“I came to Holland to study for my master’s degree at Twente university in Enschede. Here I met my Dutch husband. I first returned to Kuwait, but it was only when I was back there that I realised he was the love of my life. So I came here to live ten years ago. Four years ago we moved to Amsterdam and now live in IJburg. For a family with children it’s great. It’s very windy, though.
My family found my choice of man difficult to swallow. I’m from a generation where everyone makes their own choices rather that lets family dictate what they do with their lives. That is one of the big differences between Kuwait and the Netherlands. There is so much more social pressure in Kuwait. Raising your children involves the entire family, while here the focus is on the parents only. I’m used to this now, and think it’s great.
My family have had to get used to my life, but are happy for me. They come to visit, but don’t like the weather here. Nor do I, to tell the truth. In Kuwait we love the rain, as it’s so dry there. Here the rain is different, it’s very cold. You even call it ‘bad weather’. My Dutch is improving, but I speak Arabic with my son and English with my husband.
I love Amsterdammers. They are so easy to get along with, very international in their outlook, and open. I love the canals, too. We have our own boat and enjoy making trips on the water. Water reminds me of Kuwait as our sea is beautiful. Water brings me back home. My heart has two homes: Kuwait and Amsterdam.”
5 people in Amsterdam have the Kuwaiti nationality