Tribute to a special Mom

China, 2006

For our beautiful mother. Let us introduce to you: Irene Martens, manager of Eindhoven News. In the light of Mother’s day we, Irene’s three children, would like to put our mother in the spotlight.

Irene’s life wasn’t always so internationally focussed. Born and raised as a farmer’s daughter in a small town in Brabant, Irene always knew this was not the life she aspired to. Luckily she met our father, who had the same desire to travel abroad, and together they moved to Oman. This was the first step in her expat life.

At the time she was only 22-years-old, and in this very different e Arabic culture, away from home and friends, she found it difficult to build a life of her own while her husband was sometimes away on business for long periods of time. However, with intensive self-study she was able to find a satisfying job as a tourist guide. Additionally she developed a rewarding network with the other expats.

Years thereafter, they moved to Brunei where her two oldest kids were born, and subsequently to Scotland where her youngest was born. When our parents moved back to Oman for the second time, now with young children, Irene followed her passion and organized numerous events. These include the great International Market Place. She also founded the Oman Salsa Group. During this time, Irene was always very active in the large expat community that lived in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

She kept this international attitude when we, as a family, moved to Netherlands in 2008 after our parents had lived 20 years abroad. The vibrant and culturally diverse city of Eindhoven had a strong pull on her. It was not long before she made contact with Eindhoven international community. Now she is the manager of Eindhoven News, which she built from scratch together with many other dedicated people. This online newspaper aims to inform the non-Dutch speaking community in Eindhoven of events and news in the city.

You could describe Irene as a real go-getter. She is always working hard in the pursuit of her goals. Whether it be learning something new, providing for communities or taking care of her children. She is a very open and warm person as well. Friends and family are always welcome for a chat and a hug. Each of us three cherish the memories of her comforting us when we were feeling down or dispirited. She always gave us a lot of freedom in the sense that she would not push us in any direction but instead stimulated us to strive for our own ambitions. This allowed us to, as a whole, have a carefree childhood for which we are deeply grateful.

She continues to give her wholehearted support to us every day and we think the people who know here would agree when we say that Irene radiates this feeling of warmth all around. We wish her a great Mother’s Day.

All of our love,

Sophie, Alise & Martin


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