how I love this country anyway. I saw this week a bus with an automatic ramp, so that a wheelchair could be in the bus. Genius. I did volunteer work in Syria with disabelt people, I therefore look everywhere how to care for these people. Syria must help all passengers as someone to get on the bus. It is difficult, but because of the lack of facilities may be disabled as free travel. Now I’m a little settled in the Netherlands, I have my volunteer work resumed. I started in a nursing home ‘in Arnhem. I had never been in a big building full of elderly people, because Syrians take their mother and father in their home. About people who send their parents to have some older building is bad talk. Now I have one visited there, I see the beautiful side of it. They are pawns in the center and among the other Arnhem. The rooms are very nice and there are flowers. I also saw that music was made for them. A new resident was received with flowers. Great that older people still count in the Netherlands and received so warmly. The nursing home is a good place for me to be. It is the only place in Arnhem, where I can track all calls. The residents and staff speak slowly and loud Dutch. Personally, I can be of any use. There lives an Iraqi woman in a wheelchair. She can talk to anyone. I imagined in Arabic and instantly there appeared a big smile on her face. Another resident jumped on. “Hey, where are you from? Syria? Where is it? In Africa? And how long have you been here?” The wife has Alzheimer so a minute later follows the same questions again. And a few minutes later once again. Now when I see her and start moving her lips, but I put right from shore. I come from Syria, which is close to Egypt and I’ve been here nine months. Then she looks happy. It’s all they want to know.

012 – Nauseous

My mother calling. She’s been inside for days. Water and electricity are completely down. In Aleppo is everybody summoned especially, to stay inside: schools and businesses are closed. So fierce as now the violence was not previously. In the neighborhood where my parents live, allready two hundred people have been killed in recent days. I’m having breakfast with Ahmed. We drink milkshakes have sandwiches and coffee. We talk about Syria. A banquet hall in the city that we both know well. During Eid, there are fathers, mothers and children celebrating the end of Ramadan. During the party there is a bombing, dead and wounded lying everywhere. After ambulances and rescuers arrive, following a second bombing raid. It is a new tactic of the rebels. Attack, wait comes to help and then strike again. Slowly I get sick, I can not get a bite through my throat. I am richly eating breakfast here while my parents for three days seem staring ahead of their home. My mother crying on the phone. She says she’s glad I’m not with them. “I know my son. You would not go out, you would help the wounded, even though there are snipers lurking. You’ve been away so long, but still I think with every bombing raid, where is my son? “Then she realizes that I’m safe. During breakfast Ahmed and I decide that we can not continue so. We do not want to eat while our family is shot and without electricity, food and water. Tomorrow we do it in a day without it. No electricity, no wifi, no water and no food. We want to be close to our family and feel what they feel. We have five years as lived during the war, but after a year in the Netherlands that feeling fades further and further into the background. Tomorrow we get it back one day. we help someone with it? Only ourselves. But sometimes that is just as necessary.

011 – Hits Ask a Syrian man what he loves more his wife or football. Yeah really, they will all say ‘football’. Since the Netherlands does not join the European Championships have Achmed and I thought we for countries that support refugees. Germany we really encouraged example. The EC is a civilized affair for Arabs. Footballers apologize when they make violation. I also see here at amateur clubs. Kindness in the field.

Hits:  If Arnhem and Nijmegen were Syrian cities, it was one of those two cities destroyed after a game NEC Vitesse. Dutch, who talk like they have a conflict. The Arabs where I grew up clapping along parts first and then talk. There is only peace to talk, as there have been some fists in the air. To be honest, I like it. This is, moreover, to be men together, a woman can not touch with a finger.

Soccer:  The first month in the Netherlands, in the reception of refugees Dome in Arnhem, we played football a lot. We heard there was to be no fighting, otherwise there might be a problem with our residence. It was funny jars football. We narrowed our red fists in frustration and looked angrily round or did not happen to an unguarded moment was when we could deal a blow.

