“I’ve lived in Amsterdam since 1998. I came here with my partner who came to study for his masters in biology. At first, I missed my parents, family and friends very much. I focussed myself on my husband and our subsequent children; two sons and two daughters. I also started a course in dentistry. A busy life, but it was my way to cope with my sadness. In 1997 I graduated - something I never would have managed without my husband’s support, as he cared for the children when I was at university.
What my parents passed on to me, and what I also wish to pass on to my parents, is ‘be kind to others, have respect for one another, and be deserving of others’. I’m still grateful for what my parents have given me. They made sure that I became a good person. It seems strange to say this of ones self, but others often tell me ‘you have a golden heart’.
In the last few years I have built up four dental practices, spread all over the city. I try to let my heart influence how they are run. I don’t mind treating people when they are in pain and are too poor to pay. Many of my colleagues send such people away. Every year I put aside a sum of money so that we can treat people who can’t afford it. And at Christmas, they get free treatment as a gift.
What I would love to do is start a project where I can help foreign women further integrate into the community. Women have the capacities to do this, but are often held back through external factors. On the smaller scale, my practices help a wide range of dental assistants study further and about five of them have become dental hygienists or dentists.
Unfortunately, I have something else to fight now. Eighteen months ago I was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer. Even though I am ill and undergoing chemotherapy, I continue to work. I don’t want to stay home. I don’t like being weak. And I hope - no, I am sure - that everything will turn out well.”
4.653 people in Amsterdam have the Egyptiann nationality.