“I was nowhere”

By Marie Linne    Dalal contacted me during my fieldwork among refugees who aspire to study in the Netherlands. She agreed to meet with me for an interview, to talk about her experiences as a refugee and as a student in the VASVU programme at VU University Amsterdam. It is a 9 month long programme, that tries to function as a bridging programme for international students before they enter a Dutch Bachelors programme. About 80 percent of the students are refugees, and the course provides them with the basics in different subjects. It is mostly set up with the aim to …

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An Iraqi view on the Netherlands

By Ali Taher, visiting researcher from Iraq at the SCA-department of the VU  To begin with: It gives me a strange feeling when I see how the people in the Netherlands openly express their emotions. As a visitor from Iraq it is really interesting for me to see “lovers” and “couples” walking together in the center of Amsterdam, embracing each other, and nothing preventing them to interchange very hot kisses amidst the noise of a busy market ! Every day walking in the beautiful city streets, I continue thinking about all the differences  between Iraqi and Dutch society.  One of …

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Anthropology and Iraq

I would like to react briefly to Lahay Hussein’s talk as well as to the concerns expressed in her earlier post. These concerns are primarily about (re)building a healthy and democratic political and social order, and within it a healthy academic discipline and educational system, from a condition in which academic qualifications and infrastructure are sorely inadequate. She expects this process to be inspired and aided by colleagues and institutions in the West. These concerns are very different from the preoccupations of Western anthropologists when it comes to Iraq: imperialism; the complicity of anthropology in the occupation (a term Lahay herself …

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