Tag: Berlin

At least once a year, without fail, Middle Eastern news media run features on Israelis in Berlin. Whether the outlets are Arab or Israeli is immaterial. They both do it. There’s just something about the topic that won’t quit. (More…)

Prior to the arrival of Syrians in Berlin, the city’s most overrepresented Arab passport was Lebanese. Many, of course, are held by Palestinians, for whom the ID was a convenient ticket out of the country. But, all the same, a significant number of natives have followed them, for many of the same reasons: escaping the sectarian violence that has plagued the country for the better part of four decades. (More…)

Berlin is a thriving centre of the Palestinian Diaspora. This isn’t surprising and is a result of several important trends, including the large-scale migration (and business success) of Arabic speakers in Europe, and the uniquely friendly atmosphere that the German capital provides for Palestinian culture and politics.  (More…)

On April 30, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere published an extremely controversial article in Bild in which he outlined ten features of a German Leitkultur (“leading culture”), including “enlightened patriotism,” shaking people’s hands, reading Goethe, supporting Israel, and “no Burka.” (More…)

Refugees have always been big business. Whether you’re a smuggler or a humanitarian aid worker, the amount of help they need is immense. These aren’t just passengers transiting between airports. Refugees are states or remnants thereof, which imploded. (More…)

In the dystopia that is the Mideast, Rojava stands out. Few regions of the world are more synonymous with hopelessness. But this tiny leftist enclave in Syria, where gender and social equality are co-equals, bucks the norm. And then some. (More…)

“Good thing it wasn’t Leila Khaled,” my father muttered, as the Carabinieri carted off an Arab-looking man in handcuffs, submachine guns pointed towards his back. “It was too easy.” (More…)

Margins still matter. If the flyers that litter inner city neighborhoods have any say on the issue. Promoting bands with political names. Written in languages other than the national. Being on the outside still has value. At least culturally speaking. (More…)

They weren’t supposed to hate Jews. Selectively anti-Semitic – meaning anti-Muslim, not Judeophobic – Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party has finally aligned itself with pre-populist fascism, condemning the country’s culture of WW II guilt, and shame over the Holocaust. (More…)

Revolution leads to repression. If the utopian convulsions of the 20th century are our guide, it would be impossible to conclude otherwise. The Soviet Union, Communist China, the Islamic Republic, capitalist Russia. In each and every case, the path to democracy was consistently compromised. (More…)

Nationalist parties are funny things. As convention would have it, they’re platforms for narcissism. Vote for us because we’re about your superiority, is their message. Particularly when it comes to ethnicity, and class. (More…)

The location is excellent. Many of the buildings are nice, albeit historic – meaning survived WWII. And, like the rest of Berlin, rents have largely been low. That is, until about five years ago, when the British and French began moving in. (More…)