Sunday, 25 October 2015

War against Nuba People by Sudanese government



Everyone knows or has heard of the continuing Israeli siege in Gaza that has suffocated Gaza's 1.4 million civilians. The story of Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinian families and children is well known even for the blind who can only hear about the social and infrastructural destruction of occupied Gaza and the wider lands in Occupied Palestine. Thousands of miles south of besieged and blockaded Gaza, another blockaded land is under siege by government forces.


The Sudanese capital Khartoum. It could be mistaken for a mini version of Cairo with neighborhoods spreading across both sides of the Nile and its own unique culture. The second largest city Omdurman is to the city's West. 


Sudan is a multiethnic and multi religious country, it has been for thousands of years. Historically Sudan was an extension of Egypt vice versea often unified with its northern neighbor through imperial and pharaonic rules. Sudan is also the home of Nubia, Kush, Kerma, Merotic Empires and kingdoms and traded with Ethiopia and Arabia. Egypt and Britain both colonized and ruled Sudan under the Anglo-Egyptian condominium from the late 19th century to Sudanese independence in 1955. The British ruled Sudan as two separate entities with Northern Sudan being connected to the larger Arab and Muslim countries and Southern Sudan being tied to Eastern African countries such as Kenya, DR Congo and Uganda. Darfur was originally its own independent sultanate from the early 16th century until the condominium when it became part of Sudan. Gamal Nassar's emphasis on Arab nationalism and Pan Arab unity in Egypt and the wider region continues to affect Sudanese politics and thoughts into the present. When Sudan gained independence in 1955, the Sudanese government began pushing a policy of Arabization and Islamification in Southern Sudan and Darfur to cement Khartoum government's political and cultural control over Africa's largest country. The policy has continued to this day at the expense of Sudan's own multicultural identity, religious tolerance and the crushing of ancient languages and religions that predate Ancient Egypt. The current President Omar Bashir has taken the Saudi wahhabi brand of Sharia, islamification and anti-African racism to a brutal level against the long marginalized regions of Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur and Eastern Sudan's Red Sea state. The Sudanese government even before the current President Omar Bashir came to power in a military coup in 1991, ignored the grievances of its citizens outside the capital. Bashir is a wanted war criminal (International Criminal Court in The Hague has been calling for his arrest for the last 12 years) who escaped arrest for his crimes against humanity in South Africa during a meeting earlier this year. The African Union has condemned the Sudanese government's war against its own people for decades. AU peacekeepers are currently in Darfur and are extending their mission with resistance from the Khartoum government.


The mainstream media like to explain away the complexities by saying the Sudanese Civil War is a religious one between Christians and Muslims or African vs Arab (Sudanese Arabs are Afro Arabs). Being Arab isn't based on ethnicity but culture and language. When the marginalized Sudanese in the South, Darfur and Nuba Mountains,and Red Sea state (home of the Beja people) started fighting back against the Sudanese government, pundits dragged up the old mantra of "ancient tribal hatreds" or "just another African war between faceless governments and rebel forces." Rarely are the reasons and causes for the war in the first place are explained. 

2005 Comprehensive Peace Deal Al Jazeera


As part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Khartoum government and then SPLA Southern Sudanese rebels, the Nuba Mountains, Abyei and Blue Nile state were granted the right to vote on their futures. The ongoing bombings of the Nuba Mts and Blue Nile delayed the vote. When South Sudan gained in 2011, each region would be allowed to hold referendums on whether to stay part of Sudan or breakaway and become part of the new independent South Sudan. The recent war in Nuba Mts and against the SPLA-N began 2011 when elections for referendum was accused of being rigged by the Sudanese government. The Nuba people in both the Nuba Mts and Blue Nile and the Dinka Ngoc in Abyei are close cousins of the South Sudanese. That doesn't mean everyone in Abeyi would vote for joining their southern neighbor. Many fought for South Sudanese independence and against the Khartoum government throughout the 50 year old civil war in Sudan.

Sudanese govt targets only hospital in Nuba Mountains


When resistance is a crime

For over 20 years, the Nuba people living in the Nuba Mountain located in South Kordofan state in Sudan along the border with South Sudan has been under siege and blockaded by the Sudanese government. The Nuba people belong to many ethnic groups with a unique and ancient culture. In terms of religion, the Nuba people are half Muslims and Christians. Both faithful communities live in peace side by side. Religious coexistence doesn't spare either group: they are equally targeted. The Nuba people have witnessed their houses, schools, hospitals, farms and arable lands and roads destroyed by the Sudanese army's excessive use of force meant to punish civilians in the name of fighting the rebel group SPLA-North that operate out of the mountains. Entry into the Nuba Mountains is not allowed even for journalists. Some journalists have managed over the years to make it into the Nuba Mts but they are few. Most of Nuba Mts journalists are local people documenting the disproportionate war and crimes against them. Medical aid has been blocked as a form of collective punishment on the Nuba to starve the civilians and further hurt the SPLA-N's war efforts. Children and women bear the brunt of the blockade and bombing. In neighboring Blue Nile State, sandwiched next to Ethiopia, SPLA-N soldiers has also been fighting the Sudanese government to protect evacuated citizens and their land from destruction and ethnic cleansing. Sudanese Army will bomb even remote areas where there are little civilians or small rebel bases than blame the killing on the SPLA or their supporters. Another arm of the war machine, the Sudanese army relies on is local usually Arab or Arabic speaking militia in these regions. The militiamen are sometimes neighbors of their displaced and bombed neighbors from Nuba, Blue Nile or across Darfur. The militiamen see little irony in being able to settle in destroyed and depopulated villages in Darfur or aid the national army in chasing out their fellow countrymen. The militiamen terrorizing parts of Nuba and Darfur have become the unofficial infantrymen for the Sudanese army when soldiers aren't deployed or gruesomely prefer to bombard civilians from the air via antonov plane. Nuba civilians have been denied any form of return to their homes, schools and villages. The government has taken the ethnic cleansing a step further by encouraging Arab settlers from other parts of Sudan to settle in destroyed regions such as Darfur. Perhaps the same will be repeated in Nuba.

