This is
Zainab Dhanji (1988) 

Country of origin

Lives in
Nieuw West 

In the Netherlands since 

Sales en marketing executive 

Getting to know new cities 

First impression Amsterdam 
Wow, everything is different here, from culture to the buildings and transport

Pakistan in Amsterdam
The Albert Cuyp market still reminds me of Pakistan. Every shopping area over there has a long street with all different kind of stalls.

Most beautifal place
The Amsterdamse Bos. What a magnificent trees do you have there. 

“I first came to Amsterdam two and a half years ago, and ended up staying for permanently. My husband is Amsterdam born and bred, and I had met him in Dubai.

I found it really hard at first. It was cold and grey. I missed my family. You have to learn to love this city. The first six months flew by; we had to sort out accommodation and I had to get to know how this city works. Things like, where do you go shopping? After this, it became even harder, as I then had to build up a life here. I was really lonely in the first year. Luckily, I was able to return home every six months. This really helped; I realised how blessed I was with my life here in Amsterdam.

I mostly miss the food. In Pakistan you can find the most amazing food anywhere. I’ve been looking for Halwa Puri here for the past year and a half, and have finally found a shop in Amstelveen where I can buy it. In Pakistan people only go out once the sun has set, shops are open late and there’s a busy nightlife. You meet up in shopping  centres and surround yourself with tasty food. There’s no nightlife here. Between 7pm and 11pm there’s nothing to do, unless you go out to eat.

When I witnessed the Koningsdag celebrations, the place was full of people and there were stalls everywhere offering tasty food. Only then did I think, “Oh my God, this city is amazing!”.”

3179 people in Amsterdam have the Pakistani nationality


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