Maria moves to the Netherlands

Greece: Athens
June 2017

Maria now lives in Holland with her family. They were relocated  from Greece at the end of 2016. She made this picture story about her new home in Holland in June 2017.

We lived in the camp until October of last year. It was beautiful. I went to school there, the Spanish and Jafra ran the school, and I had friends so I was sad to leave. There was a lot of fights- mainly shouting- with Iraqis, with the UN about food.  We had an interview. We had requested relocation to Holland because my brother was here. The interview was very friendly and we were accepted. Then we went to a hotel in Athens for 20 days, that was not bad. Then we flew to Schiphol airport in Holland.

I am very happy here because I can see my brother. He came to the airport. I hadn’t seen him for four years. Then we were sent to a camp. It was the procedures camp and we all lived in one room for 4 days.

Then they gave us our transfer papers and we were taken to another camp by car. That was very

Our new home, by Maria

beautiful. I don’t remember the name. We lived in a caravan and there was a school. All my classmates were Syrian and our teachers were Dutch, but they had translators and we studied language. We did other things as well, like we played tennis and they took us to the centre of the city to a place for playing.

After four months they told us where we were going to live. There was no choice, but my brother is 7 kilometres away. I like it here. I have made Dutch friends, both boys and girls. I visit them and they visit me. I play football and I love running. In camp I  learnt a lot of words. Now my neighbours have started teaching me more Dutch. The school I go to is a language school. I was four years without school and had even forgotten proper writing but now I write Dutch very nicely. We do all the subjects: reading and writing, maths, geography and history. It is Dutch geography and Dutch history. They teach us about life in Holland. For example people love running. They love each other and they are very gentle people. I definitely want to stay. When I grow up I want to be a pharmacist. That is what my sister-in-law does, and I got the idea from her.

My sister and I, by Maria
My bedroom, by Maria
My Father, by Maria
Growing onions in the garden, by Maria
The playground across the road, by Maria
Looking at the website, by Maria

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