[i] Hello [name].
[r] Hi.
[i] Hi.
I see you have something in your hands.
[r] Yeah, this is my
[i] Something important you can tell me?
[r] Yes, this is very important. Picture is of my little daughter [name]. [name] was born May 28th, 2011. Yes, this is my love, actually this is, yes, I have only one little daughter. I went to Iraq 2008. I, uh, I was invited to Baghdad to play there. I played my monologue there, a theatre play called “Where is there?” In Arabic there played in national theatre and I saw, yes, a beautiful woman. So my wife. And, yes, we talked and exchanged phone numbers and, yes. Something clicked between us and went fine, 2009. Stop, sorry stop. Stop, sorry stop. Is sound I get a phone call actually there. And I got another call and I got an invitation to Baghdad 2009. To play one more time there in art school. I played my monologue “Lights on, dreams off” in Baghdad art school. Um, then I invited my wife here. And I’ve been married since 2010, and this is my little daughter [name]. Yeah so, I guess I’m art or theatre but I’m a theatre maker I studied there in my own country, in Iraq Baghdad, art academy direction theatre for 4 years. Through theater I got a love or theater made a love, how? Yes, I just told you I met my love or my wife there and yes this is thanks to the theatre. Yes, I studied there and here in Amsterdam mime-education orientation courses. And I also sent a course in Denmark on body technique. And I also did a course in Denmark in 2004 and in Italy in 2006 in Roma about mysticism and the body and in Amsterdam I also did a mime study orientation course. So I’m busy with poetic language and the language of the body. And I would like to, or I work with the theme of the freedom of the body. I want to liberate everything from the body, and I want to be a bridge between here and there. Here I mean Amsterdam and Baghdad. I tell here about my background Baghdad. And when I’m there in Baghdad I tell about Dutch language, Dutch women, Dutch nature, ballet, dance theatre, Dutch theatre, philosophy, poems, poetic city, the city with canals, the city with the smell of boats. The city of old concrete. The city, 500 years made city in the city. Very small city of Amsterdam, but very big, big and beautiful. Amsterdam speaks many languages. She never goes to bed early. She never gets tired. Amsterdam, she wears new clothes every night. Amsterdam, she receives people, she invites people. So people in Amsterdam the city of tourists, the city of multicultural city.
[i] And where do you live in Amsterdam in which district?
[r] I live here in Amsterdam-West, Amsterdam-West Mercatorplein. Since 2012, but I am when I arrived here in the Netherlands, 1997, and I live in Amsterdam or in the Netherlands actually over 17 years. And in Amsterdam 15 years. so 1 year in AZC asylum seekers centres in Drenthe all the way. From there and then I moved to Amsterdam North and then to Amsterdam West. 5 years of waiting, 5 years no work, 5 years no wife, 5 years no beer, 5 years no alcohol, 5 years everything was difficult, for me after that to 5 years all doors opened at the same time: work, woman, I didn’t get a wife or something. Yes I couldn’t speak no language no boyfriend, everything was difficult for me no residence permit. I couldn’t cross the border or go abroad or to my country or to other things, so 5 years was very difficult for me and after that yes. The doors all opened at the same time. I have a driver’s license I have a diploma and I actually have diplomas. And I played yes here in Dutch and abroad, yes it went well.
[i] And what do you do in daily life?
I’ve been living for two years now what do you mean?
[i] Yeah, I mean, generally speaking, like I understood that you’re either in theater or you are.
[r] Theatre yes I worked for 2 years in van Gogh museum I just quit. Because the yes contract was not renewed. Yes daily life I do practice training, reading, learning to write. Yes, and rehearse theater new play when I finished a theater play. After that I go with something else with a Dutch director or Dutch group or with me, only I’m going to play the monologue yes.
[i] And which people do you have contact with, I mean do you live in Amsterdam, do you have contact with your own community or also with Dutch people?
