"It needs to have the right amount of everything," says Georgina Shalhoub, who owns Shamiat, Malmö's first and most well-known Syrian restaurant, with her husband Frederik Shalhoub. "We usually say you can make food with love or not with love and you can usually tell the difference. We believe in that 100 percent." Shamiat, a colloquial name for the old culture of Damascus, was an instant hit when Shalhoub's younger brother Maurice Salloum opened it on Norra Skolgatan back in October 2013. As the refugee wave over the next two years brought Syrians to Sweden in growing numbers, the restaurant took off, with its clientele as likely to be non-Arabs wanting to show solidarity as Syrians. The new restaurant, in much larger premises a block away on Södra Förstadsgatan, largely sells the same Syrian specialities such as foul (a sort of bean soup), fatteh (bread topped with yoghurt, chickpeas and olive oil), kebbeh … [Read more...] about Malmö Lunch: Foul and fatteh at Malmö’s first Syrian restaurant
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Haus Neuerburg is a beautiful building, an officially listed monument built almost 100 years ago by a cigarette manufacturer and the Consul General of Greece. Nevertheless, Hans-Jürgen Oster, head of the municipal refugee agency, had certain reservations when he moved in at the beginning of 2016 with his newly founded department. The offices of the Cologne AfD parliamentary group are located right next to the rooms he found space in, after his offices outgrew their former location in the city's Rathaus, or town hall. “This is a group and an office which we would normally not house next to each other,” says Oster cautiously. But then he said resolutely, “Gucken wir uns das doch mal an,” or “Well, we might as well see.” The AfD does not have as large of a presence in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as elsewhere in Germany, but received 7.2 percent of the vote in state elections in 2017, enough to comfortably put them into the parliament. … [Read more...] about Cologne Coexistence: Where the AfD and a refugee agency share an office space
The number of Brits resident in the German capital rose sharply this year to 15,898, according to official statistics, making Berlin host to the largest British community in Germany. The number has risen by more than 40 per cent since December 2016, according to data from Berlin and Brandenburg’s Office of Statistics (Afs). “Berlin is a fashionable place to turn up and try your luck,” Daniel Tetlow, co-founder of British in Germany, told The Local. The journalist and activist speculates that most of the Brits who recently registered in Berlin are new arrivals, as opposed to people who may have come out of local obscurity. “Many are Brits who have fled the main British cities, they are fleeing Brexit,” speculates Tetlow, based on information gathered from events with British expatriates, hosted in recent months by British in Germany. “The reasons why people come to Berlin are of course varied. But especially young Brits come here mostly for … [Read more...] about ‘They’re fleeing Brexit’: More Brits moving to Germany despite uncertainty
If you have lived in France, or perhaps simply been a regular observer of French media and politics, you’ll have witnessed how often people refer to le monde anglo-saxon or even le modèle anglo-saxon. Far from referring to medieval Britain as you’d be forgiven for thinking, the commentators or politicians or economists are actually talking about the modern English speaking world, from the US and Great Britain to Australia and Canada, and pretty much any country where English is spoken. “The French breezily refer to les Anglo-Saxons when talking about the British, the Americans, the Canadians, the Australians or some mix of all four," writes Emile Chabal, director of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh on the site Aeon. "They are more than happy to engage in vigorous arguments about the so-called modèle anglo-saxon, which has become a catch-all term to describe a variety … [Read more...] about Why do the French still call us ‘Les Anglo-Saxons’?
There are also the camps set up by the Roma community around the city (see photo below), which are regularly pulled down by the police. Another problem that doesn't seem to have a solution. "There have been more and more French people ending up on the streets in recent years with rising unemployment. And there is a problem with the lack of local solidarity," Louis-Xavier Leca, Director of La Cloche, an organisation that promotes relationships between neighbourhood businesses, residents and the homeless living there, told The Local. "After my own experience spending time in Chile and West Africa, I think it can be worse to fall on hard times in Paris than in poorer countries. People tend to be more isolated here," he added. Drugs The problem of drugs blights most cities but it often appears more visible in certain parts of Paris. Obviously if you head over to the wealthy 8th or 16th arrondissements you are unlikely to get the impression that … [Read more...] about The other Paris: A look at the darker sides of the City of Light