“I fell madly in love with a Dutch Man 20 years ago. I’m from Montenegro but I think I can consider myself a local Amsterdammer by now. Together with my husband we have this food truck and we sell fries here at Waterlooplein. It used to be my father-in-law’s business which he opened right after the second world war. He took a lot of pride in running his business so when he passed away we took over to keep his legacy a live. I like the work and I like to keep the business in the family. In my culture that is an honorable thing to do.”

“When I left Egypt I had never set foot out of the country. My dad didn’t like the idea of his eldest son moving to Europe but I went anyways. I was nineteen and I remember arriving at the Amsterdam Central Station. It felt like a warm embrace. I had very little money but soon I found a job and a few years later I auditioned for the theatre academy. It was 1982 and I was the first Egyptian to get accepted into the academy. Back then there were not too many foreigners so coming from Egypt made me very exotic which meant I would mainly get cast for ’‘Arab Roles”. It is still like that and I don’t really mind but it is the reason, I started to write my own plays. My plays are about subjects that keep me busy such as identity. ‘What does it mean to be Dutch or European?’ I, for example was born in Egypt but I am also Dutch, I feel Dutch but I also feel Egyptian. My work is not about trying to convince anyone I’m right. I just want us to be able to talk about these things.“

“I’m both a model and a midwife. Modeling is the reason I could afford to buy an apartment for myself. Being a midwife is the reason I cry tears of joy every time I help to bring a baby into this world.”

“In 4th grade I discovered that I want to become a writer. That is when I wrote a story called ‘The land of Macaroni and Cheese Warriors.’ It’s about a Macaroni Kingdom that has to fight the Spoon Kingdom. The Spoon King tries to take the throne of the Macaroni Kingdom but luckily the King of the Macaroni Kingdom is really strong and can’t be defeated. When he and his Queen get back to their palace they find out that there is this party going on of which they had no idea was happening in the first place. They also find out they got robbed by the Kingdom of Marshmallows. It’s a little scary but it all ends well, I promise you”

“At thirteen I went through a heavy depression. I didn’t have any specific reason to be unhappy but I just wasn’t happy. I would spend most of my free time at home or online. One day I met a boy through Facebook and we became friends. We would talk every day.

He was also going through a depression and he was addicted to drugs. Our friendship wasn’t the most stabile one but still we really understood each other. It was an online friendship and we only met one time. When all of a sudden I didn’t hear from him anymore, I asked his brother who I went to school with what had happened to his brother, I didn’t get a clear answer.

Months went by without hearing from him. It was really hard but I had to accept it. I slowly was feeling better and I started to heal from my depression. Then finally I received a message from him saying he went into rehab. Not hearing from him was really hard but I forgave him. Even though we only met once I do think we have a real bond. However, I think we both realized that we needed time to heal by ourselves in order to ever have a healthy relationship.”