[r] Yes, especially with Dutch people I live in the Netherlands so with Dutch people I do have contact with actors and directors and writers. Yes I just played in May, in June, in May in Greece “Niemandsland”. The director was Dries Verhoeven. And June in Munich Germany also the same play “Niemandsland” Dries Verhoeven. Before that I played “Mohammad, mohammad dol olisi” This is a play with Mohammad Hafezi. We played in Amsterdam Noord in Den Bosch and yes and a few times in Amsterdam. And next year from January we will play a new piece. The piece is written by the very famous Belgian writer “De Blinde”, the author’s name is Maurice Maeterlinck. We will start with a new piece in January. Yes and coincidentally the day before yesterday I got a call and my new book will be published. My book in Arabic will be published in Beirut, in Baghdad. And he’s on his way to Amsterdam to Baghdad. The book is about Dutch theatre reviews collected on Dutch theatre and other plays, international and Dutch theatre collected and becomes a book.
[i] It is about
[r] Dutch theater.
[i] Dutch theatre.
[r] In Arabic
[i] You wrote it in Arabic?
And why did you write it?
[r] Yes, why this is my work and I was working and the internet newspaper called Ilaf. In London I worked there for 2 years, and I actually had to write an article about yes culture or Dutch me from here. So I often went to Dutch theatre or international plays. Yes, I’ve written reviews about Dutch theatre or plays. Now published in Arabic in Ilaf and last year I collected all the articles and sent them to [name] De uitgeverij. Yes and he is now finished he is on his way I am also going to do presentation here yes soon.
[i] And I see. Can you tell me a little bit about that too?
[r] Yes, that’s here I work is writing in Arabic, in Kuwait, magazine is called Alfnun since also 2 years, so I wrote an article here, review about “Niemandsland” The director Dries Verhoeven and here I wrote an article at magazine ZemZem where is my article he comes ZemZem is yes famous magazine in Amsterdam and here is my article. And another article at this book is called “Thuis” (Home). “Tomorrow exists” is my article about this article about my trip to Iraq when I was there in Baghdad. My brother was kidnapped. That’s why I wrote and published an article in this book “Home”. Yes, so I’m so busy writing and acting and playing.
[i] And you had something…?
[r] Oh yeah, this poster I’m, yeah I get calls and I’m an artist. Yes by artists Artist & Co this is an artist foundation in Amsterdam. They have taken my picture here at home. And is yes this poster hung up,
[i] hang up on?
[r] The stops here in Amsterdam and if, yes the reason was actually the 10 artists are, yes, Amsterdammers active with art or theatre or painting or something else.
[i] And can you tell me about your origins? You’re yourself, you’re from Iraq
[r] Yes.
[i] And where exactly do you come from, what city?
I’m from Baghdad. Baghdad, I was born in Baghdad, I studied there, primary school, high school, university, art academy direction theater, yes, and then I fled here, forced to flee, I’m not a tourist, eh, or yes was by the dictatorship I fled. Actually, for almost 20 years, over 20 years. With a fake passport I left my country. I didn’t take anything with me, just my memory and a few pictures.
[i] And how long ago was that
Yeah, over 20 years. Yes is very long
[i] And you’re from a big family yourself?
[r] Yeah, I come from a big family of 10. 7 brothers 2 sisters I’m the 2nd, yes.
[i] And do you have contact with them?
[r] Yes sure, I have contact almost every day now through internet and Facebook, almost every day calling or Facebook and yes the situation is Iraq now, I do not want to talk about politics. And it was the situation in Iraq very bad, but I worry about that for a moment and I make contact, yes every day or almost every day.
[i] And what did your childhood look like when you were a kid?
[i] I wasn’t that naughty or busy or my brother, the oldest, was the opposite of me, actually very busy and tough, yes I wasn’t naughty, I was… yeah playing with kids playing a little role and when I was in elementary school I played a little role. And primary school and then secondary school, I want to actively play with the theater and then I wanted to go to theater school. My dad didn’t want to go to theatre school and then when he died I went to art school, so… Yeah, this is…
[i] Why doesn’t he want you to go to the theatre?
Yeah, theater’s not good for me. We’re good people, theater school only for the whores’ wives for the bad people and yes.
[i] And can you just tell me what you were doing here in what your studies were in Iraq?
[r] Art academy, degree in theater 4 years
[i] 4 years.
