The Immigration Struggle in Europe

December 2, 2006


Source: Providence Journal

Wire Service: AP

PARIS — Nacera Berrouba, a young Algerian in Paris, says she couldn’t get the job she dreamed of until she dyed her hair blond.

Karima Ramani, who calls herself “addicted to freedom,” says the Dutch love her hip black jeans and bright red nails but can’t accept her Moroccan mind.

Straight-A student Gokboru Ozturk was born in Germany and waved the German flag during last summer’s soccer World Cup tournament, but wants to be buried in Turkey because “as much as I feel German, I cannot be buried here.” Meanwhile, his mother jokes he should change his name to Schmidt to boost his job prospects.

As Europe goes through a wrenching debate over integrating immigrant populations — and at a deeper level about what it means to be European in a globalized age — the children of those immigrants also find themselves grappling with issues of identity in an environment where tensions are complicated by the scarcity of jobs and distorted by the fear of terrorism.