Immigration

The “Arab Spring” of 2011 and its hopes for democracy in the lands of Mohammed have failed. Libya replaced the government of Muamar Quadafi with two governments, one controlling the east of the country and the other the west. Egypt deposed a civilian despot, Hosni Mubarak, and now has a military one, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi. Iraq hanged Saddam Hussein and now has lost a huge part of its territory to the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Syria is locked in civil war, and on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is in flames. More blood has been spilt since the Arab Spring than was shed when the dictators were in power. As a result, millions have fled these countries, seeking safety in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Southern Europe, and North America.

But Arabs are not the only people moving. Africans flee failed states or terrorist groups, such as Al Shabab (Somalia), Boko Haram (Nigeria), or Al Qaeda (many areas). Latin Americans travel north in search of a better life. The single biggest migration is not across borders but within them, from villages to cities. Starting in 19th century Europe, people have been leaving villages and work on the farm and going to cities for work in factories and offices. Since World War II, the developing world has been doing the same. By 2050, experts estimate that 75-90% of people in developing world will live in cities; the same percentage as seen in the developed world today.

Immigrants don’t go directly from village to city but often move to “slums” on the outskirts of town first. There they gain money and skills to make it into the city. The articles highlighted below discuss issues related to migration.

Book Review – Arrival City

Leave a Reply