Viva la cultura: Culture lives

Even with the war, the Nuba people still live, go to school and celebrate their culture and language. Resistance through normalcy. The Nuba language not to be confused with Nubian, is actually made up of 100 languages sometimes named the Kordofan languages (after South Kordofan Province) but commonly referred to as Nuba to simplify the long list of languages. Again, Sudan's language diversity would put the tower of babel to shame. Nuba language specialists and Nuba activists are fighting to protect some of the Nuba language particularly the Moro Nuba language through language study project and printed materials for language students. Nuba artists and activists are also passing on the language and culture to the next generation. The Nuba culture is most famous for Nuba wrestling which is a national sport in Sudan and popular in Khartoum. It is both a form of therapy and pride for the Nuba. Some Nuba wrestlers are hoping that Nuba wrestling becomes an Olympic sport in the near future. Nuba refugee families and activists who live abroad in United States, UK, Egypt have been showcasing the Nuba culture, fighting for their rights and people's voices in their host societies to be heard. Not only that but to be respected in Sudan.

Khartoum's War on Sudan: When Civilians are the enemy Nuba Reports


Bombing civilians to punish rebel groups

The SPLA-N are a faction of the once nationwide Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement that had fought against the Sudanese government based in the capital Khartoum. Like many bombarded and occupied peoples in other parts of the world, Palestine included, the Nuba and South Sudanese people have long accused the Sudanese government of marginalization, collective punishment that purposely target civilians without distinguish, ethnic cleansing, lack of infrastructure development, failure to redistribute oil wealth and natural resources to benefit the whole of Sudan as oppose to just Khartoum. Centralization of everything from political representation to resources to solely the capital city plays a huge role in many long standing conflicts in the DR Congo. Sudan is no exception. The Sudanese government regarded the SPLA and the current rebel groups in Nuba and the Blue Nile states as threats to national security. The rebels are treated as terrorists although they have received recognition and support from neighboring African countries including South Sudan.

Yes, Sudan receives its military helicopters from Russia one of its allies and trading partners in its crucial petroleum industry. The other ally is China who uses the reasoning of its none of my business concerning the destruction of the Nuba Mts.  Nuba at the expense of the locals who are now in refugee camps in South Sudan or living in caves for safety. The constant bombing has made it impossible for many Nuba to return to their old homes or even attend school. Even in a safe environment such as the St. Joseph hospital, the only hospital in Nuba still fully operational, the antonov bombs are dropped near by to cause further fear and injury to civilians.

Nuba Reports: Nuba Child struck by Antonov missile in Nuba Mountians, Sudan




Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Justin Trudeau wins Canada elections

Meet Canada's new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo from CBC Canada. 


Justin Trudeau, a former boxer turned politician from the Liberal Party has won the Canadian elections after Steve Harper's government ended up distancing itself from the majority of Canadians. While many issues did come up during the recent Canadian elections, Canadians had enough of the now former Prime Minister Harper's policies both foreign and domestic. Not to mention the Conservative Party's yes man attitude to going along with the U.S. on NATO intervention in Syria and Libya that created the refugee/migrant crisis.

Hijab, Niqab top election issue in Canada Al Jazeera



Surprisingly, the issue that took centered stage was the hijab worn by Muslim women and migration over economics, healthcare and the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership deal. Some people smell another NAFTA with the TPP. It's been twenty years since NAFTA came into existence and the verdict is still mixed on its successes. The most important issues for most Canadians are of course the economy and environmental issues. Canadians especially First Nations people are protesting against fracking and oil field exploration that cut into indigenous lands or disrupt the ecology of local neighborhoods and towns in rural Canada. The various political parties have been taken to task on their record on environmental issues and climate change.

Trudeau election win in French


Trudeau has promised to make some important changes as he settles into the PM's office. Among the changes would be welcoming more Syrian refugees to Canada, legalizing Marijuana, ending Canadian air campaigns in Syria, rebuilding relations with Iran and taking action to halt the deaths of Aboriginal women. He is the son of Canada's three termed Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He does not have huge shoes to fill but does have massive expectations he will need to manage.

Missing Aboriginal Women

Canada has a larger indigenous population than the United States, who have survived genocide and cultural oppression  and continue to fight for their human and environmental rights. Aboriginal or First Nations activism is alive and well. They are at the front of protests on rights and environment. Still, First Nation peoples are witnessing large number of mysterious deaths and disappearances of Aboriginal women across Canada. Activists both adults and youth are letting Trudeau know that the fight for missing and murdered women is not in vain.


Mind your language: saving dying languages and cultures of the world

The scripts of the world. Many scripts can be found in Asia. The less scripts you can see the dominance of Latin alphabet. The photo above is by SIL Institute. The SIL publishes dictionaries on critical languages and its ambiguous project is on creating a database of non Roman/Latin scripts for translation and publication.


There are 6,000 languages in the world today. Nearly every region and most countries on the six continents have more than two languages that are spoken on a daily basis. From indigenous to regional languages, speech and communications continues to be diverse. Earth is a living tower of Babel.  Language conservationists and UNESCO have long celebrated both the dominating and small languages of the world for its insights into health and well being, cultures, arts, knowledge and memory that is vital for a people's survival and ability to cope with a rapidly changing world. Sadly, the conservationists warn that half of the 6,000 languages will disappear or become extinct by the end of this century. There are multiple reasons for languages to die off over time. Lack of native speakers and second language speakers, lack of interest from the community, lack of technological and educational resources to preserve the endangered language. There are currently 600 languages endangered of disappearing. Many of them are indigenous and regional languages spread out across the world. Its not just the spoken languages that are loosing, it is the unique scripts of the world.

Globalization and languages

Many people have praised globalization and technology for bringing the world closer together and able to easily communicate with one another on an hourly basis. At the same time, many language and cultural preservers, human rights and academics have also criticized globalization and spread of English as the dominate lingua franca for pushing smaller languages to the abyss. English is not only regarded as a lingua franca but as the universal language across the Global South and North as the easiest way for the 7 billion people of the world to do business, trade, to communicate and avoid misunderstanding. English is taught across the world from Beijing to Lagos to Buenos and even in Greenland. Since the British Empire's spread of the English language and culture across the world alongside other European colonialism and linguistic imperialism, many countries have gone to great lengths to preserve their local languages and scripts from extinction and from being totally replaced with English. Remember not everyone in the world speaks English as a first language. Some people speak it as a third or fourth language. When colonial era ended in South Asia, countries such as Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Cambodia made a huge effort through government initiatives and language academies to make their native languages (one of major languages spoken by the majority of the people) as the unifying, official and protected languages. After the Soviet Union collapse, Central Asia also implemented language policies to revive their languages from second status under Russian during Soviet rule to a national level.