[i] And here in Amsterdam in the Netherlands what education did you study? Mime course in Amsterdam
[i] Yeah. When I was there in Iraq, I was working on the language of the body. I was working on body, the language the code of the body. The, but when I got here I discovered something called the liberation, freedom of the body. For my body was a trapped when I was there, trapped of the words, trapped of the body itself, the body was he was in real prison and then I came here I discovered something. Yeah, discovered the peace, nature, freedom from here. I mean from head and yes so good moment a good, yes, good moment to build something in my work, the liberation the freedom of the body, the codes become different, everything is different and there and here. And yes theatre is very important to me and life is also theatre. Yes and I have learned a lot here on the street from books of television from theatre school, from friends of colleagues, from pub crawls, from meetings, from training. I also graduated as a coach in Driebergen-Zeist 2 years ago. Yes I gave lessons to children here to asylum seekers centres, a theatre workshop. I worked here in Amsterdam as an interpreter or yes I’m going to help people help the refugees. I have worked here in refugee work in Amsterdam and this is my…
[i] Have you changed in the Netherlands I mean when you were in Iraq and here what kind of changes do you see in yourself the personality change?
[r] This is a good question and I think the plants, the trees, the rivers, the birds should change everything. The change of the roots of the people, I have certainly changed. To better, to positive. I was fast, I was in a hurry, I had, I was different, yes different. Now the change is more than positive than it used to be. I’m deeper into everything here in analysis. And precisely with agenda with time with a yes appointments work, structure, here with structure the change. And everything in moderation to moderation everything exactly and yes look. Everything has drawbacks and advantages you get something you miss something you solve something. So here is beautiful nature but sometimes find the Netherlands boring. Why you are going to say to me. Everything is green, I come from the desert. That’s where you’re going to smell the desert. You’re going to smell the sky, the space between the earth and the sky, you can also fly between the big space, I mean. But here everything is clean and tidy and agenda and structure. If you’re gonna have coffee with somebody, you have to make an appointment. With me and my friends also the Dutch I don’t make an agenda. When I’m busy, my wife is busy, I also have a child school. But agenda is in my head. But I am Dutch if I want to and I am, I hate and yes I hate adjustment. I don’t adjust that I am or will become Dutch. I was born in Iraq and I am Iraqi, yes that’s how I am. Yes and I love all languages of all cultures. And I would like to learn more here, my Amsterdam, the second love. I have the two loves. Is not two women I have one woman, but I have two loves: Amsterdam and Baghdad. Fortunately, they’re not jealous of each other. I told each other I have two loves. So when I’m here I’d like to be there when I’m there I’d like to be here so Amsterdam is beautiful Baghdad is beautiful. I’m here but I’m gonna be there when I’m there I’m gonna be back here. I’m not yes I’m international. I’m not torn between two countries or between two women or between two loves. No, yes, I’m making a performance here in Dutch I’m going to play here. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Morocco, Egypt and then to Iraq. Then I’m going back yes I’m going to do something else.
[i] And are you proud of you, who you are or let me put it this way or who are you proud?
[r] Actually, I became proud when I became a daddy. Yeah, proud I have such a beautiful lady. Didn’t get Dutch they often say, I had a child. I didn’t have a child, but I made a child. Got it from who? From the Albert Heijn or from what? No I made and so I’m proud of myself on her. And I have so many books here. Books for me is money, I’m rich here. So when I die, she’ll get books and magazines Daddy made like that. Worked two years Van Gogh museum baba [daddy] Made representations baba has posters like this in English, in Dutch, in Arabic. Baba he can speak Kurdish, baba he can speak Turkmen, baba he can speak English, Dutch and Arabic. He has many friends, he is hospitable. And yes I learn from Dutch, I learn from the Kurds of Arabs of the Presses of … I love all kinds, Jews, I’m everything. I am Muslim born not elected, but I am Muslim, I am Christian, I am Jewish, I am Arabic, I am Kurdish, I am Turkmen, I am everything, I love all kinds, all, all, yes so I am Iraqi Dutchman, I am Arabic, all yes, this is why, why you say, why, how so. And through literature, through art, I’ve learned this way. Through my uncle, my uncle gave me books when I was little. So I learned the European, through the books when I was there and I want to fly. I fled to Europe or to the Netherlands. I knew Holland when I was there, but Dutch of me no theater still. Oh sorry I was when I was there Dutch no theater I studied. 4 years theatre in Belgium I did, but not the Netherlands. The Netherlands about philosophy Erasmus, Spinoza, about painter Dutch famous Van Gogh, Rembrandt, those kings, yes. And not about theatre. So I learned a lot from literature and art. About Dutch, about Belgium, about France, London, America and so on and so forth. So I get the information not only from books but from knowledge. Knowledge of friends, knowledge of culture, knowledge of knowledge, knowledge of books, knowledge of friends, of family, of talking, of pubs of visits, of works, of et cetera et cetera.
