When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Germany

Why They Flee: Our Shared Destiny With The Middle East

The war in Syria is triggering the escape of many, but the true cause can be found much deeper. Arab societies need such vast reforms that Europe must stand as a model, rather than play realpolitik.

Immigrants who crossed over from Turkey arrive in Greece
Immigrants who crossed over from Turkey arrive in Greece
Necla Kelek

BERLIN — Hundreds of people lined up in front of the French embassy in Tunis, hoping for a visa for France. In Casablanca, young women who'd married Turkish men living in Germany attended language classes at the Goethe Institute, desperate to learn the minimum 300 German words needed to enter the country. In the Turkish region of Anatolia, thousands of girls married cousins in Germany. The question from Morocco to Turkey was always the same: "How do I get to Europe?"

And that was in 2012, when the Arab Spring still held the promise for some of better times ahead at home, when young people still had a reason to stay in their own countries. Since then, the wars in Syria and Iraq have put even more pressure on people to leave. But war is not the sole driving force behind emigration from the Middle East. Often it's just the final trigger for people who already had a long list of reasons to pack their bags, and who see the open borders in Europe as a "window of opportunity."

Keep reading...Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.

U.S. flag and Chinese flag

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