Talk:  In the Netherlands, it is not so, I know. I therefore more distributed not hit until a month ago. Now I am under the supervision of the COA and I have a friend and roommate from Syria, ‘talk’ is not always the first thing that comes to us. While jobs Achmed and I have ever given each other a kick or blow. If I had asked him to come and sit down to talk out a problem, he would also think I’m no good at my head.

0005-France

100th anniversary

The Battle of the Somme was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. It was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front; more than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The French and British had committed themselves to an offensive on the Somme during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. Initial plans called for the French army to undertake the main part of the Somme offensive, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). When the Imperial German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, French commanders diverted many of the 300px-Map_of_the_Battle_of_the_Somme,_1916.svgdivisions intended for the Somme and the “supporting” attack by the British became the principal effort. The first day on the Somme (1 July) saw a serious defeat for the German Second Army, which was forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank and by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. The first day on the Somme was also the worst day in the history of the British army, which had c. 57,470 casualties, mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. The British troops on the Somme comprised a mixture of the remains of the pre-war regular army, the Territorial Force and the Kitchener Army, which was composed of Pals battalions, recruited from the same places and occupations. The battle is notable for the importance of air power and the first use of the tank. At the end of the battle, British and French forces had penetrated 6 miles (9.7 km) into German-occupied territory, taking more ground than in any of their offensives since the Battle of the Marne in 1914. The Anglo-French armies failed to capture Péronne and halted 3 miles (4.8 km) from Bapaume, where the German armies maintained their positions over the winter. British attacks in the Ancre valley resumed in January 1917 and forced the Germans into local withdrawals to reserve lines in February, before the scheduled retirement to the Siegfriedstellung (Hindenburg Line) began in March. Debate continues over the necessity, significance and effect of the battle.

From: Wikipedia

0004-Royalty

images1

King Willem-Alexander will come to Nijmegen to witness the final day of the “Walk of the World” (Nijmegen Four Day Marches). Rumors circulated about his coming equally, but were only confirmed this afternoon by the royal family. The invitation to come to Nijmegen, the king has in his pocket a year. The Nijmegen Four Day  Marches will be this year for the 100th time, reason for the Four-4323061 Day Marches Foundation to give the anniversary edition a royal touch. The father of Willem-Alexander, Prince Claus, participated in the marches of 1967. The vows of the king does not mean that the foundation in terms of safety must bend over backwards. “We had assumed royal visit,” said a spokesman for the marches, so we would only have to switch back if the invitation would be turned down.”

