Weekend Roundup: Refugees Redefine Europe


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

America was once regarded as a welcoming immigrant nation where races and religions mingle freely, a geo-cultural therapy for history’s wounded masses who could leave their woes behind once they arrived on its shores. It is thus a jarring twist to witness the nativist rants of Donald Trump boosting his political fortunes at the same moment when Germany, where the ideology of racial purity reached its apogee, extends a tolerant embrace to refugees and redefines its identity as a multicultural state. The scope of this shift will surely generate its own backlash in the times to come.

Writing from Berlin, Alex Gorlach sees “a reversal of history” as Germany becomes “nation of immigrants” and suggests America should “dedicate a new Statue of Liberty to the [European] continent.” From Stockholm, Göran Rosenberg explains why Sweden takes in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European country. Embedded in his piece is the orientation video for asylum applicants provided by the Swedish Migration Agency. Writing from Budapest, Miklós Haraszti sees political cynicism driving the anti-immigrant policies of Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

The family members of Syrian refugees famously tripped and abused by a Hungarian journalist tell their story to HuffPost Arabi. HuffPost Greece gives us a glimpse of a day in the life of Afghan refugees in Athens’ Victoria Square. Danae Leivada writes about the potential worrisome advance of the anti-EU, anti-immigrant and nationalist Golden Dawn party in Greece’s upcoming elections and lays out what’s at stake ahead of the vote. Miguel Urban, a Podemos delegate to the European Parliament, recounts his experience at a refugee camp in Macedonia and scores European institutions for their incapacity to act effectively. Nick Robins-Early explores how a lucrative industry of refugee and migrant smuggling is profiting from the suffering of displaced people and reports that the Islamic State group is using the now emblematic image of the drowned refugee boy Alan Kurdi in propaganda. In this week’s “Forgotten Fact” he also points out how much of the focus on Syria has turned to fighting ISIS instead of Assad. Rowaida Abdelaziz writes on a film that follows one Syrian family’s journey to Germany. Willa Frej details the uphill battle the European Union now faces as it tries to figure out a way to help the influx of refugees. Peter Mellgard writes that climate change will make the migrant crisis worse in the future.

From Paris, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy turns his attention to the source of the refugee crisis in the Middle East and argues that “the war against these barbarians” cannot stop at the border of Syria. Former British Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen offers a peace plan for Syria in which Jordan should prepare for a key role when “sooner rather than later Damascus falls” and risks ending up in the hands of ISIS. UN envoy and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown appeals for more help for refugees, especially to get children back into school, in the region of conflict. “Europe will need to do far more to provide for asylum seekers within our borders,” he writes, “but while Europe copes with tens of thousands, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey urgently need more aid to cope with millions.”

Anticipating the upcoming state visit of Chinese President Xi to the U.S., top Chinese official Fu Ying explores “how Chinese and Americans misread each other.” Writing from Beijing, she argues that the core of the matter is “America’s rejection of China’s political system.” Writing from Vladivostok in the wake of China’s extravagant military parade attended by Vladimir Putin, Artyom Lukin sees China and Russia “marching together” against the “common adversary” of the U.S.

WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan gauges the Chinese response to Donald Trump’s campaign in the U.S., which often targets China as an enemy. He also tells the unusual story of a Chinese performance artist who has painted himself in the flags of UN countries to promote the global goals of the organization. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden report that South Africa “has found its soulmate” in China as relations deepen between the two countries. In an interview, Amadou Sy looks at the impact of China’s economic slowdown on African nations that have failed to reform during the heady years of trade growth.

As President Barack Obama gathers enough votes in the U.S. Congress to uphold the Iran nuclear deal, Husain Haqqani says he must now reassure Arabs that the U.S. will stand behind them in a new era of “Pax Iranica.” Willa Frej looks at what’s behind Ayatollah Khamenei’s renewed opposition to the deal. Bohdan Vitvitsky criticizes the Minsk II agreement on Ukraine as “simply another form of Russian aggression.”

In our series this month on exponential technologies, we interview the pioneer cartographer of the human genome, J. Craig Venter, who says our species “now has the dangerous power to control evolution.” Dawn Field, author of “Biocode: The New Age of Genomics,” foresees that “our planetary genome might include new life forms built in the lab.” Actor-activist Matt Damon and Gary White write that the poor can pay as much as 15 times what the people above the poverty line pay for water.

Roque Planas delves into a new report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights that doubts the Mexican government’s conclusion that drug lords killed the 43 students in Iguala earlier this year. Katherine Brooks reports on how Instagram is being used to document “underrepresented communities” around the world. Priscilla Frank invites us to meet the Black Mambas, the all-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa. In a photo essay, we portray North Korea’s mysterious art scene. Salman Rushdie talks about magical realism, Twitter and his new book “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.”

Fusion this week examines how Syrian refugees “challenge us to be better.” “History will remember them as the survivors,” writes reporter Tim Rogers. “The weak are those who try to stop them, but can’t.” Finally, our Singularity series asks whether you would take a “one-way” trip to space.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is Social Media Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


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