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Interview: Redouane Amine, moderator of the Neighbourhood Communities Program

Redouane Amine has been for two years moderator of the Neighbourhood Communities Program that the Indische Buurt Communities, Movisie, organise together with Pakhuis de Zwijger and Kracht in NL. Redouane has taken the opportunity to develop his talent as a presenter. "Every time I'm on stage with a dire dose of nerves," he says.

Redouane was born in 1988 in Casablanca and came for family reunification at the age of five to the Netherlands. After a year he returned with his mother to Morocco and went to school. In the Netherlands, Redouane had an hard time to find his niche. He made several attempts to complete secondary school, to end up at the junior college Legal Assistant.
"I was very long with all doing other things than school. Eventually I came across the 23-plus variant and today, just before Ramadan, I heard that I got everything and so have got my diploma. I can finally continue studying, I want to do International Business and Innovation Studies. I had long been looking for myself. Actually I was a follower of some friends at school. I am also often dismissed as such F... Moroccan..., that's terrible, I would not do it to others. Nowadays, I do care not, I just do the things that I like. "


Redouane then came to meet all sorts of people that inspired him and encouraged to develop themselves. "In the beginning of the vocational education I received help from care Organization Spirit. A counsellor, Elhoussaine Hamimou, took me to East Amsterdam, and so I got in touch with the youth community in the Indische Buurt. Young people could organize themselves festivals like Young in charge and Girls in charge (2012). The initiator Soheila Najand asked me if I wanted to be host both events. She had seen that I have a certain charisma to present meetings. When I did it, I was immediately addicted to being on stage. "

Redouane moved to the Rooms with Opportunities Project in East Amsterdam, a residential work-study project in which promising young people, are offered a room with coaching. "That gave me mental peace to develop me and to be active in Eastern. Started the ball rolling. I became active in the Meevaart and began to taste what is community building. Residents who take matters into their own hands are so inspiring. I observe above all, watch the cat out of the tree, trying to understand how things work. Mellouki Cadat (Movisie) asked me in 2013 as a moderator and member of the editorial board of the Neighbourhood Communities program, a program by the neighbourhood and for the neighbourhood. I wanted to further develop myself in it. First I presented together with Esma Salama. She pulled back, remained in the editorial, with a huge grant factor. She wanted to give me the opportunity to develop myself. "

"Every time I'm on stage with a dire dose of nerves"

Hugely catching up

"Through the program Neighbourhood Communities in Pakhuis de Zwijger II had to dive into the depths. I have a little community building seen in the Indische Buurt, but stand still now in front of rooms with people who have ten years of knowledge ahead of me. For me it's a huge catching up. Movisie made it possible that I was trained by Patrick van der Hijden. As moderator, I see myself as a mediator, a translator of information on the stage to the audience and vice versa. It challenges me constantly "
"Every time I'm on stage with a dire dose of nerves. That has kept me always sharp. I'm sometimes quite at my mouth, sometimes asking the wrong questions, sometimes clap shut and then know nothing at all to ask for more. That kind of thing I always hear later in the newsroom and I appreciate enormously. "

"I'm fascinated by communities. How do people organise themselves, if they want to change something? People should first work on cooperation. Often, they have tens of thousands of ideas to do something, but they have to end along a certain direction. For that process, in which people decide which way to walk, I have a huge admiration. The Indische Buurt Communities with all its groups is a good example. When I started here, it was just near the center Meevaart opened by Firoez Ramin Azarhoosh, run by local residents. Then you see that when communities organise themselves properly, they can achieve very good results in the interest of the neighbourhood. "

"People are no longer dependent on the supply, but are aiming to create its own supply. In addition, all kinds of parties are needed, such as the district, housing associations and social professionals to support local residents. Residents therefore now playing a much greater role and thus gain more confidence. Indische Buurt residents feel now much more of their own district, rather than simply resident. But there are still many people who do not participate. "

Improving the position of young people in Uganda

Uganda: beauty and extreme poverty

Since a few months Redouane is active in the Youth Platform Amsterdam East. "I want to organise citywide and beyond, focusing on youth unemployment, debt and employment and discrimination. Lots of young immigrants are not invited to job interviews. GroenLinks example, has filed a motion to combat labor market discrimination. Tackling discrimination is not easy, but if you known a victim you have to report it. Addressing this plight requires sustained effort. "
"Youth Influencing the Agenda on Unemployement 'was also the subject of the workshop, which Redouane from the Youth Platform assisted recently in Uganda, at the invitation of Mellouki Cadat. The power of Ugandans, impressed him. On January 28 he had in fact presented a Neighbourhood Communities evening about their method of 'Neighbourhoud Assemblies. The trip was part of the Deepening Democracy project of Oxfam Novib's E-Motive, 'worldwide network for innovative social solutions'

Redouane there got the idea of the "Youth Manifesto" that he would also like to draw in Amsterdam. "In Uganda, all ideas about improving the position of young people are stored in this document. Then you can present that document and it acts as a lever for equal partnership of young people in politics. "
Redouane became hugely impressed by the beauty and the abject poverty in this East African country. "Ugandans have to work hard for little money. There is a lot of corruption. People have no money to send their children to study. Youth vote for politicians with the most beautiful promises. On the streets you see all the younger children who must care for younger children, children of less than four years. Then you only realise how good we have it here with compulsory education. "

At present Redouane plays as Romeo one of the leading roles in "Romeo and Juliet," a production of "Heim in Transvaal 'on the Steve Biko Square in Amsterdam East. "It is a love tragedy in which two families grow apart so that it ends in the death of loved ones. The underlying theme is the fear of the unknown, the polarisation between population such as those now seen in many places is. It's very exciting, I make the piece in collaboration with the entire group. That is very good for my confidence. "

'Romeo and Juliet' by Heim in Transvaal is still seen on 27,28 and 29 June at the Steve Biko Square, Amsterdam-Oost (

Neighbourhood Communities is a program of the Indische Buurt Communities, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Movisie and KrachtinNL, about communities as contemporary form of citizenship. The central perspective is the one of the people who make those communities. In front of which tasks do they stand and how do they organise themselves? What makes them durable and how they relate to institutional investors? Theme of the evening is "Youth Manifesto", inspired by the example of Uganda. Communities around # 11: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Monday, September 21, 2015.


This article was written by freelance journalist Martin Zuithof

Original article in Dutch: Interview: Redouane Amine, moderator van programma Buurtcommunities

Translated to English by Mellouki Cadat

Photo: Mellouki Cadat blog