Learn to read Yoruba alphabet and accents


Nigerian Drama Movie in Yoruba



In a majority of Africa it was the exact opposite. Instead of promoting ancient languages and scripts that have survived cultural shifts, waves of linguistic exchange and destruction and colonial period, European languages mainly English, French and Portuguese are viewed by African governments as the languages of necessity and that the public should learn to better their chances in maneuvering in the global economy. Mandarin is also popular as the new global language. China would fight to the end to protect it. Never mind the fact that many Africans across the continent speak their local and regional languages more than French or English. There is an African Academy of languages who is campaigning to preserve and protect African languages and scripts from linguistic death. Many African languages like any other indigenous and regional languages have been pushed to the wayside as the language of instruction from primary to university. Coincidentally, Nollywood movies and many local TV series from Senegal and Ghana are being produced in Yoruba, Hausa, Wolof. Not all African countries have made European languages the focal point of education and of media. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique protected their respective languages, promoted protection of African languages and the need for the people to help keep the cultural memory, scripts and identity alive through the mother tongues. Linguistic imperialism hit many indigenous peoples the hardest. The Inuit, First nations and Aboriginal Australians had their languages and culture literally taken and in some cases beaten out of them through colonial mission schools aiming to turn indigenous ways of life and identity into a European copy. Everywhere Europeans sought to impose their cultural and linguistic well on indigenous and local peoples they fought back. Not just with guns and revolutions but with languages and religion. The indigenous language of New Zealand, Moari has been protected, is both an official and spoken language across the small island alongside English. Cultural knowledge has entirely died out in Aboriginal Australia, in Inuit society or among the First Nations. The young generation of Inuit and First Nations and Aboriginal are being reminded of the importance of never loosing their culture, knowledge, identity and memory through learning and passing on their ancestral tongues.

Living Languages: Australia, Aboriginal Peoples


Indigenous language revival in Mexico


Language revivals and technologies

Fighting to save a dying language is not just done by academics and preservers. Technology is aiding in making certain that the endangered languages are allowed a chance to live even if the native speakers are gone. Online dictionaries, translation tools, and language websites are helping to preserve and create a database of oral and ancient languages from indigenous speakers to regional languages such as Tamazigh, Catala and Chichewa in Malawi. Tamazigh language or Berber is an official language of Morocco and is taught in schools. Languages such as Yoruba, Hausa and Wolof have millions of speakers but is not offered as languages of instructions due to the numerous languages in Senegal and Nigeria. Instead a unifying language usually a colonial language is used to communicate. However, the local languages are used in movies and tv series and can be found online. There are formerly dead languages that have been revived from a collective effort of society. The Hebrew language revival in the late 19th century is seen as a language miracle. Hebrew went from being an official dead language only used for the Torah and having no native speakers or modern usage to becoming the official language of a country Israel. Yiddish, Hebrew's brother has managed to survive both smaller numbers of speakers, Zionist policy elevating Hebrew over Yiddish, the Holocaust and assimilation of Orthodox Ashkenazim Jews into American society. The Welsh and Cornish languages also went through a similar revivals and are the official languages in Wales and Cornwall. Irish Gaelic also came back from being a near dead language. The Coptic language in Egypt is seen as a descendant of Ancient Egyptian is in a similar fate that Hebrew was in late 19th century. Coptic is only used in Coptic Christian churches for religious services. That hasn't stopped Copts from trying to use it as living and modern language.

Coptic Language Lesson: How to write and read it



PS: Aramaic is one ancient language that has clung onto life and culture for over 6,000 years. A new form of it exists called Neo-Aramaic or Syriac spoken in isolated villages in Syria and by Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq. Syriac Christians have been going to great lengths to preserve Syriac or Neo Aramaic. It was once the language of the wider Levant, Persian Gulf and even Yemen until it was pushed aside by Arabic in the 7th century. Pan Arab nationalism marginalized Aramaic in Syria and Iraq with the Assyrians. The continual wars in Syria and Iraq has raised fears that Aramaic, the ultimate survivor of empires will die out in its own homelands taking its cultural knowledge and memory with it to new lands or go with the older speakers.  

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Mahdi Nazemroaya: Understanding Western fear of Arabs and Muslims

The article below was written by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, geopolitical analyst and author who has traveled and spent time in Middle East and as well as North Africa.He writes for both the Strategic Culture Foundation and the Center for Global Research. Originally published at Global Research Center, Nazemroaya's analysis delves deep into the subconscious of Western governments and societies on their fears of Islam and Arabs. Orientalism, dehumanization, media and policy makers play a large role in how foreign policy, national security state and even national policy is carried out in the West with relations to the rest of the world. Nazemoraya breaks down how reoccurring media: news, movies, pop culture and messages to racist attitudes have long hammered into ordinary citizens' heads that terrorism and violence is synonymous with Arabs. Even many knowledgeable students and analysts who have an in depth understanding of diversity of Islam and Arab society subconsciously associate terror with Arab. Guilt by association equally affects how Arabs and Muslims are treated on a daily basis both in Western countries and the region. It is by no accident that image, fear and national security go hand in hand. A must read article. Enjoy.


Imagery and Empire: Understanding the Western Fear of Arab and Muslim Terrorists
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, April 06, 2015
Strategic Culture Foundation 6 April 2015



