She arrived in The Netherlaqnds when she was 15 years young. Her mother had taken her on the journey from the North African country Morocco to the port city of Rotterdam. The father of Khadija had already worked several years in The Netherlands and now he was able to let his wife and only child come to stay with him. Life changed for him. No more the young man on his own with other young man. He was used to his freedom. Coming from the Casablanca area the young family was used to a certain degree of freedom. Freedom for generations of strong women who kept life going.
In this biography Arib tells of her background in Morocco and her days in The Netherlands. Starting as a girl with no knowledge at all of the Dutch language, she made sure she picked up the language. She helped other people in their contact with all kinds of institutions. She translated and got to know her way through the burocratic maze she encountered. In the capital city of Amsterdam she got involved in local politics, later she entered the Dutch Parliament as a critical member for the Labour Party. She did not like the way newcomers in the country were treated, nor the way feminists though they had to interact with the female newcomers. She describes the changing ways of the interaction between the original population and the newcomers. Just beyond the scope of her book is her position as the chair of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament. In her role she received much respect from people inside Parliament and outside. Except for right wing hardliners who did not appreciate her double nationality and accused her of not being loyal for a fully hundred percent. At this very moment Khadija Arib is still a respected member of the Dutch Parliament. In her book she tells of her past and her rise in politics and the situation of newcomers in The Netherlands. She does not involve her husband and her children in this book.

The title of the book refers to the important couscous meal on a Friday in Morocco. People went to the mosque and afterwards there was plenty of time for a solid and joyful meal. In The Netherlands Friday is just a day of work. So Friday moved to Sunday, the Dutch day of rest. So now couscous is being served on a Sunday.

Khadija Arib
Couscous op zondag.
Een familigeschiedenis
Publisher Balans Amsterdam 2009
ISBN 9789050189514

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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