From the Point of View of… Frans Lemmens

The special theme of this issues is careers, and sometimes you come across someone who has followed a truly unconventional and adventurous path that makes you realize that there is more to a career than climbing the corporate ladder. In this case, this is National Geographic photographer Frans Lemmens, and his life-time partner Marjolijn van … Continued

From the Point of View of… Ruby Vos

In our first interview, I asked Ruby to describe the Dutch in five words. With characteristic care, she gave the question some thought before answering: “Open-minded, liberal, frugal, environmentally and socially conscious and good business people.” What are five words she would use today? This time, Ruby does not need any time to think it … Continued

From the Point of View of… Nancy Mayer

Nancy Mayer has a very special life; she makes a living teaching people how to sing. Or, in reality, how to find their voice. For she also gives speaking lessons. “Fantastic voices are really fun to work with, because you can do a different repertoire, but what is more interesting to me is the journey … Continued

“Our Main Goal As a Family Is Education”

What do you think of when you hear the label ‘refugee’? Diane Lemieux interviews Manar Aburshaid and busts a few stereotypes. Whatever image the word refugee elicits, it is certainly not the charismatic, intelligent face of Manar Aburshaid. Had I met Manar six years ago, I would have used words like businessman and entrepreneur to … Continued

Interior Decorating: From the First Moment of Magic to the Last Drop of Reality

One of the joys of moving to a new country is the opportunity to create a new home from scratch. All those times you’ve dreamed about creating your perfect home… Well, now is your chance. Of course, you don’t have to actually move in order to change the look of your home. Perhaps you’re just … Continued

The Woman With The Red Pen

Stephanie Dijkstra has been Editor-in-Chief of The XPat Journal since its inception 20 years ago. During a FaceTime interview, Diane Lemieux set out to uncover the vision of the woman who has set the tone and shaped the unique quality of the Netherlands’ foremost English-language magazine. Stephanie tells me that living in Chile as a … Continued

Incubating World-Class Talent in The Hague

By Diane Lemieux Ève-Marie Dalcourt and Donnie Duncan are in The Hague because it is home to one of the world’s top dance companies, the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). Diane Lemieux talks with these two young dancers about their life and their work in this quiet Dutch city by the sea. Competition to get into … Continued

From the Point of View of… Bryna Hellmann

“I have really marvelous memories of my life,” Bryna tells. “I’ve written in my books that poor children don’t know they’re poor – they don’t think, ‘I’m deprived and I don’t have what other people have’. And it’s up to the parents to protect them from that thought. Whatever you have, it’s enough. That’s the … Continued

From the Point of View of… Leila Prnjavorac

“Though there was a war, these were also some of the most valuable months of my life; what I saw, showed me how kind and compassionate people are – everyone shared whatever they could and they would never let us leave with empty hands. When there is so much uncertainty and fear, and no one … Continued

From the Point of View of… Baraa Alnawakil

“Within a few weeks, I already knew that I had been granted refugee status. That was very good news. It was a feeling of complete awe. I was now a resident of a new country and I took it upon myself to learn about my new duties, culture and language.” What was it like, going … Continued

Daring to Dream Big

It was nothing more than a dream two decades ago: ensuring the right of every man woman and child to protection against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) contributes to a world in which no one, no matter their rank or title, is above the law. As the … Continued

For this issue of The XPat Journal, we interviewed Marjolein Leopold-de Vos tot Nederveen Cappel, who was born in Indonesia and survived a Japanese internment camp during WWII as a little girl. To Marjolein, who was little, life in the camp seemed the normal state of affairs. “People sometimes ask me, ‘What do you remember … Continued