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Becoming citizens for the first time

Met plezier gelezen? Doneer via Blendle! As a Syrian refugee in the Netherlands, I had to experience the unexperienced. The journey from a dictatorship to a democracy grants me the chance to taste the flavour of citizenship. Something refugees like me probably had never experienced in their lives before. However, by becoming a citizen, you get rights, and with rights come of course responsibilities. Besides developing my biking skills on a rainy day, wearing a poncho, and avoiding the cranky bikers in Amsterdam, I believe that becoming an Amsterdammer also means experiencing a variety of things that Dutch society and

On my way from Syria

Mohannad Sharrouf vluchtte uit Syrië. In een serie artikelen beschrijft hij hoe zijn tocht naar Nederland verliep. I just came out of the airport and I felt tired after the flight of more than four hours, from Beirut to Algeria. Four hours ago I was in Lebanon, three hours away from my home in Syria. Now I am at the African continent, in the capital of Algeria, to be exactly. Now I am far away from home. The first Algerian face I met was that of an officer who wanted to take a look at my passport. He asked me

How a little girl kept me in Libya

I’m standing on the shore outside Zuwarah city in Libya. The salty smell of the sand mixed with seawater is strong. I hear the sloshing of the waves. It’s July 2014. I am on my way to Italy and I wait, looking out at the huge anchored ship a few hundred meters off the coast. I wonder if it’s waiting for us? It´s big -- bigger than anything I´ve ever seen. I take a deep breath – after two weeks of waiting, it is almost time . I look at the ship and forget all my pain, hunger, sadness, and broken