It has been claimed that if all terrorists are not Arabs or Muslims, that most terrorists are Arabs or Muslims. Is this true or another myth? An empirical look at data compiled in the US and Europe will help answer this question.
The notion that the majority of terrorist attacks are committed by Arabs or Muslims not only lacks a historical perspective, but is an unempirical argument that is tied to modern Orientalism that is alive and kicking. Orientalism, itself is heavily tied to US views of exceptionalism. It is an area of thinking where exceptionalist and racist views coincide profoundly. In fact, there is a thin line between all three.
In an outdated linear and geo-ethnocentric way of thinking, whatever societies are located east, as well as south, of the US, Canada, and Western Europe — particularly France, Britain, and the Germanic-speaking countries — are viewed as deficient and inferior. In Europe, this means everyone east of Germany is either tacitly or overtly portrayed as culturally backward. This means the Balkans, Slavic peoples, Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Romanians, Orthodox Christianity, and the ex-Soviet republics.
Under Orientalist thinking in the US, even lower on the totem pole are non-Europeans. This means the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Like exceptionalist attitudes, Orientalist views are important for supporting Washington’s foreign policy and wars as a noble enterprise. US Orientalist attitudes see the rest of the world, from Mexico to Iraq and Russia, as needing US tutelage and stewardship. This is a reconstruction of what was called the «white man’s burden» that was used to justify the colonization of people that were perceived as non-whites.
The Relationship between Terrorism and Arabs and Muslims
Arabs and Muslims are major quarries of US Orientalism. Either tacitly or openly, both Arabs and Muslims are portrayed as uncivilized subjects. Terrorism is deeply tied to images of Arabs and Muslims in the minds of many US citizens and this is why it is falsely believed that most terrorists are Arabs or Muslims.
To varying degrees whenever individuals that are Muslims or ethnically Arabs commit crimes in so-called Western societies, such as Canada or the US, the assessments made have either tacitly or openly passed judgment on all Muslims or Arabs collectively. The Arab and Muslim backgrounds of these individuals is used to explain their crimes. The crimes of Arab or Muslim individuals are not presented exclusively as the crimes of individuals, but as a collective crime. These notions ignore the facts that Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism.
Seven out of the top ten countries afflicted by terrorist attacks are predominately Muslim, according to the Australia-headquartered Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index for 2014, which is based on the University of Maryland’s meta-analytic Global Terrorism Database. Using a maximum value of ten and a minimum value of zero, the entire international community is systematically ranked. Although the definition of terrorist incidents in the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database can definitely be debated over, important inferences can be made from its data sets and the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index.
Several key features can be noticed, if readers look at the nature and identities of the perpetrators of what is classified as acts of terrorism among the top thirty countries in the Global Terrorism Index for 2014. The first feature is that the violence generated from the ascribed terrorist groups falls within the framework of insurrections and civil wars that are generally equated as acts of terrorism. For example, this is the case for countries like Somalia, the Philippines, Thailand, Colombia, Turkey, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nepal, which are respectively ranked seventh, ninth, tenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, twenty-second, and twenty-fourth place. Under closer examination several of these insurgencies can be tied to international rivalries and power plays by the US and its allies. This becomes obvious when more observations are made.
The second feature is that the majority of the cases of terrorism in the indexed countries, especially the higher ranked they are on the list, are connected to Washington’s direct or indirect interference in their affairs. For example, this is the case for Iraq, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Russia, Lebanon, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, China, and Iran, which are respectively ranked first, second, third, fifth, seventh, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, fifteenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-eighth. US-led wars, Pentagon interventions, US-backed coups, or US government support for so-called «opposition» groups or proxy regimes have all been a basis for the affliction of terrorism in these countries. Out of the above countries, according to the Global Terrorism Index, 82% of global deaths that are assigned to acts of terrorism happen in NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Nigeria. The ties to US foreign policy should be clear.
Not all Arabs/Muslims are Terrorists, But Most Terrorists are Arabs/Muslims?
It has been claimed that if all terrorists are not Arabs or Muslims, that most terrorists are Arabs or Muslims. Is this true or another myth? An empirical look at data compiled in the US and Europe will help answer this question.
In the US, which is ranked thirtieth in the Global Terrorism Index for 2014, the majority of terrorists are not Muslims and are non-Muslims according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Inside the US, 6% of terrorist cases from 1980 to 2005 were committed by Muslim terrorists. [1] The other 94% of terrorism cases and terrorists — in other words, the vast majority — were not related to Arabs, Muslims, or Islam. [2]
While the FBI’s methodology on what is a terrorist attack and what is not a terrorist attack is questionable, it will be accepted herein for arguments sake. According to the same FBI report, there were actually more terrorist attacks launched by Jews from 1980 to 2005 on US soil. The same FBI data was compiled by the Princeton University-linked webpage loonwatch.com in a chart that describes the breakdown of cases of terrorist attacks on US soil from 1980 to 2005 as follows: 42% Hispanic terrorism; 24% extreme left-wing group terrorism; 16% other types of terrorists that do not fit into the other main categories; 7% Jewish terrorists; 6% Muslim terrorists; and 5% communist terrorists. [3]
While Muslim terrorists comprised 6% of the attacks on US soil from 1980 to 2005, Jewish terrorists and Hispanic terrorists respectively comprised 7% and 42% of the terrorist attacks in the US during the same period. There, however, is no fear mongering about Jews or Hispanic people. The same media and government focus is not given to them as is given to ethnic Arabs and Muslims.
The same pattern repeats itself in the European Union. Loonwatch.com also compiles data on terrorism in the European Union from the reports of the European Union’s European Police Office (Europol) from 2007, 2008, and 2009 in its annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Reports. [4] The data further distances Muslims from terrorist acts. 99.6% of the terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by non-Muslims. [5] The number of failed, foiled, or successful terrorist attacks by Muslims in the EU from 2007 to 2009 was simply five attacks whereas the number of terrorist attacks by separatist groups was 1,352 attacks, which equates to approximately 85% of all terrorist incidents in the European Union. [6]
According to Europol, the number of failed, foiled, or successful terrorist attacks by so-called left-wing groups was 104 while another 52 attacks were categorized as non-specific. [7] In the same period, two attacks were attributed to so-called right-wing groups by Europol. [8]
There is a huge disparity in who is causing and committing terrorism and who is being victimized and blamed for it. Despite the overwhelming facts, whenever Arabs or Muslims commit crimes and acts of terrorism, they are the individuals that are focused on whereas non-Arabs and non-Muslims are ignored.
If it does acknowledge that Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism, Orientalism still manages to assess some guilt to the victims of terrorism by tacitly portraying them as members of a savage community or society that are as much prone to facing a violent end as animals in a jungle.
Imagery and Empire
Illusions are at work in the world. The truth has been turned on its head. The victims are being portrayed as the perpetrators.
Whether stated candidly, implied, or unmentioned, the notion of Arabs and Muslims as savages and terrorists plays on the imagery that the so-called Western World embodies equality, freedom, choice, civilization, tolerance, progress, and modernity whereas the so-called Arab-Muslim World underneath its surface represents inequality, restrictions, tyranny, a lack of choices, savagery, intolerance, backwardness, and primitiveness.
This imagery actually serves to de-politize the political nature of tensions. It sanitizes the actions of empire, from coercive diplomacy with Iran and support for regime change in Syria to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and US military intervention in Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. As mentioned earlier, in varying degrees, this imagery extends to other places that are seen by US Orientalists as non-Western places or entities, like Russia and China.
At its roots, this imagery is really part of a discourse that sustains a system of power that allows power to be practiced by an empire over «outsiders» and against its own citizens. It is because of US foreign policy and economic interests that Arabs and Muslims are unempirically portrayed as terrorists while real world data that shows that US intervention is creating terrorism is ignored. This is why there is a fixation on the attack on Parliament Hill in Canada, the Martin Place hostage crisis in Sydney, and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, but US, Canadian, Australian, and French governmental support for terrorism that has cost tens of thousands of lives in Syria is ignored.

