“During the Six-Day War in 1967 we - as a Jewish family living in Libya - were no longer safe. Within twenty days we made the transition from an average family with friends from various cultural backgrounds to a family on the run. We lost everything. We were allowed to take one bag and one Libyan pound note. All the rest was confiscated. We never returned. Gaddafi had drawn up a new law to say that even Jews born in Libya were not to return. Since then Libya has become so unstable that no-one dares return. After we fled Libya we went to Italy. I lived in Milan for a while, until I met my Dutch wife in 1983 and left for Amsterdam. We were married for eight years before divorcing. We had a son together, who is now thirty years old.
Despite having lived in other countries for longer, I still feel more Libyan. All my memories are there, and my childhood there was wonderful. I think it a pity that my son cannot see the land where I grew up. I still have a few photos and have told him a lot about my time there. About the summers that made the city so hot that we always ended up going to the beach. We would take food with us and catch fish. When I think of the beach, I remember the good times. My son now lives in Zandvoort. He prefers it to the city. It must be in our genes.
I love Amsterdam. It’s a very tolerant city. But even here there are less tolerant people. I think this city should only be populated with tolerant people. If you’re not tolerant, you should be made to leave.”
42 people in Amsterdam have the Libyan nationality