Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma recently said that with Trump's rise to power in the U.S., the right-wing extremists in Germany were "gathering and consolidating their ranks," a phenomenon perceptible mainly in the distant towns. Shamma, who is based in Berlin, praised Germany for "giving the Syrian refugees more aid tnan any Arab country. The interview aired on BBC Arabic on February 13.
Interviewer: Do you feel racism in Berlin?
Naseer Shamma: To be honest, Germany has given the refugees more aid than any Arab country. There are Arab countries - Syria's or Iraq's neighbors, for example - that were forced to host large numbers of refugees. They gave them some aid, and then got tired of it, and began to complain about the high costs of electricity, water, and whatever. All the countries began to complain about it - about the high price of food, and everything. Some people began to say that there was thieving... You know that every society has prophets as well as thieves. Germany gives 45 euros daily to every person coming from these countries.
Interviewer: It is a wealthy country.
Naseer Shamma: That's one thing. The hotels are paid for, health and education are given free of charge. Everything a person could want - they teach them the language, they train them in a profession. It amazes me that the Syrian youth straight away entered (German) life, learned the language, and went out to work. You hardly see (any unemployed) Syrians. There is an entire street, called Sonnenallee, which has begun to be known as the street of the Arabs. It is full of Syrian and Arab restaurants. The Syrians have quickly become integrated in the life there, to the point that all the German girls are marrying Syrians.
Interviewer: And vice versa, right?
Naseer Shamma: Yes.
This has slightly strengthened the position of Merkel, which I consider to be the position of a saint. When has such a thing ever happened? They have taken in a million human beings, with all their psychological problems, their crises, and their diseases. These days, with Trump's coming to power in the U.S., the right is gradually rising, and the extremists are gathering and consolidating their ranks, and every now and again, they throw a Molotov cocktail...
Interviewer: In Germany?
Naseer Shamma: Yes. It has begun on a small scale, and the Germany authorities are quickly containing it, but there are signs of it. It may not be perceptible in Berlin or in the other large cities, but in the more distant towns, they say this happens.