NOTES
[1] Federal Bureau of Investigation, Terrorism 2002-2005, (US Department of Justice, 2006): pp.57-66
[2] Ibid.
[3] «All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t,» loonwatch.com, January 20, 2010.
[4] «Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t,» loonwatch.com, January 28, 2010.
[5-8] European Police Office, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2007 (The Hague, Netherlands: Europol, March 2007); European Police Office, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2008 (The Hague, Netherlands: Europol, 2008); European Police Office, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2009 (The Hague, Netherlands: Europol, 2009).


Copyright ©
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Arabs in Canada

by Dr. Ibrahim Hayani is a Canadian professor of Economics at Ryerson University in the Toronto Area. Hayani taught at Seneca College as well. His article below was written and originally published on the Center for Global Research in 2014. It was recently republished. His analysis is a cultural and social history of Arab Canadians and how they have and continue to play a role in Canadian society and culture. The future of Canadian society is also examined. Canada prides itself on being a nation of immigration like its louder neighbor to its immediate south. Many Canadians of immigrant background have been economically, educationally successful and feel just as Canadian as anyone else in the country.

Although he focuses on social issues in Canada he has commented on the recent events. His previous articles "Democracy in the Arab world" and "Crackdowns in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain" was on the revolutions and people's fight against corrupt and authoritarian leaders in North Africa. Enjoy and absorb the read below. 


Arabs in Canada
By Dr. Ibrahim Hayani
Global Research, October 11, 2015
Global Research 24 November 2014

Editor’s note: In light of the recently-introduced Anti-terrorism Act (Bill C-51), and the upcoming Canadian federal election, an investigation into the history of the Arab community in Canada is necessary. Bill C-51 could be used arbitrarily in derogation of civil rights of  Canadians belonging to the Arab Community. The following article was originally published in November 2014.


