“I was a child when I first visited Amsterdam together with my mother. I can’t remember much, except that we did all the tourist stuff, like a boat trip on the canals. There were tulips everywhere! We even stayed in a hotel called the Golden Tulip.
I came again in 2014 - an adult this time - and my expectations were high. I counted the days before the trip and it was once again amazing. I relived my first trip and enjoyed all the same tourist attractions. Now I’m in my second year of my masters; I’m a journalist and human rights activist.
Unfortunately, the immigration laws are very strict and it will be difficult for me to stay here on a permanent basis. It’s so sad that a country which is so free-thinking is out of reach for someone like me. I would really love to stay here. Amsterdam is such a diverse place, it is open-minded and has a great culture and I would like to play a part in that. Unfortunately, that will be almost impossible.
I miss the personal characteristics we have in Bahrain. At home, people are very open, flexible and spontaneous and don’t plan everything like they do here. The people in Bahrain are passionate and very touchy feely, which has negative connotations here. If I could bring these characteristics to Amsterdam, I would be in the best of both worlds.
I still have to learn how to ride a bike, because I can’t. I tried for two months, and then stopped because of a flat tyre. I also can’t eat the herring here. We mainly eat fish in Bahrain, but only cooked!”
4 people in Amsterdam have the Bahraini nationality