0003-Royalty

Claus was born Klaus-Georg Wilhelm Otto Friedrich Gerd von Amsberg, on his family’s estate, Schloss Dötzingen, near Hitzacker, Germany on 6 September 1926. His parents were Claus Felix von Amsberg and Baroness Gösta von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen. His father, a member of the untitled German nobility, operated a large farm in Tanganyika (formerly German -c1East Africa) from 1928 until World War II. From 1938 Claus and his six sisters grew up on their maternal grandparents’ manor in Lower Saxony; he attended the Friderico-Francisceum-Gymnasium in Bad Doberan from 1933 to 1936 and a boarding school in Tanganyika from 1936 to 1938. Claus was a member of such Nazi youth organisations as Deutsches Jungvolk and the Hitler Youth (membership in the latter was mandatory for all fit members of his generation). From 1938 until 1942, he attended the Baltenschule Misdroy. In 1944, he was conscripted into the German Wehrmacht, becoming a soldier in the German 90th Panzergrenadier Division in Italy in March 1945, but taken as a prisoner of war by the American forces at Meran before taking part in any fighting. After his repatriation, he finished school in Lüneburg and studied law in Hamburg. He then joined the German diplomatic corps and worked in Santo Domingo and Ivory Coast. In the 1960s, he was transferred to Bonn. Claus met Princess Beatrix for the first time on New Year’s Eve 1962 in Bad Driburg at a dinner hosted by the count von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff who was a distant relative of both of them. They met again at the wedding-eve party of Princess Tatjana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, in the summer of 1964. With memories of German oppression still very strong 20 years after the war, sections of the Dutch population were unhappy that Beatrix’s fiancé was a German and former member of the Hitler Youth. Nonetheless, Juliana gave the engagement her blessing after giving serious thought to canceling it. The engagement was approved by the States-General (Dutch House of Commons and House of Lords) —a necessary step for Beatrix to remain heiress to the throne—in 1965. He was granted Dutch-c2 citizenship later that year and changed the spellings of his names to Dutch. The pair were married on 10 March 1966. Their wedding day saw violent protests, most notably by the anarchist-artist group Provo. They included such memorable slogans as “Claus, ‘raus!” (Claus, get out!) and “Mijn fiets terug” (Give me back my bike), a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. A smoke bomb was thrown at the wedding carriage by a group of Provos. For a time, it was thought that Beatrix would be the last monarch of the Netherlands. However, over time, Claus became accepted by the public, so much so that during the last part of his life he was generally considered the most popular member of the Royal Family. This change in Dutch opinion was brought about by Claus’s strong motivation to contribute to public causes (especially Third World development, on which he was considered an expert), his sincere modesty and his candor (within but sometimes on the edge of royal protocol). The public also sympathised with Claus for his efforts to give meaning to his life beyond the restrictions that Dutch law imposed on the Royal Family’s freedom of speech and action. However, these restrictions were gradually loosened; Claus was even appointed as senior staff member at the Department of Developing Aid, always in an advisory role. One example of his attitude toward protocol was the “Declaration of the Tie”. In 1998, after presenting the annual Prince Claus Awards to three African fashion designers, Claus told “workers of all nations to unite and cast away the new shackles they have voluntarily cast upon themselves”, meaning the necktie, that “snake around my neck,” and encouraged the audience to “venture into open-collar paradise”. He then removed his tie and threw it on the floor. In 2001, when on Dutch television he announced the marriage of his son Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, and Máxima Zorreguieta, an Argentine woman of Spanish and Italian descent, Prince Claus referred to himself as more a citizen of the world than anything else. Prince Claus died April 6, October 2002 (aged 76) at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

0002-Graafseweg 219

Tonight at 07PM “our” asparagus season ends. Dinner guests will be two former colleagues G.P.’s from Horst with their spouses: Martin and Marjos Duives and Leon and Yvonne Majoor. Pierre prepares the asparagus (white) “the classic way” with boiled eggs, ham. Hollandaise sauce and little fried potatoes. We begin dinner with a home made creamy asparagus soup. Dessert will be strawberries. For asparagus we always serve Pinot Grigio. Yours truly does the table setting (from choosing the cover to putting the crystal wine glasses), prepares the ham and eggs.

asp1

The table is set, the guests can come… 🙂

201606081827Asperges

From left to right: empty chair: Martien Duives who takes the picture, Marjos Duives, Luke Barkhuis, Pierre Bormans, Yvonne Majoor, Leon Majoor.

201606082029Asperges

0001-Anwar: columns 001 – 010

010 – House cleaning

In Syria a garden is only reserved for rich people. Although Syria still more than four times larger than the Netherlands, there is lack of space. Do not ask me why, but the streets are narrow, the houses are close together and in a building only the upper residents get a dash of sun on their balcony. They are therefore often social people, for those who live less like to be drinking tea on the top, sunny, balcony. In my new home in the Arnhem district Presikhaaf I feel like a king. Having a garden is only reserved in Syria for rich, important people. I am neither, but I now have a garden. If I walk out there sun and nature. Netherlands used its surface well. Achmed my roommate and I are busy painting. On the floor we put laminate. We are actually used to a tiled floor drainage. Our mothers clean with buckets of water to throw on the ground and then scrub. Syrians have almost all the same memories there. Gliding through the liing room with the water that your mother had flushed out. I’ve been there twice with my broken nose. In the Arnhem refugee shelter Dome is a huge slick feed. A few months ago there was a small nocturnal revolt in which people threw food. The next day we had – of course – to clean the floor in the middle of the Dome together. All Syrians in the shelter began to pick up buckets of water and throw it with big bows on the floor. Employees of the coa came to me in panic: “What are you doing ???”. We had no idea, we just did what we always do our mothers did. But yes, of course there is no drain in the floor.

