The rest of our day was a whirlwind. We visited a Turkish neighbourhood, a mosque, museum that had a classroom sized map of the neighbourhood and had lunch at a Turkish restaurant. It was interesting getting the perspective of this multicultural area from a lady who's family immigrated from Lebanon in the 1970s. She was born in Germany but has many people ask her, "where she is from, really?" They can't get over the fact that although her skin is a slight olive colour, that she is 100% German, having been born here in 1983. Turkish snacks and lighting are shown in photos below.
Next stop was at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik - German Institute for International and Security Affairs Research Division: The Americas. Dr. L. von Daniels spoke to us about TTip (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Dr. von Daniels spoke about the positives and negatives of this agreement from a European perspective. It was interesting to hear from a different point of view than North America.
The last meeting of the day was at the Goethe Institute - parent organization of the TOP Fellow Program. Astrid Ziebarth discussed the fact that immigration laws in Germany were slow to change for the last ten years, but this year have moved very quickly due to the refugee crisis. She noted that a German gov't. economist states that for every $1 spent wisely on a refugee, the gov't. makes $2. On why so many immigrants have come to Germany and the common thinking is that Germany has been encouraging this migration. Astrid noted that German Chancellor commented that, "We didn't open the doors, we just didn't close them." She also paraphrased a quote regarding the inclusion of refugees into German society, "A seed is only as good as the soil in which it is being grown." A far cry from a certain USA presidential candidates ideas on immigration. Again, it was interesting to hear from a German perspective the positives and negatives the immigration/refugee crisis is having on Germany.
Whew... another whirlwind day of walking, meetings and a wealth of information. A couple of us opted out of the group dinner and headed back to the hotel for an early evening - considering my day started at 5am, its still been a long one.