Introduction: The Beginning
Exactly a century and a quarter ago, amid the numerous immigrants then pouring into Canada, a 19-year-old youth landed in Montreal. It was 1882, just 6 years after the establishment of Canada as a federal state, and Abraham Bounader from Zahle, a small town in The Lebanon (then part of Syria) overlooking the fertile Beka’ valley, had become Canada’s first Arab immigrant. By 1901, there were 2,000 others of Arab origin in Canada, by 1941 this number had grown to about 12,000 persons, and today it is estimated that there are about 600,000 Canadians of Arab origin (i.e., about 1.8% of Canada’s total population).
Syrians (including Lebanese) have sailed forth from their relatively small, resource-poor land for many thousand of years. Their perpetual Odyssey has led them to the farthest parts of the earth. If one knows how to identify them, he can find Lebanese (and Syrians) in almost every country, in almost every major city. And so they came eventually to Canada; from one rocky shore to another. Gradually they make a new home; gradually they took root and grew. As they did, they transformed both themselves and their new country.
They voyaged not only to political liberty and stability and better economic opportunities although these were important motives. They voyaged, too, for adventure, for excitement, for the taste of something new. Their ancestors, the Phoenicians, sailed and traded throughout the ancient world and established colonies in several locations (Cadiz in Spain, and Carthage in Tunisia, are two famous examples). It is not known for certain what caused the Phoenicians to adopt their commercial role, but it is likely that their region’s poverty in natural resources and the raggedness of its terrain were contributing factors. Certainly, these factors were of great importance in 19thand 20th century emigration from Lebanon.
Virtually all early Arab immigrants to Canada came from the regions included in the contemporary states of Lebanon and Syria. The earliest migrants from the Fertile Crescent were not distinguished as Syrians or Lebanese. Until 1956, Canadian immigration statistics grouped the two together.
Anecdotes of Arab immigrant pioneers reflect the importance of the steamship lines factor. One Colorado pioneer had jumped ship in Canada, and traveled south; a group of travelers rejected in New York in 1885 returned to Halifax, and from there traveled overland to New York. Mr. Howar, builder of the famous Islamic Centre of Washington, D.C., journeyed by chance from his home in Palestine to Egypt, India, and England before arriving in the United States around the turn of the last century. He went to Washington because that was where the President lived. According to historical records, the first Lebanese to settle in Canada came via New York. In those early years, it was only the very adventurous few, mostly Lebanese and Syrian, who left home and ventured to seek their fortune in distant lands. The majority went to the United States, but few made it to Canada.
The immigration patterns of these early years illustrate clearly the factors that determined the rate at which immigrants, Arabs and others came to Canada. Immigration legislation provides excellent insight into the prevailing values and beliefs of the day. In the 19th and early 20th century, the salient view among most English Canadians was that the values and way of life of the “white race” were superior to all others. Preference was therefore given to British and American immigrants, followed by immigrants from western and northern Europe, then from the rest of Europe. Asians and Blacks were the least preferred of all immigrants and were allowed in only when there was a demonstrated need for their labour (e.g., building the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 1890s allowed thousands of Chinese immigrants into Canada. Yet during the next 50 years, when “orientalphobia” was widespread among Anglophiles, less than a 100 Chinese were admitted into the country).
It was only in the second half of the 20th century that discriminatory restrictions on immigration began to ease. The Second World War forced Canadians to re-examine their view of immigrants. In the years leading up to the war, Canadians had become guilty of excessive human rights violations against local minorities, the most infamous of which was the treatment of the Japanese in 1942. But other groups suffered as well (e.g., Germans and Italians). The injustices committed against these minorities became all the more pronounced because the Second World War was to a larger extent a war against the concept of racial superiority. Canada’s joining of the United Nations in 1945 was the final blow to a long history of discriminatory practices against non-whites, and to the preferential treatment given to Anglophiles. It was then only a matter of time before artificial barriers to immigration had to come down even though old attitudes and beliefs persisted for a while longer and have occasionally surfaced since then.
The Post World War II Period
With each change in immigration laws and regulations, it became easier for Arabs to immigrate to Canada, mostly through sponsorship. The post WWII period witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of Arab immigrants to Canada. Unfavourable conditions in their home countries, coupled with more liberal immigration policies in Canada made Canada a choice destination for many an Arab immigrant.
The period following the War was one of social tranquility and economic prosperity in Canada. In the Arab world, this same period saw nothing but one disaster after the other (Al-Nakba in Palestine in 1948, the Suez War of 1956 following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the Six-Day-War of June 1967, the 1973 War, the Civil War in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, the 1991 Gulf War and subsequent invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the Civil Wars in Sudan, Somalia and Algeria, and the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories). It was these “push factors” that largely determined the origin, religion and other socio-economic profile of Arabs who immigrated to Canada.
Canada Egyptians are a case in point. Starting in the mid-1950s there was a significant upsurge in the number of Arab immigrants from Egypt even though their number in Canada until 1954 was relatively insignificant. Yet within a period of less than twenty years, (1956-1974), over 17,000 Arab immigrants who came to Canada gave Egypt as their country of origin. Today, Egyptians (as well as Iraqis) are only second to the Lebanese in making up the Canadian Arab population.
The Egyptian immigrants of the 1950s and 1960s were largely Copts and middle class Muslim Egyptians who were disaffected with the socialist transformation of their country by President Nasser. Concerned about religious and economic freedom, they left their country in search of better living conditions elsewhere. Many came to Canada.
The same was, and still is, true for immigrants from other Arab countries, especially Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, and the North African states of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. The precarious balance that had kept in check volatile and explosive religious and political forces in the Lebanon came apart with horrendous consequences for the Lebanese people in the mid-seventies. A civil war erupted with a level of destruction not seen anywhere in many generations. Tens of thousands of Lebanese came to Canada where many of them had relatives who could either sponsor or nominate them. Some came under the new immigration category of business investors while other came as refugees. Many, in the latter group, were probably of Palestinian origin.
More recently, the human catastrophe that has befallen Iraq precipitated a massive wave of Iraqi immigrants to Canada. The same can be said about the Palestinians. These people have been direct victims of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the subsequent Israeli expansionist policies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and scapegoats for Arab conflicts. The number of Palestinians in Canada is significantly higher than those reported by either the Census or immigration statistics. Because they do not have their own state, Palestinians hold the citizenship of various Arab and non-Arab countries, so that when they come to Canada, Palestinians are likely to be counted as nationals of the countries from which they have just arrived (e.g., Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), or of countries whose citizenship they hold (e.g., Jordan and Syria).
The Changing Profile of Arab Canadians
The period following WWII, particularly the last five decades, has witnessed not only a substantial growth in Arab immigration to Canada, but also significant changes in the socio-economic characteristics and national origins of Arab immigrants.
Prior to 1954, virtually all Arab immigrants to Canada were from Syria and Lebanon, the majority of them were Christians who came from the many villages and towns that dot the Lebanese and Syrian mountains. After 1945, the national origins of Arab immigrants became far more diversified; their composition in Canada became more representative of the Arab world by region, religion, and social class.
Arab Canadians can be found in virtually all Canadian provinces and major urban centres. However, Ontario, and to a lesser extent Quebec, have always been the provinces of choice for immigrants from the Arab world since the 1950s. According to the most recent Census figures, Ontario is now home to more than 40% of the total Arab population in Canada. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) alone is home to almost half of Ontario Arabs and close to one-fifth of all Arab Canadians. Such residential concentration has proven to have quite an impact on social and institutional development. It has resulted in the formation of Arab cultural niches. In Toronto, for example, one can drive along a two-kilometre stretch of Lawrence Avenue and find Arab stores dotting both sides of the street; supermarkets whose shelves stock all kinds of Arabic (and Middle Eastern) food and other products, a bakery that produces and sells thousands of pita bread daily, confectionery/sweet shops whose colourful delights match – in sight, if not always in taste – the best that is produced anywhere in the Arab world. There are also a number of restaurants, which in recent years have been responsible for introducing Canadians to such Arabic foods asFalafelHummusCouscosTabouleh and so forth. On a typical Saturday, the parking lot of what must be dubbed the “Nasr Plaza” is crowded with people who speak different dialects of Arabic and exchange pleasantries, gossip, and news about the local community and their home countries. The same developments have occurred elsewhere in Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, London, Windsor, Hamilton, Halifax and other major urban centres throughout Canada.
Age and Sex Composition
The age and sex composition of an ethnic group has social, economic, and even political consequences. Masculinity ratios – number of males per 100 females – for example, may have an impact on the rate of mixed marriages. Also, the age profile of a group will have an effect on such economic factors as participation in the labour force, and the demands that are placed on such social services as health, education, and employment benefits.
Arab Canadians, when compared with other Canadians, tend to have a younger age profile. This may be due to the fact that the great majority of the Arab Canadian population is made up of recent immigrants who tend to be younger in age. Initially, they also maintain the relatively high fertility rate of the Arab world.
The net effect of this age distribution is that (1) the per capita demands made on government health and other support services for seniors of Arab origin is less than that of the average for the total Canadian population; and (2) that the relatively younger profile of the Arab Canadian population will contribute positively to future entrants into the labour force.
