Friday, June 03, 2005


Her name is Fatma. She comes from Morocco. She followed a much older husband to live in an apartment in the inner city of a strange land. Her native tongue is Arabic. She is illiterate.
She only leaves the house to pick up the children from school and to go shopping. She does not travel on the bus or the streetcar, afraid that someone will accost her in Dutch, and she will not know what to say. She went to language classes but fellow students laughed at her stupidity – she thinks. So she hides in her apartment.
Her children speak Dutch, of which she understands very little. She thinks they despise her for not speaking the language of the country. She feels their disrespect – she says.
Her husband is fed up with her fear of the unknown world around her – she thinks.

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