[i] And what were important events in your life in the Netherlands?
[r] What exactly do you mean?
[i] Exactly I mean, what was important? What did you think was the most important thing that you, that you live here in Holland? What is the essential thing that is important to you anyway?
[r] I didn’t choose Dutch. Now would be a good time to say thank you to the smuggler. He chose Holland for me. And he said here and bye, bye. “maa al Salama” in Arabic said. And I don’t know just green here and potatoes. Potatoes and the earth and I don’t know where I was. I asked someone in English and he said Holland. So the important moment I think you say.
[i] Or yeah, no, yeah, I meant what’s, you said about your kid being born here.
[r] Oh yeah, yeah
[i] And work what you’ve made all you’ve told so far but my question was.
[i] What is the most important thing between all those things you’ve done?
[r] Yes, for me everything is important, art is important This is my life my love, art has made love great, greater and philosophy is called Hegel, the German, German philosophy is called Hegel, Hegel said, “Every nation needs a slap, slap to wake up”. So I got the slap once a few years ago. And I wake up, where was I, who brought me here, am I naked? I walked long roads, saw naked trees, falling birds. I saw everything and nothing. This piece of my play. So I saw everything and nothing. So Gilgamesh said it too, I’ve seen everything and nothing. So I didn’t see everything. I like to see, I like to travel, travel inside, travel by plane, travel in the body, travel for the information. I want to learn more, I want to know more. Why, who brought me, I’m naked. What am I doing here, why am I here, what am I doing here? It’s the big question mark stuck. By the question mark I’ve got here, I’ve learned a lot of things.
[i] By questioning by questioning
[r] question me. Where is he, why did he gamble male or female, for example, when I was little? In high school, so I’m curious and when I got here I became even worse than a Dutchman. Dutch people are very curious, I also get Dutch people curious. I also want to know everything why you go outside, so why.
[i] And do you have fantasies about your future. I mean what is your dream for the future?
[r] Fantasy? I’d like to be in island won little house. I’m dreaming. I’m not dreaming like the posh or the rich. I’m modest, and I want to be modest. Just yeah, little island. Not very far, but here maybe Holland. And yes, with the two children and two chickens, two birds, and cow and yes I eat vegetarian vegetables and I drink water from that earth and live quietly and I’m going to write alone and scream with silence.
[i] And do you have a hobby besides your work but do you also have other things?
[r] Hobbies, yes reading and watching movies.
[i] What kind of books do you read?
[r] Yes story, stories, novel, yes poetry, poem, yes theatre, plays, everything. Yeah music, dancing, watching movies, yeah.
And what kind of music do you like?
I like yes classical Mozart.
[i] And apart from being a stage actor, are you also going to be a stage actor?
[i] Watch.
Yeah, this is my book he’s got he’s written by plays for instance. Actually so I’ve watched a lot in Dutch about Dutch theatre.
[i] So you watch them play
[r] Yeah, yeah. Look, I have to learn too, yeah.
[i] And are you going to describe their experience
Yeah, I’m gonna review what they make, some difference between us and them. What did I get, where was the weak points, where is the big the most beautiful points how and about the players about either the scenography, or the direction or the light about everything.
[i] Is this your goal to make the experience that’s from here that you see
[r] Bring
[i] Pass the word.
[r] Yes I just said I would like to be bridge between here and there, is Dutch, Dutch theater is unknown in Arab world. Is the first book is written about Dutch theater in Arab world theater or a Kurd, Kurds in Iraq are also artists I mean my friends. I have a lot of knowledge with Iraqi Kurds. And I’ve never talked to a Kurd or Arab about Dutch theatre or seen anything or so. Therefore my book is brought in Arab world to tell about Dutch theater what do they have, what do they make this is I show them, I let them know what Dutch theater. This is my goal. And I live here. I have to make something, bring something beautiful yes to there.