For the Arab community in Canada, there are considerably more males than females. As a result, masculinity rates for Arab Canadians are quite high, especially when compared with national averages. A shortage of females within one’s own ethnic group will, out of necessity if nothing else, force eligible males to seek marriage partners from outside the group. Some may overcome this problem by finding a mate from the “old country”, but the majority will be left with no option but to seek a mate outside their own ethnic group.
Religious Affiliation and Diversity
Although the great majority of Arabs, well in excess of 90%, are Muslims, the religious affiliation of the first wave of Arab immigrants to Canada which lasted until the WWII was predominantly Christian. They brought with them a version of Christianity which, at least in name, was not all that easily recognizable to the average Canadian Catholic or Protestant. They were mostly Melkites, Syrian Orthodox and Maronites.
In the post-Second World War period, the proportion of Muslim Arabs immigrants increased dramatically with the upsurge of immigration from the Arab world. Those Arab immigrants who came from Egypt in the 50s and 60s were largely Christian. They brought with them a version of Christianity known as Coptic, a Christian sect with deep historical roots in Egypt. The same can be said about Christian immigrants from Iraq who belong to the Assyrian and/or Chaldaean branch of Christianity.
In Canada, the early history of the Arab Muslims goes back to the last half of the 19th century when a few began to immigrate to North America from the Greater Syria area. According to the Canadian Census, in 1871 there were only 12 Muslims in Canada – all living in Ontario. In 1931, there were 645 Muslim residents, probably mostly Arab, spread throughout different regions of Canada. Small size and relatively even geographical spread underlay the slow development of Mosques and related Muslim institutions. In 1938, as many as 20 families residing in Edmonton, Alberta, built the first Canadian Mosque – declared a historic site in 1978 – in that city.
After the Second World War, the Muslim population increased rapidly, mostly in Ontario. Today, there are well over 1.2 million Muslims in Canada – about 33% being of Indo-Pakistani origin, followed closely by Somalis and other Arabs. There are also a good number originating from East and South Africa, the Caribbean, Iran, Turkey, and Europe – principally from Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. Canada is home to roughly 1.2 million Muslims Canadians (about 3.6% of Canada’s total population).
By far the largest Islamic religious education and community services are concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area. In this prosperous Canadian city, the Muslims have established a series of religious institutions to cater to the nearly 300,000 members of these Toronto Islamic organizations. To meet the expanding need, old mosques are being expanded and new ones are continuously being built.
The Arab Canadian community has undergone a remarkable degree of institutional development involving religious, social, and secular organizations. The most prominent of secular and pan-Arab Canadian organization is the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) that was founded in 1967 as a direct by-product of the Six Day War of June of that fateful year. Currently, there are numerous newspapers and other types of popular Canadian Arab media outlets. Both the religious and secular ethnic institutions have provided a link with the ancestral land, reinforcing the maintenance of cultural and linguistic identity. At the same time, they have played an important role adaptive role, encouraging acculturative change and integration with the host society.
A Socio-Economic Profile of Arab Canadians
The first wave of Arab immigrants to Canada which lasted until the WWII was characterized by people who were mostly uneducated and unskilled. They were quite young, single, and primarily interested in making money (A good example of that generation is the family of Leon’s Furniture Stores). Handicapped by their limited knowledge of North American culture and the English language, they sought jobs that did not require familiarity with either of these. The majority of them made a living working as industrial labourers, as peddlers or as shopkeepers.
The more recent immigrants from the Arab world, however, have been better educated, more professionally qualified and more adept at coping with the demands of modern society. Add to this the emphasis that Arabs have traditionally placed on education, and the result is an Arab community in Canada whose members, on average, enjoy high levels of educations, of income, and of occupational status.
The economic adaptation of the early Arab immigrants was often linked with a keen desire for economic and occupational success. (The story of Clair Haddad and her remarkably successful career in the fashion industry could be used as an example). Many of the early Syrian immigrants entered the labour force through peddlery, an independent but relatively low status occupation. Through devotion to hard work, frugality and reciprocal support, the three elements of what can be described as the “Levantine Ethic”, peddlers often experienced a steady rise in their economic fortunes and a broadening of their entrepreneurial functions (The story of the founders of Leon’s Furniture stores is an excellent example).
The post-war immigrants entered Canada with higher average educational and occupational qualifications and the majority of them planned to follow professional and other white collar careers. Thus the economic/occupational characteristics of the typical Arab immigrant have been changing.
Economic adaptation is a central life concern, relevant not only to the material but also the social, psychological and spiritual well-being of the individual immigrant and his/her ethnic community. Throughout the years, Arab immigrants and their descendants have entered all levels of the occupational hierarchy, some of them achieving renown in their respective fields (Clair Haddad: Fashion designer, Leon’s Furniture; the late Joe Ghiz, former premier of PEI is a powerful symbol of how Prince Edward Island’s Lebanese community has overcome prejudice and won the respect of the Islanders; virtually every Canadian university has one of more faculty member who is of Arab origin).
Adaptation to Canadian Life
The successful adjustment of Arab immigrants requires both linguistic and psychological adaptation. It requires that they learn or improve their knowledge of one or both of Canada’s official languages and, as well, that they develop new attitudes and commitments, which may be reflected in such things as acquiring Canadian citizenship, deciding to make Canada a permanent home and developing a general liking for Canadian society and culture.
The acculturation experience, how an ethnic group adapts to the host society, is greatly influenced by (1) how it is perceived by the other dominant groups; (2) how it perceives the other groups; and (3) how it perceives itself.
It is generally accepted that the higher is the level of education or occupational status, the easier it is for the immigrant to cope with the challenges of entering a new society. Among other things, education provides a person knowledge, language and conceptual skills, and problem solving tools that enable him/her to deal better with the demands of acculturation. Good occupational qualifications also make it easier for the immigrant to deal with one of the most pressing practical problems upon entry, finding a job.
There has been a strong tendency for immigrants from the Arab world to be favourable to permanent residence in Canada and to the acquisition of Canadian citizenship. There is no doubt about their generally positive feelings towards the new way of life, despite attachment to certain aspects of the Arab heritage. Having experienced both East and West, and having chosen the West, Arab immigrants see acculturative change, in the form of integration, as desirable, yet they and their descendants have continued to maintain links with the ancestral heritage.
Whether or not an Arab Canadian knows Arabic, links with the ancestral heritage can be, and have been, maintained through such things as Arabic food, music, dances, mass media exposure, visits to the Old Country (or homeland), and correspondence with friends and relatives left behind.
Arab cultural identity in Canada is not likely to be reduced to a uniform configuration among Arab Canadians, and we will probably always encounter patterned variations in its strength. Because of the relative youthfulness of the immigrant generation, coupled with its numerical dominance, Arab ethnicity will continue to be vigorously manifested, especially with continued immigration from the Arab world. Also, the federal government’s policy of multiculturalism and relatively tolerant public attitude towards ethnic differences, if continued, will enhance the development and preservation of ethnic identity without diminishing loyalty to Canada as the chosen land. Pluralism is one of Canada’s foundational values. It is based on the recognition that our diversity is a source of strength and that every individual and community has an equal voice and can, and should, use that voice to participate as a full member of the Canadian society.
For Arab Canadians, living in Canada has meant the adoption of many Canadian norms and values. To be sure, they have also retained, in varying degrees, their ethnic identity and elements of the cultural heritage; but the demands of the new socio-cultural system have necessitated the development of new orientations and modes of behaviour. As a consequence, they now have in common the experience of having abandoned, or even rejected some of the ways of the Old Country, in the process of embracing the ways of the new land. This process appears to intensify with each succeeding generation and with economic advancement.
At the same time, there are also pressures towards the maintenance of ethnic identity, reflected in part in a moderate degree of institutional development within the Arab Canadian community. The ethnic institutions developed include churches, mosques, secular associations, newspapers, radio and TV programs. In addition, the Arab-Canadian family has played a role in maintaining aspects of the ancestral heritage. In all other spheres, Arab Canadians have been, and still are, integrated with the institutions of the larger society.
The Future
We have already pointed out the major reasons why Arab immigrates to Canada: wars, population displacement, political instability, religious persecution (real or imagined), economic deprivation, and the existence of attractive conditions in Canada. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe that the political and social condi
tions in the Arab world is likely to improve in the foreseeable future.
Economically, the Arab world is in dire straits. The widening gulf between rich and poor is festering a growing frustration among millions of the Arab masses. Many of them can easily become convinced that Arab wealth, in the form of oil, is being squandered by the few in collusion with a decadent West. Increases in population size coupled with improvements in education have produced a large class of qualified and energetic young people who have very limited employment prospects in the Arab countries. Furthermore, the initial optimism that characterized the earlier phase of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, there is now the realization that peace is not likely to break out soon.
The festering Arab-Israeli conflict with its destabilizing effects on the whole region, combined with the dangerous situation in the Gulf (i.e., the conflict with Iraq), and the mounting social and political problems throughout the Arab world, will no doubt put pressure on Canada to admit more, rather than less, immigrants from Arab countries.
In conclusion one may be justified to say that the Canadian Arab community (1) is growing in numbers and influence; (2) is diverse but culturally unified; (3) has an integrationist mode of acculturation; and (4) is a misunderstood community.
Copyright © Dr. Ibrahim Hayani, Global Research, 2015