009 – Subdued

I have a house! I’m so happy. In two weeks I get the key to an apartment, which I will share with Achmed, a friend from refugee reception Dome. I’ve seen the house, located in Arnhem Presikhaaf. It is lovely. A soccer field nearby, a Turkish supermarket and we have no less than two gardens: a front yard and a back yard. Now we are fantasizing about the design. We are still not agree on anything, so the temporary solution is that we draw a line through the living room and arrange half my good, modern taste and the other half in Achmed’s old-fashioned style. Just kidding, we look or a middle. Achmed wants at least as much light as in Syrian living rooms.  I am now accustomed to all those muted homes here. Initially I thought that I was constantly somewhere inconvenient. That the light was just subdued because there was something romantic happening. In Dutch living rooms I’m nodding throughout the evening around all those candles. I’m getting sleepy. During one of those visits to a Dutch household, I learned that this “no” really means “no.” “Want a drink Anwar?” I was asked. I said ‘no’, because that should be, in Syria. Only if someone insists, you say ‘yes’. But then I got really nothing. I sat there all night without drinking. Handy, because that I did not go to the bathroom. When someone else goes to the toilet, which is in fact also be used in accordance with our indecent. But I promise that everyone who comes to visit in my new house, goes straight to the toilet. Because I live here now.

008 – My first fine

I started an intensive language training in Nijmegen. Three days a week I have to take the train from Arnhem to Nijmegen to learn Dutch. Getting used to that traveling with a chip. I saw dozens of students walking casually along that checkpoint. They did not look, they held their only their chipcard near the pole and ran after the beep again. I had earplugs in, sunglasses and walked as nonchalantly past the post. I was just like them, I thought. On the train there was a checker, he asked for my smart card. “You are not checked,” he said. I curled up, everyone looked at me. I felt frightened and ashamed. For a man in uniform you need to be scared in Syria. I tended to give him money, because that is the wayin Syria to get rid of a cop. A train inspector is admittedly not a cop, but I have no idea whether such a person the same control as an agent here, or maybe more. The man wrote a fine for me, 54 euros. I have explained that I had checked in, but it did not help. The worst thing is not the fine, but I am now in the Dutch system as someone who did not behave well. On my way back I walked more carefully along that pole. I said to the people behind me that they had to wait and have ten times again checked. That pole hit it wild. With a grin I was waiting would come to an inspector on the train, but none came. There was no one who saw that I had done well, so I tell it here. I checked in and it worked!

007 – Birthday

Three months ago I saw a Dutch girl in the street, and I fell in love instantly with her. I told everyone who would listen about her. I saw her only in passing by, but that was enough. If she marries me, I do everything in my life for her. Work, housework, whatever she wants. Last weekend I was asked with my landlady ‘Gerda to the anniversary of the neighbor. When I entered, I saw to my surprise the conscious girl there in the house. She is the daughter of my neighbor! Moments later her sisters entered. I kept my face straight, but inside I fainted. So much beauty. I whispered “Gerda take me to the hospital!” There were more guests, they gave gifts to the neighbor. Gifts, which opened the neighbor directly. I did not know what I saw. In Syria it is very rude, because you have to protect the donor. Perhaps the is the principal poor and he or she provides an inexpensive gift. That may not be visible in front of the others. One of the sisters asked me what I wanted to drink. Water! I needed water to continue normal behaviour. I also got a small piece of cake offered. There were no candles, there was no singing. All the guests had ordinary clothes on, no one danced. The tables full of food that I know were missing from Syria. I thought it was a strange place, some Dutch birthday. But hey, who cares. Three women look like angels dwell beside me. I did not want to go home, never again. After a while Gerda said we went home. I wanted ‘Nooooooo’ scream but I said, “Okay Gerda. Thank you all and see you soon.“

