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What's in a Parisian Name?
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Behind the doors of a tiny pâtisserie, down a side street off the boulevard Saint-Germain, in the shade of tree-lined canals, an enchanting city of secrets and charms awaits you...
Let long time expat residents show you the heart and soul of Paris, as they lead you through the secrets of Paris -- arrondissement by arrondissement -- so you get to know the City of Light and enjoy it like a local.
It's all in Paris Confidential. Click here to get your copy.
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
While this newsletter is not designed to be a political forum, we try to give you a glimpse of life in Paris and France from Expat eyes, and sometimes that means addressing concerns that you readers have about your stay here, whether for just a vacation or a lifetime.
There has been an endless stream of letters regarding concerns about anti-semitism in France and at one time we started a forum on our online bulletin board so that readers could express themselves fully. It's no longer there as we "clean" the board from time to time, but feel free to start a new thread by clicking on http://www.agora-inc.com/forums/index.cfm?cfapp=15 and then "New Thread."
Just this past week, one particularly caught my attention and I sent it on to Jean Taquet, our favor legal advisor specializing in immigration issues. Our reader's concern was this:
"I am of Jewish heritage (non-practicing) and my wife is Christian Arab. I know she would not have a problem in France but I am worried about my surname, which is unmistakably Jewish."
Jean Taquet's response was this:
view, the problem that France faces right now regarding this issue is very different from what the American media is presenting. As in just about all the countries, large cities have either neighborhoods or sections of its suburbs inhabited by poor people and where life is quite hard. There, criminality is rampant, immigrants and ethnic minorities are concentrated, and so on. In the past, there had been waves of Jewish immigration coming from Eastern Europe and North Africa. Now face to face with these strong Jewish communities are Arab communities in low-income housing projects. Without stating anything about the pertinence of such political statements, both communities have imported the "violence" that exists between Israel and the Palestinian communities in these neighborhoods.
If you allow me to make this absurd statement I would say that the WASP portion of the French population, which corresponds to the vast majority of the French population, suffers of anti-semitism as much as the American one. The key difference between our two countries is that our most recent immigration waves are predominantly Muslim and yours are not.
Of all the Jewish people I know, Americans settling in France, French people, and so on, none of them have ever encountered a racial problem alone while behaving normally as everyone else. On the other hand, it is true that synagogues and Jewish schools are sometime guarded and that the incidents just about always relate to people coming in or out of synagogues and Jewish private schools or cultural centers.
Your last name is also the name of a town in France famous for its basketball team. Indeed your name does not sound nor state that you are Jewish by French standards, as far as I know.
On the other hand and for the reason mentioned above, your wife could experience some discrimination should she look like an Arab or her name is Arab.
Our friends who are named Dalila, Kenza, Samina, Aziza, and Achoura, which are Arab female first names experience racism and when they look Arab it is even worse. All the people I have helped who are American citizens and come from either the India or Africa, all experience a weird phenomena where they are first treated as if they were immigrants from these countries which means poorly treated until they state that they are American citizens and then the treatment improves.
As you can see I have exactly the opposite concern. As far as I see it, you would be seen as a normal American citizen and well treated for that reason while your wife would face racism if she looks Arab and has an Arab first name."
I am in complete agreement with Jean. On a daily basis and at this point in time, regardless of the numbers of incidents you hear about or are exaggerated by virtue of the media's need to sensationalize and therefore gain your support by instilling fear, I, as an American Jew have not experienced any anti-semitic or racist behavior nor know anyone who has, with the exception of Arab origin friends and colleagues who complain they can't get jobs. And interestingly, I have found that fewer Jewish names have been Anglicized here as they have been in the U.S., at Ellis Island upon entering the U.S. or later. My own case in point: "Leeds" started out as "Liebstein."
A la prochaine...
