“When I left Egypt I had never set foot out of the country. My dad didn’t like the idea of his eldest son moving to Europe but I went anyways. I was nineteen and I remember arriving at the Amsterdam Central Station. It felt like a warm embrace. I had very little money but soon I found a job and a few years later I auditioned for the theatre academy. It was 1982 and I was the first Egyptian to get accepted into the academy. Back then there were not too many foreigners so coming from Egypt made me very exotic which meant I would mainly get cast for ’‘Arab Roles”. It is still like that and I don’t really mind but it is the reason, I started to write my own plays. My plays are about subjects that keep me busy such as identity. ‘What does it mean to be Dutch or European?’ I, for example was born in Egypt but I am also Dutch, I feel Dutch but I also feel Egyptian. My work is not about trying to convince anyone I’m right. I just want us to be able to talk about these things.“

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