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Worship with us @ Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries, Budapest, Hungary Address: 1081 Bp II János Pál Pápa tér 2 (formerly Köztársaság tér) Direction: From Blaha, take tram 28, 28A, 37, 37A, 62...1 stop. From the traffic light cross to the other side... Or take Metro 4 & get off @ János Pál Pápa tér
Time of worship: Wednesdays @ 18:30 hr Sundays @ 10:30 hr
Tel: +36 203819155 or +36 202016005

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

IMMIGRATION

Refugee workers urge Germany to learn from past mistakes
By Frank Zeller

Iranian refugee worker Behshid Najafi (L), working in Cologne's Agisra Information and Counselling Centre for Female Migrants and Refugees office on January 10, 2016, says Germany must learn from the mistakes of the past. Cologne (Germany) (AFP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's mantra on Germany's record migrant influx has been "we can do it", which Cologne refugee worker Behshid Najafi heartily agrees with -- but would add a qualifying "if".


With 23 years of experience in helping migrant women navigate bureaucracy and find language courses, social welfare and jobs, Najafi says Germany, in its crash course on globalisation, must learn from the mistakes of the past.

"We can do it, as Mrs Merkel has said – IF. If we get affordable housing, legal certainty for refugees, education, jobs training, German courses –- those are just the main points," she said.

No-one, including Merkel, has pretended that taking in 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year alone would be easy.

But Najafi warned that Germany must learn lessons from decades past when waves of migrants were recruited for labour but largely excluded from mainstream society, trapped in immigrant 'ghettos' battling prejudice and red tape.

Iranian-born Najafi, 59, praised the new goodwill toward refugees but cautioned that after the initial rush to house and feed them, the hard and crucial work was only just beginning.

"Otherwise they will be pushed to the margins of society," she warned.

"We will not manage it if they just stay in sports halls, without work, without a future, without language skills.

"Seventy percent of them are men. I fear within a year many could turn to crime. The drug mafias and criminal gangs are just waiting to recruit them."

Such fears have flared in Germany, especially since New Year's Eve in Cologne when hundreds of women have said they were groped, harassed and robbed in a 1,000-strong crowd of men described as being of Arab and North African appearance. Two rapes have been reported.

The unprecedented scenes outside the city's iconic Gothic cathedral have raised deep-seated fears in Germany of more crime and racial tensions to come.

Political leaders have said for the past decade that immigration was a key part of German society, long after this was self-evident to Europe's former colonial powers, or the United States and Australia.

Merkel has at times told her wavering nation that the global export power must accept more aspects of globalisation than a huge trade surplus.

Such realisations are welcome, but have been a long time coming, said Najafi, who runs Cologne's Agisra Information and Counselling Centre for Female Migrants and Refugees.

She said when post-war Germany first invited Turkish and other "guest workers" to fuel its economic miracle years, "Germany thought they'll come, work for a few years, and go home again.

"The migrants worked in factories during the day and lived in ghettos at night."

A Cologne Turkish community leader, Hakan Aydin, agreed and said "nothing changed for 20 years. Of course that caused problems.

"As one writer put it, Germany recruited labourers and got human beings."

When the recruitment programme stopped in 1979, many single workers wanted to stay and brought over their families.

"And Germany wasn't ready -- for the families, for putting their children into schools and child care," Najafi said.

- 'Mixed mood' -

German citizenship was based on blood lineage until as recently as 2000, when it started being awarded also to children of at least one parent with permanent residency status.

"It's an important point in integration: this picture of what does 'German' mean?" said Najafi's colleague Denise Klein.

"For many, it is still tied closely to this traditional idea of German blood, that you can only be German if you're white," she said, adding that this sense of exclusion cuts both ways.

"Working in schools, I was shocked to see that many girls, often second or third generation migrants and with German passports, do not identify themselves as Germans."

Over the past year, both women said they were heartened to witness a new "welcome culture" and unprecedented volunteer effort.

The big question now since the ugly start to 2016 has been, will the goodwill last?

After the New Year's Eve attacks, "there has been a mixed mood," said Aydin, 42.

"Many who supported the refugees may have worried, what have we done? Did we bring this problem upon ourselves?"

Still, he too remained optimistic, saying that Germany would see that most refugees are grateful to be granted safe haven and want to study and work.

"I don't think the mood is tipping," he said. "I don't think so."


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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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