The problems facing newcomers to Amsterdam as they relate to the city’s integration policy took centre stage during a panel discussion held on 6 February and organized by our partner Edu4u jointly with Argan, a local NGO focussing on topical social issues. Moderated by Argan’s Nisrine Sahla, the panel consisted of Rutger Groot Wassink, Amsterdam’s alderman for social affairs, democratization and diversity, Halleh Ghorashi, professor of integration and diversity at the Free University, Hussein Hajji Abdulsalam, co-founder of Edu4u, and our executive director Machiel Salomons.
The evening started with the recitation of a poem and ended with concluding remarks by spoken word artist Atta de Tolk. In-between the two, there were open-minded discussions about a range of topics relevant for newcomers, such as language, education and official policy. Questions from the audience were encouraged, and both newcomers and established migrants shared their thoughts, experiences and frustrations, for example about the local bureaucracy and the complexities of the Dutch education system.
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