Ms Myriam Sahraoui is an actress, director and researcher born and raised in Morocco to a Moroccan father and a Dutch mother, and who studied in Amsterdam. From 2017, inspired by her bi-cultural heritage, she coproduced a highly successful Dutch television series ‘Groeten uit Holland’ (‘Greetings from Holland’), which follows five first-generation Dutch citizens of Moroccan descent in their daily lives in the Netherlands, and in their efforts to adapt to Dutch traditions and culture.
The series had a significant impact on the perceptions of people in the Netherlands towards migrants. It helped to challenge popular narratives of North African migrants and Islam as a ‘problem’ or a ‘threat to the traditional Dutch way of life,’ and reveal the daily discrimination directed towards, and difficulties faced by, Dutch people of Moroccan descent. According to Ms Sahraoui, it did so by ‘using mass media to confront prejudiced stereotypes, breaking down barriers of cultural misunderstanding, showing the shared humanity and life experiences of migrants and members of traditional Dutch society, and showing the wider Dutch population the reality of racism and Islamophobia in the Netherlands and the impact this has on the victims.
The television series was also popular among the immigrant population of the Netherlands, helping them feel understood and included in Dutch society.