[i] And if you walk in Amsterdam or, what place do you like it or, where do you usually go when you go out?
[r] To Erasmuspark, Erasmuspark here 3 minutes walk. I’m either yes or I’m lucky to live here. And when I have a play, I go for training, practice running in the Erasmuspark. And I’m gonna play with my daughter in the park I’m gonna barbecue in the park. I’m gonna scream with silence in the park, I’m gonna run in the park. I’m gonna learn, I’m gonna learn the lyrics, in the park. The park is a big part of my life. I talk about the park, and I met a tree there, is my friend. I’ve written a story about her. So he’s a part of my life that Erasmus park.
[i] And you feel safe in Amsterdam?
[r] Safe? What do you mean safe?
[i] Safe
No weapons or war.
[i] Yeah, just when you go out there and feel that you have no fear at all, safe in that environment?
Yeah, I’m safe, yeah. I fled through insecurity to safe country. To democracy land, to freedom, to the distance, to space, to greenery, to trees, to nature and to everything, to silence, to not interfering, what are you doing? Yes I am, yes I live in safe country.
[i] And what personal developments have you gone through. I mean that you now live in Amsterdam and compare it to, I mean, as long as you live here, how do you feel that you have changed inside?
[r] Bigger.
[i] In which…
[i] With what?
[r] No, bigger with an opinion, bigger with an, with yes, bigger with an analysis, bigger with a reflection, bigger with the silence, bigger with a respect, bigger with, yes and long have the adam. The Dutch say they have to have a long adam, so I have become patient. I have become different and what is not better than then but different. Quieter, clearer, deeper like the sea. I often go to the sea. I learn from the silence, not only from the body, the silence of the body or the codes of the body of the silence of the sea. The sea and I are friends. Not he the sea is not she the he and I are friends. I have with him, actually I have asked him to be friends. So yes, when I was there in Iraq I had no sea just the river, tigers and Euphrates, two rivers we have, so here big sea. Everything’s big. And I need, yeah, a long time to ask, yeah, I’ve changed.
[i] And what is your passion, what is your greatest love. I mean what interests you the most? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just told you about books.
[r] Theatre, theatre makes me happy, not the money, but you can’t make theatre without money. But theater this is my happiness. If I’m a taxi driver or work I don’t have, with all due respect, the taxi driver or anything else or restaurant, but I get a thousand euros every day, but it doesn’t make me happy. But as with theatre, if I get very little money or yes I get very happy happy and I go to sleep deep with beautiful dreams. Yes, as something else I get weak and tired yes. With theatre I don’t complain.
[i] And what are your fears?
[r] If I quit theater, yes. I don’t think I’m going to quit. But am I going to do something difficult besides theater then yes. Yeah, when I’m old, I’m gonna write something. And I’m still gonna read and learn and I’m gonna teach. So my fear if I don’t do theater, I mean not just play but watch. Yes seeing and exchanging ideas and is my fear. And seeing of losing a fear of losing theater. Theater is everything, theater is not a painter, make painting or and write poetic text. Theater is more people. So if lose the contact of theater you lose everything, lose your country, lose your love, lose your colleagues, friends and family. So if I lose, if I lose theater, I lose everything.
[i] When you came to live here in Amsterdam, you suffered from culture shock, with all those cultures.
[r] Yes, the first year when I arrived in Holland. Yes, it was very difficult. Difficult to see people differently. People are different. The smell of the food is different, the smell of the language is different. The smell of the clothes is different, the smell of the sea is different, the streets, the colour of the cars, the colour of the people. The color of the sky. The color of the sea. Everything is different. You had to learn everything like a baby. From a b c learn everything, don’t adjust exactly, but yes what do you mean and why. So the shock of culture is not only in the Netherlands is everywhere. If you are Dutch then you go to Iraq you also go crazy. Is different, but now I have no trouble no misery with a … I find, I find talking I’m interested not only in Holland, but I live in Holland. I’m interested in Dutch culture.
[i] And what are you interested in?
