“Coming from a place where not a lot of deviations are tolerated; being gay, being a woman, anything that’s not really the standard; you can get a lot of shit for it. I think a very important thing to have as a person, is to be able to accept other people. Even if they’re different, even if you don’t agree with the way they live. Tolerance is huge; it’s the basis of equality. Out of all the cities I could’ve gone to, I feel Amsterdam is the most tolerant and welcoming. And it worked out, because no one has been bad to me since I came here about a month ago.
The first day in Amsterdam was horrible. I got lost in the airport with huge bags, and the UvA desk wasn’t there because my flight was delayed…. But now it’s very nice, even though socially it’s a bit overwhelming. It’s harder to make friends when you’re in a different country and I didn’t find any Egyptians yet, but I made very good friends during my course. I study Literary and Cultural Analysis and I aspire to become a writer, one day. I just want to know a lot about everything, and I like how my course gives us an introduction to a lot of theories about language and culture. I feel it’s a good basis to being a writer, eventually. My main goal is to make Egypt better, maybe with Amsterdam as a second home. ” – Nayera Shalaby from Cairo, Egypt.
Tekst en beeld: Lauri Beckmans.