Orhan

Kosovo

This is 
Orhan Galjus (1955)

Country of origin
Kosovo

In the Netherlands since
1999

Lives in
Zuid-Oost

Profession
Journalist

Loves
Making radio programs

Misses
'I miss to just talk to someone without making an appointment.'

Kosovo in Amsterdam
'Walking on the stairs of café The Kroon at Rembrantplein; it feels like going to a radiostudio.'


“I was born in Yugoslavia. That country no longer exists, and I’m a citizen of a new land - the Republic of Kosovo. This area changes every sixty years; Europe has had its fair share of wars. We need to do something to stop them. Personally, change must be meaningful and progressive, and not just come about by swapping around borders on a map. Everything changes too fast for me. You should be able to trace your own roots. I grew up in a country that has become smaller and smaller.


Now I’m an Amsterdammer, and it’s amazing to think of everything that has happened in my life. A friend at school once gave a quiz with questions such as, “How old are you? Where did you come from?” But it also had questions like, “Where will you be living in ten, twenty, thirty years?” I filled in ‘Amsterdam’ for those last three. Only because we had just done about the tulips of Amsterdam in geography and I thought that any country which can produce such beautiful flowers must contain beautiful people. I was fourteen. That dream has come true.

I came to Amsterdam in 1990. The war in Kosovo had not yet begun, but I gave radio reports which described the situation and made comparisons of these situations with the Palestinian conflict. Because of this I was fired, and left Kosovo. I didn’t come here as a political refugee, but to work in a country where freedom of the press exists. I quickly found work with Salto, the public access radio station in Amsterdam. They were the first to report about the Roma community in Western Europe. Later I went to work for MART radio where I was given the opportunity to talk about the latest developments in Kosovo.

I got a place to live in Zuid Oost which had a reputation of being a dangerous area, but I didn’t know that then and it didn’t look dangerous. I was very surprised when I realised that I could communicate with everyone in English, and that I would bump into people from all over Africa and other continents. We had learned that all Africans were black, but I have since come into contact with so many different types of people. I can only now understand the mentality of people from my own country, after living among the diversity that is Amsterdam. This city has taught me that harmony is possible when we respect and care for each other. Amsterdam is like a rainbow, containing so many amazing people.

The Dutch part of me has given me the vision to look at my own country in a different light. Amsterdam has given me life lessons, and with this new mind-set you are able to live anywhere in the world, if you want to pursue your dreams.”


27 people in Amsterdam have the Kosovan nationality

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