[r] Yes, of everything, of everything. People are serious and structured. Of building up structure of works structure series of works, of opinion, of the theme, of everything. So hard work, that’s why the country is built this way. So culture is beautiful of the Netherlands, very beautiful. They make, they make beautiful theatre beautiful dance, beautiful ballet here and beautiful music. Yes Amsterdam city of tourists Amsterdam. Beautiful city and she wears beautiful clothes. She has no problem or bother with the people or the foreigners. Amsterdam belongs to everyone and for everyone. Amsterdam I call Amsterdam she is a woman. Amsterdam is love. Amsterdam is the wife of everyone’s friend. Yes, so I can’t leave her. I can never leave her. Amsterdam and I are in love, I knew her when I was there. Amsterdam is my mine. Yeah, it’s become a big part of my history. I got the water from her. So either she’s a water or a drop of water in my body now in my blood. I can never leave her. So I’m taking her from Germany to Baghdad to everywhere. I’ll talk about her, I’ll talk about the rivers over canals of Amsterdam, of Amsterdam theater group. I’m talking about the national ballet theater. I’m talking about the festivals of Dutch. I’m talking about the colors of the flowers of Holland. The Amsterdam is a big symbol in my life. Amsterdam is going to be the second part of my life. This is a part of my body here the left is Amsterdam and the right is Baghdad. So two cities, two women in a body in a human, yes.
[i] And you’ve also played in theater group here in Amsterdam. What theatre were they?
[r] With Dries Verhoeven
[i] Dries Verhoeven
[r] Yes.
[i] And?
[r] I have, I actually often make my own production. Yes and I have played with Dans Voltage, “Zonnebrand” and “Kattenstaart” and “Zonnebrand” is years ago. And I’ve played for the schools in Amsterdam. And I also played the same project in The Hague. So Dans Voltage and Dries Verhoeven, a few times in Germany, Greece in Amsterdam in Utrecht. Yes and I’ve played in De Balie and I’ve played festivals and Dutch and Morocco and Germany and Copenhagen and Berlin and Baghdad and yes. Is very much, I have knowledge everywhere here and there and …
[i] Do you have contact with those people who
[r] Contact still and yes here and there. And we have our own company now, so to speak. Own group is called “Ontspoort”. “Derailed” our group’s name. And we’re going to make a new play in January by Maurice, Maurice Maeterlinck the Belgian, the writer, the “The Blind” is called
[i] “The Blind”
[r] Yes
[i] Here in Amsterdam?
[r] Yes.
[r] Yes.
[i] And another thing. Are you homesick for your own country when you think about Iraq?
[r] No, this isn’t homesickness. I’m not home sick. When I got here I was homesick, but now I’m not homesick anymore. Yeah all the doors all the walls were torn down when the dictatorship went away. The walls is what you call it, the walls is melting. And and yes is ready and then I have Facebook I have Twitter I have emails I have phone Viber and everything. And can contact family and people and there. So and I have Dutch passport. I have become Dutch. I ate stew. So I became Dutch with the paper, I mean. I can go to my own country now or tomorrow. How homesick, homesick I was when the dictatorship was, I was homesick but not anymore. All borders are over and crumbling
And what did you know about Amsterdam, I mean when you were in…
Erasmus, and Spinoza, the great Spinoza and Cruijff, Dutch national team. The whores, the flowers, Van Gogh, my friend, I worked with him for two years. I guarded his dreams, two years. And Rembrandt, The Konick, Vermeer. Yes, through my studies and my learning, I knew a lot about Amsterdam or Holland. Yes
[i] And what were your expectations
[r] Theatre
[i] Theatre
Yeah, I didn’t learn anything. I did learn here, but I never heard, never studied, never learned, when there was a study in Iraq when I…
[i] And you’re based in Amsterdam now, how does that feel after all these years?
Established, what do you mean?
[i] Confirmed
[i] Confirmed, yeah, you’ve been living here and so all these years, tribe
[r] Yes.
[i] Yeah, yeah. How do you feel?
