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Entries for 'refugees'

Complicated integration system is failing refugees, says new report

THE NETHERLANDS. The current system of integration courses and lessons for refugees is so complicated that many cannot find their way and the government needs to step in, according to new research by the Verwey-Jonker institute.
"I had to keep repeating: this is really reality"

"I had to keep repeating: this is really reality"

On Friday night, March 17th, all chairs are filled in the InnBetween, in anticipation of hearing Samar Yazbek talk about her two books, Woman in the Crossfire and the Crossing. Yazbek is originally a novelist but her desire to cover the Syrian conflict has lead her two books to hover half-way between journalism and fiction. They cover her experienc...
Lifesaver for two weeks

Lifesaver for two weeks

Spending two weeks aboard a ship with a tiny, poorly ventilated hut, helping refugees as they grow weaker by the minute in their rickety boats, trying to avoid the trigger-happy Libyan coastguard – these are not the usual experiences of a third-year UM medical student. Jendrik Dedow (24, international track), originally from Hamburg, spent th...

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

MAASTRICHT. With all the blankets, pillows, clothes and shoes they’ve collected, at least one student room is already overflowing. In addition, they managed to raise some 2500 euros in two weeks. They can hardly believe it; so touched were they that they even cried. “We were so surprised by all the appreciation and loving emails and mes...

“Was that easy?” “A bit”

“Was that easy?” “A bit”

“It’s irregular.” It’s Tuesday afternoon at the Maastricht University Language Centre, and the students sound resigned. They may have only just started this Dutch course, but they already know all too well that Dutch grammar is teeming with exceptions. A few weeks ago seven Syrian refugees joined the course; five in one grou...

"Migrants bring more cake"

MAASTRICHT. Migration and violent extremism. A politically sensitive and controversial topic, agreed Khalid Koser, professor in Conflict, Peace and Security at UNU-MERIT/Maastricht School of Governance. Still, he emphasised continuously during his lecture, organised on Monday 22 February by Studium Generale, its importance. “The discussion ab...
Connecting in the kitchen

Connecting in the kitchen

MAASTRICHT. Arabic music is blaring from the kitchen at the Jan Van Eyck Academy an hour before the doors are to open. Around twenty people from the Maastricht refugee centre (AZC) and a chef from Cato by Cato are manoeuvring their way around the countless pots and saucers and the occasional curious child. It’s Thursday 18 February and the so...

“I know what Wilders’ rhetoric can lead to”

“I know what Wilders’ rhetoric can lead to”

There are also refugees, or children of refugees, working at the UM. In this Observant series, a number of them tell their stories. About their flight, about their lives before and after, about the Netherlands, about the refugee crisis, and about the debate on this issue. This week we talk to Bakir Bulić from Bosnia-Herzegovina: “I thought lo...
"All the options are driving me crazy"

"All the options are driving me crazy"

MAASTRICHT. How many people are they expecting tonight? Luc van den Akker, coordinator of the International Desk and refugees contact person at Maastricht University, isn’t sure. But that’s precisely the purpose of this first information evening organised jointly by Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences at the Ma...
“Suddenly I realised: I belong to a group. I’m a refugee too”

“Suddenly I realised: I belong to a group. I’m a refugee too”

Among the ranks of UM staff are a number of refugees or children of refugees. In this new Observant series, they talk about their lives before and after their flight from their home country, their views on the Netherlands, and their take on the debate about the refugee crisis. This week we kick off with medical doctor Chahinda Ghossein-Doha from Le...
Students help refugees

Students help refugees

MAASTRICHT. Students from the Refugee Project helped to receive new refugees in the Netherlands last week. On 13 October, the Maastricht city council decided to accept hundreds of additional asylum seekers in the Limmel refugee centre. “I received a phone call asking if there were volunteers from the Refugee Project who’d be willing to ...

“You have to join the Ba’ath party in tenth grade”

“You have to join the Ba’ath party in tenth grade”

MAASTRICHT. "Refugees don’t exist. There are only people blown away, people blown by the wind all over the world." With this poem, the drama group Het Geluid closed the Sphinx debate on Thursday 10 September in De Brandweer. Over the course of the evening the audience had listened to fascinating anecdotes about life in a dictator...
Do the Dabke

Do the Dabke

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht’s Stadspark was transformed into a hub of oriental dance, music, and energy by Not Just A Number, a new NGO in Maastricht, dedicated to the “re-humanisation of refugees”. On Wednesday, the 26th of August, the event entitled Culture Lovers, was held, in aims to help integrate the growing number of refugees in...

Student Award for Refugee Project

Student Award for Refugee Project

MAASTRICHT. Aurelia Streit, of the Student and Society Initiative (SSI), has won the Student Award 2015 for her work coordinating the Refugee Project Maastricht. The aim of the project is to bring students and refugees from the Maastricht asylum centre together to interact and socialise, and give the refugees a break from their day-to-day wait for ...

Students socialise with refugees in new project

Students socialise with refugees in new project

MAASTRICHT. “Here, take some ice cream.” It’s Thursday evening at Innbetween, the new location and name of the Ecumenical Student Chaplaincy Tafelstraat 13, and the room is buzzing with chatter and laughter. About thirty students and twenty refugees are here for the first activity of the Refugee Project. They’ve just eaten t...