Fadi Hindash directed the short documentary ‘Mama Agatha‘. This heart-warming film is about migrant women in Amsterdam learning to ride a bike. Cycling means more freedom, and integration in Dutch society. Women of all ages and nationalities are taught by teacher Mama Agatha. Most of his life Fadi lived in car dominated Dubai, but three years ago he moved to Amsterdam. He was not able to cycle, but learned it from Mama Agatha herself. The premiere of ‘Mama Agatha’ will be on the 2nd of May during Leiden International Short Film Experience. Reason enough to make Fadi our cyclist of the month!
How did you come up with this topic for the documentary?
I was having coffee on my friend’s terrace overlooking a park where a group of Moroccan women were learning how to ride a bicycle. Immediately I was struck with how much that image said about integration and the life of migrants. I personally moved to the Netherlands 3 years ago but I have grown up with the identity of a migrant long before. I was raised in Dubai where my family and I lived as outsiders in our own home which is why the issue of integration is one that is very close to my heart. So when I saw the group of Arab women learning to cycle in Amsterdam, I immediately knew there was a story there for me. The fact that it looked so sweet and humorous set the tone for the film. Plus, I also never learned how to cycle because Dubai is a city of cars, which made the film even more personal as I was going through what the women were going through.
Why is it important to learn to ride a bike?
Because it gives you freedom, not just physically but also emotionally. Cycling feels like flying, on wheels.
I don’t see any men in the documentary, are these cycling lessons just for women. If so, why do you think that is?
I had the same question during filming. As far as I know there aren’t similar courses for men. It could be because men tend to be more proud about admitting they don’t know something so basic or they would feel more embarrassed about falling in the street. I was lucky to have Mama Agatha as a teacher, she taught me behind the scenes while making the documentary.
What do you like about Amsterdam?
It’s the perfect combination of a city and a little town. It’s cozy when you need it to be but also cosmopolitan when you need it to be. There’s also the other factor that cannot be put into words: it has this magic quality to it. It looks so pretty, almost like a dollhouse. I love things that seem unreal with a touch of fantasy, that’s the filmmaker in me.
- The premiere of Mama Agatha takes place on the 2nd of May at The Leiden International Short Film Experience at 14:45.
- The documentary will also be screened at Shortcutz Amsterdam in May
- Interested in organising a screening of ‘Mama Agatha’ yourself?
Contact Marek (email@example.com)
- Follow ‘Mama Agatha‘ on Facebook
- Visit the Mama Agatha website for more information
Finally the first real spring days! And what do you do? Ride to your local park and chill out. At the Sarphati Park, in De Pijp, you could barely see the grass. Bikes and people everywhere. Oh ya.
You see a lot of double bikers in town. Sometimes you just need to bring back your spare bike from the other side of town (after one too many drinks..*hiccup*!), or lend a bike to a friend. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to balance! It’s the next on my list of things to master. Holding an umbrella whilst cycling was my last successful feat..whoop!
The mist rolls in and back go our gloves and scarves. Let’s hope it’s just for a day! I will miss all the layers and a good animal print.
…9 days until Spring!
Stand out from the crowd with bright, wild, neon colours! Make your bike a masterpiece.
These two super chic biker couple take a cruise through Dam Square. Biker jackets, ripped jeans, black tandem..let’s roll!
This past weekend was the much anticipated start of the Tulip season. 200,000 colourful Tulips were ‘planted’ in front of The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Dam Square as part of an annual pop-up celebration held to celebrate our national symbol. The best part of it all was that the general public were invited to pick their own bouquet of fresh tulips! (if you were patient enough to cue up for hours!)
Bikes of course were out in full force, with their crates swinging with gorgeous towering tulips. The red colour represented Red Cross who was a sponsor of the event. They want this to be “a reason to share and give flowers to your neighbour, to show you care”. Let’s hope there was some sharing done here as it’s easy to take home beauties like these just for yourself.
Couldn’t get any more Dutch than this!
Happy Tulip Day!
Baby it’s cold outside, so get out your wools, hats, big jackets and get (back) on that bike.
Since a month I work in Amsterdam-Noord, the neighbourhood at the other side of the IJ river. To get there by bike you either have to go all the way to the East side and cross two big bridges, or you take a ferry. Since March there is a new ferry at Java-eiland (the ‘Oostveer’ at Azartplein). I love it. You don’t have to cross the busy city centre and you have a great view over the water. It is actually quite relaxing after a day of hard work or after baby rush hour in the morning.
This is what it looks like when the ferry arrives:
- Curious what it is to take one of the other ferries? Read the post by Else: Living in Amsterdam Noord
- Want to try the ‘Oostveer’? Check out the ferry timetable, it goes only three times per hour
- Want to learn more about Amsterdam Noord? Visit the great website I Love Noord
We love taking the dog for a walk, but it’s not often you see people taking them for a walk…whilst riding their bike! Goes to show that Amsterdam is a bike and dog friendly city even in peak hour :)