[r] Yeah, I’m part of town. Like a button, a button of Amsterdam. I’m, I’ve got to do something. I have to make something, I have to make the kids happy. I have to make people happy. I have to do something beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This is my goal, this is my mission, this is why I’m here. Every human being has a purpose, a mission. The driver, the cleaner, the painter, the theatre maker, the, yeah, every man has a purpose. My purpose is to make the city happy. She has received me, she has protected me, yes, from death. I fled from the death of the dictator. Received me and protected me. So I have everything for her yes thank you. And everything yes on her cheeks kiss and hug and to Amsterdam if I yes leave her, ever.
[i] Have those expectations come true. I mean in terms of living. You live here now, are you, are the expectations. I mean are you happy where you live now or do you think of something bigger and so
[r] No, I’m modest, born and still. And I would like to yes by because of the child my daughter, I still need a small house, small room for her extra. And I’m going to move soon to. I’m happy, here. And yes a lot of foreigners in West. I never have a problem, no bother no problem with me or with that other one. I’m going West, East yes for me everything is my my yes my home. My home is no problem, but yes I’m looking for big home. Little bit big, an extra room or two for my kid.
[i] Yeah.
[i] And do you have contact with your neighbors
[r] I’m in contact with the whole street, not just my neighbors. Can they come to me to drink and eat. Yes and the downstairs, the neighbor if she has sports, she gave me the key to her house. And above my neighbour, the second, I have the three of us and downstairs one this is four, the second neighbour if anyone needs an egg, comes to me or an onion or a like in Iraq or something. That’s not a problem. Do you have food, do you have something I need something this is nice, I need them too, someday. So I want to share everything. The love, the yes and when someone goes on holiday he counts me or vice versa this is beautiful, yes
[i] And do you have family in the Netherlands or in Amsterdam?
[r] No, I’m alone, but not lonely. Yeah I’m alone, I mean I don’t have any family, yeah
[i] And what would you miss in your life in Amsterdam?
[r] Hospitable
[i] And how?
[r] The Dutch, or Amsterdammers, are not, not hospitable. Not welcome, and hurry and hurry. And everything closed and I miss the yes the warmth. I miss the contact, the Dutch are distant. Not so bad, but that’s the way it is. We are different because of the sun and little work in the Middle East. And here a lot of work just saving and going on holiday and there yes little work, a lot of food and here the other way around. Lots of work, little food. So contact and yes and yes, distant, cold too. I said, I miss the heat.
[i] And what are you doing to change that?
[r] Hospitable. He needs to open the door. The door of heart, then the door the door of the house.
Yeah, I mean, what are you doing to change that?
Yes I would, I would, I would open the door of heart and then open the door of the house. So everything takes time.
[i] You told me about Amsterdam. You’re almost one and all, actually.
[r] Yes.
[i] And what do you mean to Amsterdam? I suppose you’ve added a lot of things, but
[r] I’ve written about her, and I’ve played about her. And talked and told and I’m for her… as a friend, this is my friend. I’m to her a friend. We’re his part. So I can’t leave her, she can leave me. The city is stronger than women. Well I said or just like the women. Are beautiful and with make up, lots of clothes she makes up and she can leave me, I can’t. So I’m also something important to her.
[i] From our education we are curious about the contribution of residents, and now we are talking to you. Your contribution in Amsterdam? And from everything you’ve told us. I can see, for example, the theatre you make. The poster that was published, the stories that were published in the books. All those things I can summarize as your contribution to the city of Amsterdam. Is there anything else you want to add, as a contribution to Amsterdam, as your contribution to Amsterdam.
r] I have written a book about Dutch theatre. This is my contribution, this is my something back to the city. She received me and protected me. I would like to write another book. About my life in Amsterdam, my life when I was here, there and when I arrived here. In Amsterdam, yes, and so about Amsterdam. All the projects and my children, my family there and here, they talk about Amsterdam. When the Netherlands plays football. They call them Amsterdam, because I live in Amsterdam. My family there in Iraq in Baghdad. Amsterdam’s gotten bigger. And I bring her as Amsterdam, I call her, everywhere. So she’s part I’m part and we are, yeah.
[i] Your name
[r] [name] Theatre-maker. From Iraq, Baghdad.
[r] [name], thank you so much for talking.
[r] You’re welcome, no thanks
[i] Thank you.
[r] Thank you. Yeah.