• The End of An Era

    April 25, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Listening to PRI from Bamako last night, I heard Marco Werman announce “the end of the largest and most sustained immigration trend in American history.” Pretty momentous stuff.


    Less than a million Mexican-born people lived in the States in 1970. Today, Mexican-born in the US amount to the population of Illinois alone (over 12 millions).


    But a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center finds that net migration from Mexico has now dropped to zero. That means as many Mexican-born adults move from the US to Mexico than from Mexico to the US –and perhaps even more leave the US than get there these days.


    The economic downturn, tougher border control and immigration laws, and Mexico’s own demographic transition mostly account for the drop of Mexican newcomers in the States over the past 5 years.


    Listen to Jeff Passel, co-author of the report and senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, explain why the trend is not likely to be reversed.


  • Electoral “night” in Bamako

    April 23, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Almost 8pm in Paris… Tuned in to TV5 Monde, a few expats and locals

    wait for the preliminary results of French Presidential election’s first round.

  • Migration and the Arab Spring: a Short Introduction

    April 22, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Excellent read from the Brooking’s Institute on migration, displacement and the Arab Spring as I embark on a 6-month long Immigration Journalism Fellowship on this very subject thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation and the French-American Foundation.


    An estimated two million people have left their homes over the last year as a result of the impact of the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East. And at least thirty countries have been directly affected by these flows according to its author, Khalid Koser.


    “Numerically, the largest single category of people who have been forced from their homes over the last year during the Arab Spring has been migrant workers. This phenomenon has been particularly significant in Libya. In the three months between March and June 2011, over half a million migrant workers left Libya for Egypt and Tunisia — more than the number of Libyans who fled the country during all of last year and more than the number of internally displaced Libyans or Syrians. While the majority of these migrant workers were from Egypt and Tunisia, about 250,000 were from other countries, in particular sub-Saharan Africa.”


    And that’s precisely where I start my reporting project, in West Africa. First stop: Mali, a country that is feeling the first major shockwave of Gaddafi’s fall.


    Most people here see the current crisis in North Mali as a by-product of the conflict in Libya last year.

    Addressing the turmoil in West Africa and the Sahel region, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon too connected both episodes in his address last week to Luxembourg’s Parliament: “Events in Libya have made an already difficult security and humanitarian situation even worse. Many thousands returned home to the Sahel. Some were migrant workers, but others are armed fighters, criminal elements, bringing with them large quantities of light and heavy weapons and ammunition.”


    Stay tuned for my upcoming story on the migration-based connections between the Libyan uprising and the current crisis in Mali.


  • Longing & Belonging: A Migrant’s Words

    April 9, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Wassim Sabbagh, a Syrian migrant in New York, wrote this poem on New Year’s Eve 2010 in his Brooklyn apartment. He’s now stranded at a Syrian refugee camp in Southern Turkey. (Full Story)


    Here the story goes. Here the story ends.

    I’m still looking for my country.


    This sunset time is not moving.

    There’s nothing left but memory, yet not enough memories left to keep this heart going.


    The rules of the New World have been set here.

    Here where there’s no limits of love, hate, happiness and sadness.

    Here, the home of rebellions and freedom, the jungle of hearts and dreams

    … And every fake is here too.


    New York.

    You, new land.

    Get out of the dreams of those who are misery away from you.

    They are dreaming about New York and they live in that dream.

    Get out of the dreams of those who’re looking for the real freedom.

    Get out of this world which you changed the face.

    And let me get out of you, winner, destroyed, hungry, full, to search for my country again.


    Where are you my country?

    Get out of me and take me to you.

  • Welcome!

    April 9, 2012 by marine_olivesi in , , , with 0 COMMENTS trouble makers

    At a makeshift school for Syrian refugees in Hatay, Turkey (March ’12) © Gaia Anderson

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