For months they were bored in an asylum seekers' center. Now struggle Syrian refugees with integration. ,, Had our previously given the opportunity to learn Dutch. "
Once a week, two Dutch friends of Ahmad and Malak Alhariri along at their home in Etten-Leur. Which friends have a scrapbook with them with pictures they have cut out a folder of Albert Heijn: meat, flowers, bread. Go with the four of them started: practicing vocabulary. ,, It is cozy and we learn better by Dutch, "said Ahmad.
Because, oh man, what is that Dutch a difficult language. Especially if you have only spoken Arabic, the 42 years of your life. In addition to the AH-class, Ahmad and Malak go two mornings a week to school: Dutch lesson on integration course. ,, Now it's all that, but it's difficult, "says Ahmad. Whatsappjes he sends now in Dutch, though.
And what goes for Ahmad, also applies to Khudida Othman and (to a lesser extent) Houssam Moussa. The three fathers of three Syrian families. This newspaper has been following them for over a year. The Alhariri (four sons) living in Etten-Leur, the Othmans (seven children) in Wageningen and the Moussa family (two sons, two daughters) in IJmuiden. The families have been a full time, they have a residence permit and a house. Like thousands of Syrian families in the Netherlands they are now working on the integration: Dutch lessons, knowledge of society. Within three years they must have passed the exam. But they want it, because they realize: who wants to participate here, who wants to create job opportunities, to learn Dutch. And it pinches. They find that it could have been faster.
Khudida Othman, three years in the Netherlands: ,, I've been sitting for months in asylum seekers' center, but if you have no residence permit, you can not get a real Dutch lessons. If it had liked it, I had already been a lot more now. "
Even for Khudida (50 years, cattle dealer from a Kurdish village), the new language is difficult. Often he has to interpret his youngest son even ten there, which picks up the language faster.
Yesterday, a study of EenVandaag TV program of more than 160 surveyed status holders more than half do not speak of their integration course they get enough lessons and the teachers are not always competent. D66 and Refugees held yesterday a plea to all to learn Dutch asylum seekers before they have a residence permit.
The government does not want to, it can falsely give the illusion of asylum seekers that they can remain in the Netherlands.
By Editors AD: Photo: Saskia Berdenis of Berlekom