006 – Good Muslim

In Syria, it felt like I was in a test from God. Be a good Muslim, I find that difficult. Because how do you behave in a war? Go steal your food when you’re hungry? Defend your country and if so, who are the goodies and who is evil? In which army you need to connect? I changed in Syria monthly opinions. At first I wanted to fulfill my duty and defend our country. But then it quickly became one big bloodbath, I realized that that was not the right thing. It feels like God passed Syrians through a sieve and look who finally left in the sieve. Who makes the right choices, who continues to pray and believe in happy ending? I choosed to shift my focus. To no longer wanting to protect the country, but my family and friends. I wanted to make sure they were safe and had food. If you study, you do as a young man not the army. I studied, but was regularly approached by government officials. “This is not the time to study, but to serve your country,” they said. I felt about not guilty. The country was now totally in ruins. After my studies I fled. I had to join the Army for a not limited time. I did not want to be a killer. Here in the Netherlands feels it easier to make the right choices. The choices I make will certainly not concern life and death. If God is finished sieving, I hope I stick close call in that sieve.

005  – Behaviour with a woman

I went last weekend with two friends from the Dome by Sonsbeekpark in Arnheim. We saw a group of sporting women, along with a man. “Would you agree?”, asked one of my friends. I knew what he meant. In Syria you would never send your wife with another man to the forest. But it looked pretty normal. Women good at running that guy was, I guess, a sort of coach. I had to get used to when I saw such scenes for the first time. But I now see that it is fine. My friends with whom I had walked with me.agreed too.

Work:  “And your future wife to work, would you do that?” they asked. Also that. And they too. What can change in eight months time. When Dome eight months ago filled up with four hundred men, including myself, we sat there somewhat lost. We were convinced that no one in the Netherlands liked us and we found everything outside the building but exciting.

Invited:  Somewhere in those first weeks, I was invited by a Dutch woman. I arrived at her for dinner, while her husband was not home. I was very nervous about it. I thought he would be furious if he would find me to her table. But when he came home, he looked pleased and he asked how I was doing. In Dome are many cells empty.

Outside World: 

Many refugees are out. At Dutch friends, visiting, or at work nearby. What we see in the outside world, sets us thinking. Those friends who had their own answers to me about questions asked in the park though, but it’s nice to confirm each other:. How Dutch life, which is actually not so bad.

004 – Memories

Sometimes I have the impression that there are two versions of myself. If I go to sleep is the one Anwar, who can go to sleep because he likes his new life in the Netherlands. I fantasize about the study that I want to follow the work I can do. When I am almost asleep, is the other side up. I think of my life in Syria.

Snipers: 

How every time I had to run through a field full of snipers to get food in a different area. How do we in the middle of the night fled from our house because a group of soldiers with long beards passing through our street. They shouted that they would murder us all. The next day there was nothing left of our home. My mother heard recently only with one ear a little bit. She became deaf of all bombardments. My father can not move much a part of his body, he has a piece of shrapnel in his shoulder. The idea that she and my brother every day exposed to danger, gives me difficulty falling asleep.

Studying and working: 

The only thing I can do is study hard and work for them so that I can earn money and take care of them. Every time I do not want to study the Dutch language, I think of my family. I spring up and I dive back into the books. When people ask me for the first time asked if I would like to return later to Syria, I immediately said yes! Later, I began to doubt. Because of all those awful memories. Nevertheless, I share below 1 reminder that I’m still often wake up. Bringing food, while snipers shooting at us. For the people on the video is no bad memory, but still the daily reality in Aleppo.

003 – Refugee instead of a man

The status of “refugee” is sometimes quite difficult. It is a status that ensures that you have less rights than another. I refer not only to legislation, but also on behavior expected of a refugee. We must always show to be grateful. Because: “If you do not like then you go away.” That kind of comments hurt me terribly.

