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Art and language

Optimistic and realistic


Elleke describes the family as optimistic that we weren’t able to do more to help and realistic. “It is very admirable to see Wael start with his degree. Thankfully, how they deal with challenges. First he is a go-getter. Now that Rana is their escape to Lebanon, then to the doing a Master’s Degree in French at Netherlands, trying to find work, and Leiden University and is teaching at the now Corona.” Gymnasium Haganum, he has taken on the household chores and “IT IS VERY is taking care of their two ADMIRABLE TO sons.” Samen Hier group SEE HOW THEY member Jeltsje, who is also DEAL WITH a teacher, is helping Rana CHALLENGES. navigate the world of online FIRST THEIR ESCAPE Due to Corona, the group is seeing each other less, teaching. It might be a small TO LEBANON, and mostly one-on-one, gesture, but it means a lot THEN TO THE but the contact is warm to the ambitious couple and NETHERLANDS, and good. In July, they all their family. TRYING TO FIND WORK, AND NOW went to the Dutch miniature parc Madurodam together. CORONA.” Wael and Elleke have fond memories of that day. Wael’s eldest, George, spotted a painting by Johannes Vermeer and said: “This is a painting by “Always try your hardest”, is what Johannes Vermeer. His most famous Wael and Rana tell their two boys painting is ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’.” day in day out. Both come from an Wael: “The kids help us to better entrepreneurial family, and they have understand the Netherlands and the learned to work hard from an early age. Dutch language. We help each other.” They try to maintain this attitude in the Netherlands.

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Now that I have gotten to know Wael and Rana, I realise that, in reality, we are the same. We all try to build up a good life. Our cultures are different, but our dreams are the same.


Member of a Samen Hier group in The Hague


Profile for Justice & Peace Netherlands

Justice & Peace Magazine 2021 (English version)  

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