Baharak Sabourian: ‘If you can do it in Rotterdam, you can do it anywhere!’

Rotterdammer of the week

April 2, 06:54

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RotterdamSince January, Baharak Sabourian has been chairman of the supervisory board of Kunsthal Rotterdam. She has been a member of this since December 2018. “If in the evening I look back on a day when people around me are healthy and we have made the world we live in a little better together, then the day is a success for me . “

By Amel Bali

You came to Holland at a young age. How did you experience it?

“I was born in Tehran and grew up there. Together with my parents and little brother, we fled Iran before the war. It was a huge sacrifice for my parents. They left literally everything. It was also difficult for me as a child to come to a new country with a new culture and learn a new language. It was also hard for me to see my parents’ grief. Even though they are having a hard time, they have always been positive. ”

Still, you have completed a preschool education and built a great career. What is your secret to success?

“Of course it is fantastic, but it is good to say that I got many opportunities in the Netherlands and that many people came across my path, which gave me a helping hand. For example, there were reading mothers who helped me read in their spare time. My parents also played an important, if not the most important, role in this. For example, they subscribed to the Volkskrant and encouraged me to read articles. We also saw Sesame Street and Youth News every day. Thanks to all this, I learned to speak good Dutch within six months. My parents have always believed in me and are proud of me. In addition, they are also very modest. I learned from a young age that no matter what level you are, everyone is equal. ”

You have a paid position and two side positions. Can you tell us more about it?

“I am director of organizations KYC (Know Your Customer) Operations Retail Netherlands at Rabobank. This means that I am helping to fight economic crime. KYC is the community gatekeeper. We work hard to combat fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing. This is to prevent the bank from being misused for the wrong purposes.

I also have an unpaid position. I am a member of the board of Kunsthal and the board of Albeda College, but the latter is a salaried position. The background for the role as Kunsthal is very beautiful. This is because a scene is given to unknown art and thus to unknown artists. The art gallery does not have its own collection. Kunsthals collection is diverse and therefore attracts a diverse audience. The art gallery has a connecting function.

In the board of Albeda College, we try to support the students. Not everyone has received the support in their environment that I myself received as a child. That way, I try to contribute. MBO students will be the turning point of society in the future. In all my three functions, I try to be an improved version of myself every day, both privately and professionally. ”

You have moved, do you miss Rotterdam?

“I grew up in Rotterdam, now I live in Capelle a / d IJssel. My roots are partly in Rotterdam. I really think Rotterdam is a metropolis, a vibrant city full of dynamism. I can also be found in Rotterdam every day for both my work and leisure activities. I shop in Rotterdam and run a trip every other day in Kralingse Bos. ”

Do you have a message for the young people in Rotterdam?

“Rotterdam offers many opportunities. I also invite young people to use the facilities of the city. There are so many options for laying your foundation. There are many opportunities to take advantage of. I always say that if you do it in Rotterdam, you can do it everywhere! ”

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