P.S. Tears came to my eyes as I thanked the very pleasant woman at the Préfecture this morning for the ten-year Carte de Résident awarded me! Many thanks to Jean Taquet for his assistance in making this happen...and we are lucky to have him speaking at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Conference this September 10 - 12 in Washington, DC. For more information, visit /parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_DC/LIF_DC_home.html
* Dream of working and living in France? Don't know how to go about simply DOING IT? Rose Marie Burke tells you how!
* Though France might seem as familiar as any other Western country, the truth is, from paying taxes to having a baby -- things are done differently in France. Read the stories how other people maneuvered the system -- Jean Taquet's ten years of Q's and A's...
* Want to understand how to make your dream to live in France come true? Spend two hours to learn everything you need to know!
Thank you, Adrian
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Thank you, Adrian
COMEDY IN SEPTEMBER
MOVING PARTS PLAY READINGS IN ENGLISH
Carr's Pub & Restaurant
12th September Barratt Walton "Buddha's Aunt"
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Enjoy free concerts of all types of music in the open air in lots of Paris' greenest spots! Visit http://www.paris.fr/fr/environnement/jardins/animations_jardins/concerts_jardins/default.asp for more information
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NEXT MEETING: No Après Midi Meeting in August. September 14th, 2004 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
PARIS SOIRÉE DINNERS EVERY SUNDAY
Patricia Laplante-Collins has international dinner parties on the Ile St-Louis. She hosts a 21st Century Paris Salon where you meet interesting people in Paris and have a lot of fun. There is always a Guest speaker, perhaps a Writer, Actor, Historian -- you name it, Patricia hosts them all. For reservations or to be on the mailing list: call 01 43 26 12 88 or write firstname.lastname@example.org
Paint or Draw Portraits and Self Portraits with American Portrait
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*** Working and Living in France
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YOUR FIRST TIME IS FREE! OPEN ALL SUMMER LONG. CLOSED AUGUST 14TH FOR HOLIDAYS.
Join us at the Parler Parlor conversation group in Paris France for free-form conversation with native French and English speakers. Practice speaking 45 minutes in French, 45 minutes in English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily, in
PARLOR TIMES -- 3 TIMES A WEEK IN TWO LOCATIONS
Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m.
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MEMBERSHIP AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Till August 29t, 22 of the 27 public swimming pools are open. Consult
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Wednesday, August 1lth, 9:30 p.m.
Jardins du Trocadéro (facing the fountains) / M° Trocadéro
Because traffic is so greatly reduced the month of August, more than 80% of the parking places in Paris will be free of charge! To consult the list, visit
o you have books to donate? Contribute your books to the Fair and we will pick them up!
Biggest English-Language Weekend Book Fair in Paris
Saturday, October 16th from 2:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. (auction at 6:00)
THE WALLACE FOUNTAINS
There are 108 Wallace Fountains with potable water all around Paris streets, square and gardens.
In 1872, Sir Richard Wallace, donated 50 drinking fountains to be established at the most useful points for public refreshment. Installation started in 1875; the first fountain was placed on boulevard de la Villette. The city quickly installed an additional 30 and today there are 108.
For a complete list of locations, visit
Two-Bedroom Apartment Available September 4 - 14, 2004
Pictures and more details available here: /frenchproperty/insider/rentals/leeds.html
Livingstone Luxury Penthouse Condo
Beautiful completely renovated apartment is located on the 7th and top floor (with elevator) of a typical 1930's Parisian building on rue Livingstone in Montmartre. From inside the apartment there is a spectacular view of sky, Parisian rooftops and all of Sacre Coeur. Montmartre is known as one of the most romantic spots in Paris, and the lovely view from this penthouse apartment will certainly help to confirm this. Email Erica Berman for more information.
Luxury 3 bedroom 107m2 Apartment
This beautiful quiet newly renovated 107m2 (about 1070 square feet) luxurious three bedroom left bank Paris apartment on the 4th floor (with elevator) is situated in the heart of the chic 7th arrondissement in Paris. Email Erica Berman for more information
Rent a luxury apartment in Paris and in other parts of France your
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What’s In A Parisian Name?
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