When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

When Angela Merkel made a Palestinian refugee cry on German national television
When Angela Merkel made a Palestinian refugee cry on German national television
Rivva

BERLIN — It's been a year since German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a Palestinian refugee teen burst into tears live on national television.

Reem Sahwil was 14 years old, and living on a temporary residence permit, when she was invited with others for a townhall-style public encounter with Merkel on July 15, 2015, in the northern city of Rostock: "It's truly painful to watch other people enjoy life, if you yourself can't do so," the teenager told the Chancellor. "I don't know what my future will look like."

Merkel answered that Germany couldn't possibly house all the refugees who requested residency. And then Sahwil started to cry.

But now, a year later, Merkel has invited the teenager for another meeting, in private. Sahwil, who in the meantime has obtained permanent residency through next year, looks back thankfully to the emotional meeting with the German leader, who had been criticized harshly for her reaction. "It certainly was quite an exciting and special situation for her too." She now would simply like to thank Merkel "in the name of my family and myself, but also all the other refugees she has helped. It has not been an easy thing to do, for her, and for Germany."

Rostock Mayor Roland Merhling has nothing but praise for the young resident: "For me Reem Sahwil is the personification of successful integration. I appreciate not only her optimism and courage, but also her great strength and engagement to do something with her life."

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.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
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