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7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

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6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

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20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Even Fatima Elatik rides a bicycle these days

8 November 2006 – In order to promote bicycle use, newly naturalised people should be offered a cycling course. In addition, well-known Amsterdammers might ride a bicycle in order to serve as a role model. Fatima Elatik, alderwoman in Zeeburg, has recently joined the cycling community.

Many members of ethnic minorities want to learn to ride a bicycle. New fellow countrymen and women should be offered a cycling course instead of the Delft blue statue they are now given at their naturalisation ceremony, suggests Yasmien Kaddoer of the Akros social welfare organisation in de Baarsjes.

Westerpark alderman Dick Jansen recently criticised the naturalisation ceremony for being a ‘strangely bombastic’ and ‘very un-Dutch’ party that he finds highly embarrassing. However, he does think that a cycling course for the newly Dutch would be a good idea, he told News from Amsterdam today.

In addition, he finds it important to show that cycling is not a sign of poverty, but a smart and economic mode of transportation. “Role models such as a cycling mayor or queen are therefore more than welcome. Or even better: cycling colleagues such as Aboutaleb, Marcouch or Elatik!”

Elatik (photo) has always been known for having no problems with adapting to Dutch society, but refusing two things categorically: to go camping in a tent and to ride a bicycle. However, asked to comment, she says that she actually does ride a bicycle now. “The GroenLinks [Green Party] council members had a big laugh; I was the last person they expected this from”.

A year and a half ago, Elatik received threats. Since that time, she has been feeling insecure in public spaces and has been travelling by car as much as possible. “Increasingly, I felt like I was losing contact with reality”.

A month ago she made a decision and bought a foldable bike, which she can take along in her car if necessary. She likes cycling a lot: “It is good to be outdoors after a day at the office, and it is also good for my blood circulation. Only it should not rain!”

See also: bicycle courses for cleaners


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