You are a new refugee in The Netherlands. How do you deal with difficult moments, and how can you build a new life in this country? Here’s some advice from refugees who came to The Netherlands before you.
At the AZC (The Centre for Asylum Seekers)
1. Settle in first
Ilias Mahtab (28, civil servant for the Department of Foreign Affairs, fled Afghanistan in 1998): ‘When I first arrived in the Netherlands, I had travelled a long way from Afghanistan. And now I was here, in The Netherlands, a nation in which doors open automatically and people use cash registers instead of an abacus. I felt completely stoned, as if living between dream and reality. I really needed time to acclimatize.’
2. Stay out of fights
Babak Amiri (45, musician, fled Iran in 1991): ‘In the asylum center the atmosphere often is tense. That’s logical. If you consider the fact that hundreds of traumatized people are kept together, it’s more surprising...