Together with my younger sister and pregnant mother we fled from Iran. I was only eleven years old but I remember everything very well. The first thing I saw when we arrived at the airport was a young couple making out in public. Something I wasn’t used to. We were placed in a refugee center and applied for citizenship. We kept moving from one refugee center to another without any clarity about the future. That changed autumn 2005. It was six a clock in the morning when the police woke us up. They said we had to leave the country and for the meantime we were placed in a detention center which is a fancy word for prison. The days passed by and after seven weeks they decided to review our case. When you go through something like that it’s hard to believe in the future. One year after we got released we received our residence permits. Slowly I started to move forward and make plans. I auditioned for theater school in Maastricht and surprisingly I got accepted. Even though I’m not a refugee anymore it still influences my life and also my work as an actor. For example, I’m now working on a production called ‘Nobody Home’. The title says it all. When you are a refugee you don’t belong anywhere.

“I want to become an engineer.”
“Why do you want to be an engineer?”
“So I can leave the countryside and visit the big city.”

Nicaragua – Jinotega

“If you could give the younger generation a word of advice, what would it be?”
“Stand up for your rights! I might be an old hippie but in my young days we protested against the violation of what we thought was right”
“What exactly should they fight for these days?”
“Well for example, they should fight for their privacy rights. These days it’s almost impossible to pay with cash money cause they want to know what you spend. All our mobile devices are being tracked all our information is out there for grabs. And we…we just stand there and watch . But then again I might just be an old hippie.”

“Yeah, this might look fun but it´s freakin heavy!”

“In the winter of 1944 me and my brother had to leave Amsterdam because of the Hunger winter. My mother wasn’t able to provide food for us so we were send by boat to a family in the north of the country. The worst thing was that we didn’t know if we were going to be reunited ever again. We lived on a big farm with a very wealthy family. They were very good people but I remember being incredibly homesick. We were too young to really understand, but old enough to know there was a terrible war going on. In may our country was liberated from the German occupation and we returned back home to our parents in Amsterdam. Even though I was young I remember it very well. On the 8th of May 1945 the American and Canadian tanks we riding through the city of Amsterdam and the feeling was indescribable. We were finally free.”