45 Iran

This is
Farida Farhadpour (1964)

Country of origin


In the Netherlands since

Management consultant


Still would like to 
Go kayaking through the canals of Amsterdam 

Iran in Amsterdam 
The water at Durgerdam

Favorite  in Amsterdam                                  
The canals. It's not for nothing that I live at a canal. I enjoy sitting along the canal.

Kayaking in the canals of Amsterdam
Kayaking in the canals of Amsterdam

“I was born and raised in Teheran. I fled 29 years ago. I had to. My life was in danger. I just left on my own, without even thinking. I left my eighteen month old daughter behind with my parents. I had to wait nine months before she joined me in the Netherlands.

My daughter, Ferial, is now 29 and lives a few streets away. She has a multi-faceted identity. What’s Persian about her is her classic beauty. So’s her temperament. She has more fire than the Europeans. As is her concentration and focus. She’s very present, gives her full attention. And she’s proud like a princess. Her groundedness is Dutch. She dares not to follow the crowd, a lot more than I would dare. She will let you know what she does and does not like.

I consciously chose Amsterdam for our home. I think it’s the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. I have fallen for the historical beauty in its buildings. Amsterdam is bustling and alive, yet it can also be narrow-minded and pedantic. It gives you a sense of security. Especially where I live; on the edge of Jordaan. I look out of the window of my 130 year old apartment onto the Westertoren canals. I can go to the Moroccan butcher round the corner, or around the opposite corner to get to the organic cheese maker at the Noordemarkt. And I can go to the Persian Super Roos shop on the Rozengracht for saffron or special berries. Conversation in Persian shops as you buy ingredients, or in Persian restaurants like the Aardige Pers as you order your meal are very different from those conversations you might hear in a Dutch business. The conversation is more flowery, warmer, and less business-like. You hold a conversation for longer, and ask questions like, “How are you? How is your business getting on?”

After 29 years I returned to Iran and only then did I realise that Iranians are more animated. They are wide awake, watching you. In shops. On the street. Contact is immediate. I don’t need to waste my energy here to get a reaction. I wish I could say the same thing about the Netherlands.”

2232 people in Amsterdam have the Iranian nationality


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