Be killed or murdered: 

When I got the sense in Syria that I had the choice between being killed or become a murderer, I left. The moment I stepped across the border from Syria to Turkey, I changed from a man in a ‘refugee’. From that moment I could do nothing but accept everything that happened to me. I slept in the woods and on the street, boarded a packed plastic boat to Greece and left me smelly, exhausted and discouraged by Europe. Waiting at the border in Macedonia was perhaps the worst. I was beaten by border guards who wanted to keep the crowd at bay and froze in the night almost dead.

Germany: 

Arriving in Germany I expected it to life as a fugitive was over, we would be “people” again. In the camp where I ended up, they wanted to check everyone’s health. Against a man you say, “Anwar, go sit down May I look amongst your hair if you have fleas.?” At a refugee you say apparently nothing. We got a number and doctors adopted us as if we were cattle. I am also fled to the Netherlands. I like it here, I love the Netherlands. And I am certainly very grateful. But I am a human being. With rights and an opinion.

002 – Mothers

Mothers, are all over the world the same. Since this week I live in a house with lovely people Gerda (63) and Erik (56). They live near the refugee center Dome and asked me if I would stay with them for three months (longer stay at one address may not COA). Gerda is like my own mother. Therefore, it remains strange to call her by her first name. My mother would give me a slap if I could use her first name. Then I just sat in the Dome, Gerda took me into town and bought clothes for me. Now she takes care of me like her own children. It feels like home.

Pasta:  As a welcome gift, a neighbour came and brought a jar cholocolate pasta for me. I knew her from the street. In the morning as they walk to school, I whistle out the window on my fingers, and then they shout “Good morning, Anwar!” Besides, I know now more people around than Gerda and Erik. It seems to be normal in the Netherlands that people do not know anyone from their own street. I think that’s crazy. I suspect that at the end of the sleepover the whole street knows each other, I’m going for sure.

Study:  The first day I stayed at my Dutch ‘parents’, I made the first mistake. I remain a fugitive, so I went here along with my friends at The Dome. When I got home at midnight, Gerda was waiting for me at the kitchen table. She said, “Anwar, this is not the Dome eh! Dutch drink in the evening a cup of coffee, read a book and go to sleep. If you want to integrate, you have to study and sleep in time.” I apologized. Then she laughed again and asked: “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat something?’

Worried:  That would immediately ask my mother. My parents in Aleppo have to eat less every month. If there is even a shop with stock, will strike the whole city, because no one knows how much worse it is going to be yet. Despite my mother is mainly concerned with me. She’s worried whether I was eating enough. She asks me every morning if I’ve had breakfast. “You look so thin on the photos, you’ll get enough to eat, Anwar?” They need not worry, because Gerda will have breakfast is important. She says she does lock the door as I want without breakfast the door. Yes, it feels like home.

001 – Chosen the right country

The first week of our intensive Dutch course is over. The beginning was relatively simple. The alphabet is known to us, the eight participants in this training are all highly trained. I myself am a lawyer. Since September I stay at The Dome, (a former prison in Arnheim) waiting for a residence permit and a house. On the basis of the Dutch language I already started in the refugee shelter, so the first lessons are fairly familiar ground. Besides language, we also get citizenship lessons, so we will not only how to speak the language but also the country and know its use. I hear a lot of new things. I know now that the football club Vitesse of Arnheim, Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam. The Constitution is explained to us, the most important part: discrimination. No one may be disadvantaged here because he or she is gay, female, religious, or ethnic minorities. That does me good. I am a Syrian Kurd. In Syria I felt regular second person, because I am a Kurd. Fortunately, here in the law that one second should be treated. The various political parties are explained to us. The teacher said that people in the Netherlands may be against the policy of the king. I did not know that. When she said that, I stopped feeling upset. I had the realization that I have chosen to settle me the in the right country. Here is freedom that I need. From The Dome I greet all Dutch. Hey!