A Syrian girl in Leeuwarden [2]

Since2015 Friesland receivedapproximately 2,250 adult refugees. Leeuwarden houses the majority of these immigrants, about 540. Naimee Alayobi, an 18-year-old Syrian girl told us her story and talked about her dreams and the challenges of starting over in the West. This is part 2 of a series of 3.

By: Aline Barbosa

Naimee admires the way most of Dutch people manage their time and says she can not understand where they draw energy to do everything they do. “Dutch people have a lot of patience. I don’thave that much. They want to do everything. In the morning they bringthe children to school. After they go to work. In the evening they cook, put the children to sleep. And they still have time for hobbies, or toread a book. In the weeks they go with their children to matches, to swimming classes. It seems to me that Dutch people have time to do everything. I think this is so beautiful. How can you do everything? I can not”.

However, she finds it a little bit cold how the Dutch relate to their families. “In Syria we are always with each other, but here only on holidays and birthdays. I do not like this”.

Expectations for the future
When asked about her hobbies and what she likes to do in the city, she doesn’t know exactly. Later we understand that Naimee is a focused girl, who sees hercoming to Holland as a great chance, but shealso understands the obstacles on her way and she doesn’t want to waste time. “I want to continue studying. I want to do something for the world and for all people”.

With a authority not always seen in someone so young, the girl tellsabout her goals and expectations for the future. “I want to be a dentist, but it is difficult. Because I have a long way

to go. In Syria I was preparing myself for my final exam. After the exam I could start with higher education. But before the exam I came to the Netherlands. So I have to start all over again. My Syrian friends are currently at the University. I have to start with MBO. I don’t like this so much, because I don’twant to wait that much. Nobody knows how I can go faster. In Syria we get more help with the studies. For example, mathematics was a little tricky for me, but then I did a special course to improve. But here I don’t know anyone to help me with this sort of stuff “, she complains.