All posts tagged: berlin

Best of 2015: Chicago, Poland, Serbia and Germany

This was a year of terrorist attacks, mass shootings a-plenty, mass exodus from the Middle East, North and East Africa and the AfPak region which does not include India but a small number from Bangladesh, rising xenophobic far right sentiment, and an uptick in hostility towards Muslims unprecedented since immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The far right so far has been kept on the back burner, but the slow slide into what I liken to the Brezhnev years of the Cold War for the Global War on Terror (GWoT) years is upon us. The American presidential elections offer little reason or occasion for hope. The state of affairs in Syria, too, offers little occasion for hope. “Assad must go” has converted into the new “red line,” as US Secretary of State John Kerry concedes Assad can stay because the US has no one else to pluck out of an abyss of alternatives. The whole world has heard of the Islamic State and the international media relishes any opportunity to put the group’s name …

Open Society Foundations Voices Blog: After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home

Voices | Q + A After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home October 16, 2015 Antonia Zafieri American photographer Amanda Rivkin has been photographing refugees as they transit from Syria to Europe. Recently, she posted several of these photos to the Open Society Instagram feed. Here, she talks about her experience documenting the refugees’ stories, and what she’s observed of their attempts to settle into new lives far from their original homes. Why did you pursue this story? I pursued the story of the recent exodus to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for no reason other than it was there. I lived in Turkey for two years and never covered refugees as an issue per se, although refugees were everywhere in Istanbul at the time. Some were also my friends. If there was a crack between two buildings, it was as if you could find three Syrian families living there. But I think there is so much of this biblical, dramatic imagery that we forget that Syria—emptying out …

For Slovak daily Sme: Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce

Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce September 29, 2015 Utečenci veria, že sa im podarí zarobiť peniaze a dostať rodiny z nebezpečných zón do Európy. Sami majú neľahký život a neistú budúcnosť. Text: Amanda Rivkin Dvadsaťštyriročného Helmyho a jeho mladšieho, trinásťročného brata Jusúfa zaviedli do miestnosti v utečeneckej ubytovni, kde žije ich matka Inajat, žena v stredných rokoch. Ubytovňu na okraji Berlína prevádzkuje súkromná spoločnosť Gierso. Čipkované záclony vpúšťajú dnu trochu svetla. Zapácha to tam ako popolník. Izba je však nad dvorom, vďaka čomu je tu svetlo aj neskoro popoludní. Kerim Öge, ktorý pomáha pri spravovaní piatich zariadení Gierso pre utečencov v Berlíne, vysvetľuje, že najviac, čo môžu urobiť, je poslať písomné varovanie, ak je zápach naozaj zlý. Nemôžu nikoho vyhodiť, inak by sa až príliš veľa ľudí ocitlo na ulici. Öge Helmymu hovorí, že utečencom opakujú, aby vnútri nefajčili. Na dvore sú na asfalte nakreslené dva štvorce, fajčiarske miesta. „Všetko je ťažké, mám 50 rokov,“ hovorí Helmyho matka Inajat. Žila v obkľúčenom palestínskom utečeneckom tábore Jarmúk na okraji sýrskeho …

From the Archive: Partition by Continent

Bruce Riedel‘s recent recollections of Alex von Tunzelmann‘s book Indian Summer reminded me of a famous photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson of Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Nehru. Looking at Cartier-Bresson’s image with my papa, he said it made Nehru look like a buffoon. Von Tunzelmann’s scholarship suggests a different theory, namely that it is Lord Mountbatten who was cuckolded. And all this from the human atrocity of Partition, talk about a torrid sideshow. The destruction of the 1940s ended with walls and partitions for half a century or longer, most concretely in Europe, the subcontinent, and the Koreas. On a system’s level the partitioning of ideologies occurred on a global scale, dividing the world accordingly between Soviet and American principles. After Germany’s official reunification in early 1990, new discussions and monuments began to appear in the newly reunified city of Berlin. The government of West Berlin moved from Bonn, the government of East Berlin moved from East Berlin to the Reichstag, one of the most historically fascinating architectural treasures in continental Europe. Then newer discussions …