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

From the Point of View of…

Dubravka, who studied English Language & Literature in Zagreb, as well as Philosophy, has two jobs: one, teaching English Teaching Methodology at the University of Utrecht and the other, teaching Research Methodology at the HVA University of Applied Sciences, at the Faculty of Education. “My aim is to stimulate what I call an enquiry-based learning … 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

Sarina Maat

One summer evening in July, Sarina Maat was enjoying a drink and nibbles on a terrace in the sun with her fitness coach-turned-friend. Summer evenings don’t get much better than that in the Netherlands. Well, actually, in this case they do. That evening, an acquaintance called: “I’ve just seen you in the bookstore!” She texted … 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

From the Point of View of… Deborah Valentine

Deborah on being placed abroad: “Partners embark on the adventure together, but once the adrenaline of the first year wears off and the house and spouse are all sorted, they start to spend way too much time alone and in their head – that is, if they haven’t reached out enough – and they are … Continued