Posts tagged "Immigration"
African Labor

African Labor

Multiculturalism isn’t an abstraction. It’s about people of different ethnic backgrounds, living together, as equals. Predicated on the idea that in an increasingly globalized world, governments must develop policies that encourage tolerance and foster integration. Initially associated with Canadian immigration policy, over the last half century, the term has become a synonym used to describe the ethnic transformation of European society. More»

Leaving Yemen

Leaving Yemen

The world ended on December 27th. Or so it seemed. My visa sponsor at Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies sat me down and told me that I had to leave the country by the end of the weekend. Defeated, I began packing my belongings, and walked around Sana’a with the knowledge that I may never see it again. I arrived in Berlin on New Year’s Day. More»

Erdogan in Germany

Erdogan in Germany

It was a sight to behold. Yesterday, a large crowd of German Turks gathered at Brandenburg Gate in order to protest against Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The location was perfect. Multiculturalism is frequently attacked as being unsuccessful in Germany. Berlin itself can be seen as evidence of it. More»

Taksim in Berlin

Taksim in Berlin

They came as guest workers. They came as manual laborers. They came to fill a labor shortage. You’ve heard it all before. It’s the story of Turkish immigration to Germany. The most popular one, that is. But hardly the most complex of accounts. One which, only reflects German government policy, to fuel the country’s post-war reconstruction.  Having suffered nearly 4 million casualties during WWII, Hitler’s army had drained the country of its workforce. More»

Smelling the Rain in Germany

Smelling the Rain in Germany

It’s raining in Neukölln as I’m writing this. As far as I know, smell activates memories. The scent of rain activates my own from a childhood vacation in Khyber-Pakthunkhwa. I find it soothing to think of the days I spent in the province of Swat, which is now caught in a violent power struggle between insurgents and the Pakistani military. More»

Pakistanis Hating Pakistan

Pakistanis Hating Pakistan

I just got off the phone with a Pakistani-American friend, who had just read a Facebook post of mine. He called me to ask if I could elaborate on the first sentence: “I have no patience for people in the Diaspora who say that Pakistan is finished.” I replied that I’m aggravated with how expats often give a desperate assessment of our country’s prospects. More»

The Token Lady

The Token Lady

I find Sayeeda Warsi curious. Despite our political differences, it is hard not to find some kinship in her stories of Paki-bashing, while being raised by a working-class Pakistani textile worker. It’s similarly difficult not to be impressed by her marital history, as she broke up her first arranged marriage in favor of another. Although this is hardly a revolutionary act, I recognize it as remarkable in its own way in our deeply sexist community. More»

Third Culture Kids

Third Culture Kids

I am a “Third Culture Kid” (TCK) who attempts to push existing definitions of what that means. The term was originally coined by sociologist and anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem, based on her experiences with American expatriates in India during the early 1950s. It was meant to refer to expat children who accompany their parents into a new society, and thus must adjust their identities to reflect that. More»

White Indians

White Indians

It was September 2008. As George W. Bush prepared to leave office, something astonishing happened. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated, “the people of India deeply love you, President Bush.” Though he had been treating US officials with uncharacteristic generosity since coming to office, for embattled Republicans, this gesture provided a brief victory for a president whose foreign policy was disastrous. More»

Italy on Racism

Italy on Racism

If only we could blame Berlusconi. In the most widely-reported incident of an Italian politician making racist remarks since Il Cavaliere called Obama “suntanned,” Roberto Calderoli, vice president of Italy’s Senate, likened Cécile Kyenge, the country’s first black cabinet minister, to an orangutan. As many newspapers have reported, it’s not the first time that a legislator from the Lega Nord has made such a remark. More»

Migrants With Drums

Migrants With Drums

The sound of hand drums echoed in the distance. For a second, I thought I was in Berkeley. A daily feature of my graduate school years, I can’t remember a seminar I sat in where I could not hear a jam session in progress.  Located somewhere in Sproul Plaza, drum circles would normally get going in the mid-afternoon, rising in volume – and membership – by the early evening. More»

Shock of the Turks

Shock of the Turks

It was too simple. Black and white, with a drawing and some type, from a distance, it had the feel of an old school punk flyer. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be solidarity demo flyer, to support Occupy Gezi. Sporting Turkish hashtags (“DiREGEZI”) it could not have been more contemporary, either.  Yet, written at the bottom was a distinctly identifiable German phrase: Wir Sind Das Volk (“We are the people.”) More»