Yalla, Habeeby, Falafel!

If you take a nice walk on a quiet Saturday afternoon in Altona, one of Hamburg’s nicest districts, you would be dazzled for a while, as while walking down the street you will only hear some foreign noises – i.e. the language, the music, and you will see shops offering different middle eastern foods, and shisha. Then you see the women with the head scarf, the men with lots of dark facial hair and you wonder in what part of the world you have landed. Well my friend, welcome to the immigrant communities!

The majority of the immigrant community in Germany is Turkish, as the Turks came as “Guest workers” to help rebuild Germany after World War II (in the 1960s), and some of them just stayed, as they were probably offered better living conditions than back home.

In addition to the Turks, Germany is now home to nearly 280,000 people from Arabic origin. Some came to escape prejudice in their home countries, some came to offer their children chances of a better life, and others came for a better education.

Like any immigrant community, they are both facing some difficulties such as hostility or ignorance about their culture and background and they also have a problem with integration within the society – but that’s another story for another article.

In the period between 1299 and 1922, during the Ottoman Empire, the Turks settled in Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa where the Turkish, Persian and Arabic cultures mixed together partially yet leaving the most part of each culture conserved. There are a lot of word loans in Turkish from Arabic and Persian and vice versa, but each language still remains very different, as do the cultures.

Enjoy your Doners then!

[اللغة العربية]

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1 thought on “Yalla, Habeeby, Falafel!”

  1. You can add that Germany counts 1.7 million Turkish citizens amongst its 82 millions inhabitants.

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