Migrant crisis overwhelming Dutch British villages and migrants contributions


As migrants continue to flow into Croatia, Austria, Italy and Greece, the EU has slowly put in place a relocation program for legitimate asylum seekers from Eritrea, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria. The migrant relocation program would include families and individual people traveling alone who can claim that they are not economic migrants and that they are being persecuted in their home countries. Some thirty Eritreans were recently relocated from Italy to Sweden when the relocation program began on Friday. Pegida supporters who have marched day and night over the past weeks against new arriving migrants in Germany, Netherlands, the UK, France, Austria and elsewhere are freaking out. The far right party is now the second largest in Austria. Mariane Le Pen's Front National is enjoying national popularity. Racism and xenophobia is also being allowed to grow via the media pundits, alarmists newspapers and authors who point all migrants with a wide brush.

Meet the West African migrants who turned Gambian styled yogurt into a delicious business. The crew of the well loved Barikama Yogurt in Italy. Photo first published at Ansa.it

In Italy, a different approach is being taken by ordinary Italians. Some African migrants who have lived in the country for a few years or who recently arrived have been given some opportunities to work and contribute to Italian society. A local Italian NGO created a refugee football team in Rome as a way to help humanize and bring migrants closer to Italian society. Football has been used as therapy in post conflict zones and to unite opposing teams. While on the other side of Rome, a Gambian migrant has opened up a yogurt shop Barikama that is popular with Italians. Other fortunate migrants have opened up shops in smaller Italian towns ie Riace and are grateful to contribute to the local economy.

Panic in the UK: Longford vs migrants?

The village of Longford on the outskirts of London, UK. One of many migrants watches a plane take off from Heathrow Airport next door. In addition to the noise pollution from the major international airport, Longford residents have become unnerved by new African and Afghan migrants temporary housed in Longford hotels awaiting transfers to other areas of the UK and London. Photo originally published on Telegraph

Nevertheless, its villages have gone from welcoming migrants to feeling overwhelmed by their numbers no matter how small. In the British village of Longford in Hillingdon next door to Heathrow Airport, the village residents are bemoaning the recently arrived migrants from Eritrea, Sudan and Syria. Most of the migrants who arrive in Longford come from Calais after traveling for months from their home countries via Libya, Italy or Greece. Thirty migrants generally men are allowed to stay in the village's hotel for a few days before being relocated to other parts of the country. Since Calais is only 21 miles from England, many migrants who have been waiting in the "Jungle" Camp from months to years look forward to eventually arriving in England where some have family or seeking to start a new life, That is once again if they can get past the red tap asylum process.


Dutch villages at center of migration in Netherlands

The tiny village of Oranje, Netherlands near the college city of Groningen in far North of the country. Someone spray painted over the name Oranje and wrote Syria as a protest against arriving migrants in the village. Photo originally published on Yahoo News via AP

Back on continental Europe, the Netherlands is currently reeling from taking in over a 10,000+ migrants from Syria, Sudan and Eritrea. The Dutch have long been famous for their tolerance being compared to the Scandinavian countries in welcoming new migrants to their country. There are millions of Dutch people of Caribbean, Moroccan, Sudanese and Latin American descendants who are living well and contributing to Dutch society. Most of the Dutch people arrived in the Netherlands decades ago. In recent years, the Freedom Party led by the well known but politician/filmmaker Geert Wilders has won seats in parliament, are given a voice on foreign policy and are even popular among ordinary Dutch people. The small village of Oranje outside of the far Northern city of Groningen (also a college town), received the shock of its life when the villagers realized that 700 new refugees arriving in the Drenthe province would be temporarily staying in the village. Some of the villagers do not mind refugees staying for a few days as part of the Dutch government relocation program. Its the amount that has set Oranje on fire metaphorically speaking. Oranje is a village of 130 people. When the math is done, the refugees pretty much outnumber the villagers. An additional 700 migrants might be added to the village's growing population which has angered villagers and other neighboring areas following the migrant crisis. It is causing many villagers and city folks to begin harping the right wing and nationalists' perspective that the refugees are somehow coming to colonize Europe. PS Oranje is also the official name of the Dutch national football team and the Royal House Oranje-Nassau. National symbols aside, the Dutch are bracing for more migrants.