Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arrival in Copenhagen

Today I arrived in Copenhagen and our schedule is very interesting. We have meetings organized aroung the themse of environment, immigration and integration, and freedom of speech. The people we will meet include the Deputy Head of the the Asylum Department fo the Danish Red Cross, which I believe administers the Danish refugee and asylee program, and the journalist and editor of the newspaper that printed the Mohammed cartoons that sparked protests among Muslims a few years ago. We will also have the chance to visit the immigrant neighborhoods.

In Copenhagen, I am travelling with only 4 other MMF fellows, which should make for more interactive discussions. I will also be in Copenhagen a longer period than in Paris, and these two factors are probably the deciding factors that allow us to actually visit immigrant neighborhoods.

One thing I did forget to mention about the Parisian trip. While we did not have the chance to visit the suburban immigrant neighhorhoods, the GISTI office was located in an ethnically mixed Parisian neighborhood. When I arrived, I saw East Asians, black Africans, South Asians, and North Africans. I did not have the chance to see too much of the area, but felt right at home. One last note, in France and possibly other EU countries, the ghettos are located not in the inner city, as in the US, but in the suburbs. However, as in the US, the low income populations are housed in tall apartment complexes that are cut off from the rest of society.

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