Germans could learn a lot from their new immigrant neighbours

Firstly, they need to abandon the idea ouperiority, however fast their Audis and BWMs are

After having travelled half the globe and headed numerous German cultural institutions around the world, a retired, dignified German lady sits in her austere dining room, her grey hair lifted in an impeccable bun, and tells me in a disillusioned tone how Germans are usually dry, and how she found in Lebanon a certain quality of life that she missed in Germany. Taken aback by her honesty, I find myself trying to temper her judgment by telling her about some instances where I was treated gently by her fellow citizens. It is no obvious task.

Very few Germans are likely to be that lucid about their own culture, though. In fact, the impression one gets when frequenting Germans is that most of them consider their way of life to be inherently superior and their culture to be an absolute reference. This became clear to me after working for two years in German government institutions, where I and other Lebanese colleagues were treated in such a colonialist and inhuman way that would have made Michael Haneke’s film Das weiße Band pale in comparison.

Many of the more than one million refugees who have entered Germany know what I mean. After Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted an open-door policy towards the refugee wave in 2015, and after the attack on the Berlin Christmas Market last December, anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in Germany.


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