Allochtonen Weblog Roundup

Allochtonen Weblog is a Dutch language blog that collects news about the immigrant community in the Netherlands. Here’s a few interesting stories they’ve had the past couple of weeks.

Less family reunifications

Less people have immigrated for family reunification since the new immigration law came into effect.

23,000 applications were approved in 2003 out of 42,000, compared to 9400 so far this year out of a total of 17,000.

[It would be interesting to see whether immigration really dropped or whether more people moved on to The Belgian Route]

Iranians integrate well

The Central Bureau for Statistics and the Center for Scientific Research and Documentation have put out an “integration map” 2006. The four big groups which consist mostly of asylum seekers are the Iraqis, Afghanis, Iranians and Somalis. According to this study, the Iranians integrate the best. Iranian boys and girls get higher grades than the average for non-Western immigrants. More than 40% of Iranians work compared to barely 25% by the Somalis.

Moroccan kids volunteer with the elderly

A group of 15 Moroccan kids from The Hague is trying to better their image by volunteering with the elderly. For their work they have received the Piet Vink prize from the municipality.

Municipalities friendly to Islam

A recent study “Room for Islam?” shows that municipal legislators might talk tough, but the laws they pass are quite friendly. Policy makers do not believe they can force a “Dutch Islam” and realize they cannot force Dutch norms in their cities which are already multiethnic and multi-religious. Instead they try to make the residents of their town feel like they belong.

Some politicians demand anti-Muslim policies, but these things never come down to a serious policy proposal. Only in Rotterdam did Pastors try to pass a ban on foreign mosques, but his plan run into political opposition and legal objections.

Enschede: immigrant friendly parks

Enschede is going to construct parks, plains and markets in order to attract more Turkish women to stay outside. The plans follow a study into the issue which showed that places directed at large families would bring more women outside. For starters, the city will build BBQ and picnic places in Wesselerbrink park, situated in a neighborhood with a 40% immigrant population.

Azzouz's wife interviewed

Samir Azzouz's wife, Abida Kabbaj, was interviewed by Dutch TV. The convert to Islam agreed to be interviewed in order to inform the world of the bad treatment her husband had been getting. Her husband is accused of planning several terrorist attacks and had already been released on several counts. She fears the Dutch prosecution will not rest till he is sentenced to life in prison.

The interview, in Dutch, can be seen here

New call center in Casablanca

A new call center has been opened up in Casablanca, to deal with Agis Insurance policies. The center was first opened for Dutch-Moroccans on vacation but soon grew to a subsidiary of the head office. The workers don't understand Dutch and according to their employer, they don't really need to. The workers, all female, are willing to work as many hours as necessary (it seems that wasn't true for male workers).

Morocco, much like India, has many call centers, directed mainly at French speakers.

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