It’s my final column for the academic year, and after being away for six months, back home in Egypt, I just made it back to Eindhoven. You can call it divine timing or a lucky coincidence but this couldn't have come at a better time.
For those who know me, you’ve been through this with me these past months, and I’m so lucky to have you all. For everyone else, here’s how in the past eight months I’ve been sent back and forth between the Netherlands and Egypt over email miscommunications and minute errors.
This past October, I returned to the Netherlands to celebrate my Bachelor’s graduation ceremony after it being delayed for a year due to COVID restrictions. And as I started to settle here, got my paperwork done for my Search Year Permit, and found a house during a housing crisis et cetera, I was asked to return to Egypt to re-apply for that visa. Same paperwork, same procedure, but I had to go back to do it there, again.
The thought immediately overwhelmed me. In the span of ten days I had to pack everything, find a flight, and return. Now, this would have been something I accounted for but all previous contact had indicated that it was the right thing for me to stay here to finish the procedure. Nonetheless, I did exactly that.
Now here I was, back in Egypt, everything here on hold, everything there on hold. I went through with the processes again, which went relatively smoothly, up until the positive decision was issued and I was never emailed about it. I decided one random Tuesday to email the officer handling my application, about three months after I sent everything again, and that’s when I was told that actually everything was ready all along and that they had just forgotten to email me about it.
Such a small, simple oversight, but six months of my life spent in Egypt unable to commit to my life either there or do anything about my life in the Netherlands.
Now, all’s done, I’m back, and I’ve never felt so underprepared to take such a momentous life decision.
Through it all, I had two of the kindest people on earth stick by me. So, my last column for this academic year is dedicated to them.
L & B, thank you.