The fromagerie (cheese shop) is one place. The tax office another. And definitely the bank. But in each of these settings I have never ended up without any clothes due to a poor understanding of French. No place in France do you need your French lingo more than the doctor's surgery. Not only do you need to tell the doctor exactly what's wrong with you - you can't get away with pointing to parts of your body and saying the word "mal", but you also need to understand what they're asking you. I realised that after a couple of weeks of being in France, when at the time my French was limited to phrases I could read on a restaurant menu, Paris street names and "J'ai mal a la gorge". Funnily enough I had a painful sore throat that wouldn't go away and was encouraged by my French in-laws to visit their family doctor, an elderly man who had been in the profession all his life and was now not far off retirement. I walked in to his little surgery in the 14th arrondissement in Paris and sat … [Read more...] about My French story: How a visit to the doctor in France left me baring all
Paris a visiter
Filmmaker: Abdullah Elshamy The high-profile case of the death in police custody of French teenager Adama Traore in 2016 sparked widespread protests across the whole of the greater Paris region. The young black man was planning to celebrate his 24th birthday that evening but he never made it home. He was dead only a couple of hours after his arrest. A second autopsy confirmed that Adama died from suffocation. News of Traore's death caused anger and despair in some underprivileged areas of the suburbs. Days of protests followed and some members of the local community clashed with police, setting cars and buildings alight. Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Abdullah Elshamy went to Paris to ask what it means to be French. How does it feel when you can't get a job, when you are targeted because of your race and seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than your white, middle-class counterparts? Elshamy visits several suburban communities to identify first-hand the social, … [Read more...] about Paris, A Divided City: What does it mean to be French?
Greece is very different from the country I left in 2003 to study abroad. Athens has changed radically. It’s a city enjoying its recovery and its need for newness. It was quiet for a time, and people didn’t go out. Now there’s such energy, with new neighbourhoods emerging. Artists have moved here from Germany and the UK, and the city has become a lot younger, which is exciting to see. There is a real sense of community. It’s a very open place, with lots of hubs of creativity. However, some things remain the same. Athens has a distinctive landscape that mixes so many different elements together. It’s easy to immerse yourself in classical architecture and then be on a mountain walk within 20 minutes. I love to drive to Vouliagmeni, the journey there is beautiful. It’s only 35 minutes by car from Athens and it has a lot of beach clubs. Balux is one of my favourites – it serves sushi and has a chilled-out seaside … [Read more...] about A long weekend in Athens with Mary Katrantzou
It was the moment the dancer's world turned upside down. "The little girl in me died at that moment," says the 24-year-old, who had protested alongside her family against Syria's regime in 2011 at the start of the brutal civil war. Six years on, Hasbani may be living a new life in Paris, but her feelings on the war at home spill onto the stage through her poignant contemporary choreography. Her first Parisian performances, in the public squares at Republique and Trocadero, right by the Eiffel Tower, were tributes to the hundreds of Syrian children killed in a chemical weapons attack in 2013. "I took inspiration from the photos," Hasbani says. "I imitated the positions of the children's curled-up bodies." She is just kicking off performances of "Unstoppable," a 12-minute solo retracing her journey to exile, at a dance festival organised by the Arab World Institute in Paris, running until June 23rd. Hasbani, who sports a bleach-blonde pixie haircut and a nose piercing, has slowly … [Read more...] about A Syrian dancer’s journey from hell to the Paris stage
0 Have your say Donald Trump has been warned he faces mass protest if he comes to Scotland this summer, following reports that the US President could visit Balmoral in the coming months. A visit by the controversial American leader has been on the cards since his election, with the UK Government quickly extending an invitation for a state visit.However, fears over the reception Mr Trump would receive have see the plans put off indefinitely, and a visit in February to inaugurate a new US Embassy building in London were also cancelled.Reports now suggest a visit by Mr Trump is “pencilled in” for July, including a possible meeting with the Queen at Balmoral.Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said his party would help coordinate protests and called on the UK Government not to roll out the red carpet for Mr Trump.“There is a lot of anger at the prospect of Donald Trump coming to Scotland and a strong desire to show he is not welcome here,” he … [Read more...] about Donald Trump warned of mass protests for Scotland summer visit