July 2010. Ayman, one of the Noord participants, chats with us about the power of rain, and explains what it is he likes about Amsterdam-Noord so much.
What were you doing before this interview?
I was taking notes about my walk in Amsterdam-Noord.
Do you like Noord so far?
I do. It' s so quiet, not like the crazy center. You can easily find some time and space for yourself here. I feel really comfortable just walking around, because there are so many different nationalities. And it’s not like in the center: it is cosmopolitan in a more real way. In Noord you can feel that people are really close. The atmosphere is not unlike the atmosphere in small villages. There are so many gardens, you are surrounded by nature. I really enjoy going to a park and just sitting there, especially after it has rained. Everything looks so clean. You get this feeling of things around you being clean, tidy, regenerated.
This is the first time you’ve been to Amsterdam. What are the main differences with Cairo?
It is basically the opposite of Cairo. Everything that is forbidden back home, is allowed here.
I remember you told me you did not go to art school.
Yes, that’s true. I learned on the street, by working with, and helping other artists. It really taught me the meaning and the importance of art. I kind of wish I had studied, because it would’ve improved my English. But it’s not that big a deal. People like what I’m doing, and that’s the most important thing.
You’ve been accepted into the Rijksakademie, here in Amsterdam. Where will you be living?
Actually, I was thinking about moving to Noord. As I told you, it’s very quiet. I don’t like having too many people around me, I prefer a relaxed environment. I really prefer working on my own.