#60
 
 

Assimilation

by Emily Dische-Becker

Bassem*, the youngest of six, has an older brother who has been living in Bavaria for some 30 years. He refers to him as “German Brother,” and while I’ve met this brother many times, I can never retain his real name. German Brother, like many Lebanese expatriates in France who voted overwhelmingly for Sarkozy, has developed strong opinions about the undesirability of immigrants. Especially Turks. When German Brother returned to Lebanon last summer, as he does every year, he regaled the neighbors with stories from Germany over coffee in the garden. “This Turkish delivery guy – what an idiot,” he said. “We live in building 22B. The dude couldn’t find it. He kept calling and calling me, stumbling around the premise. He didn’t know that building B is always in the back! Can you believe that?”

The story didn’t resonate, Bassem reported. In Lebanon, they make do without street names and house numbers.

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