Americas

Inclusion, Not Integration

The Embassy of Canada to Germany hosted an event which explored important issues to both Canada and Germany

January 03rd, 2018
William Urbanski, Berlin Global
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Following the premiere of the Canadian film "My Enemy, My Brother", a panel consisting of the director, the Canadian Ambassador to Germany and other dignitaries explored ideas on how to successfully include newcomers to Germany and Canada.

"Inclusion, not integration."  These are the words of H.E. Amb. Stephane Dion during a panel discussion following the German premiere of the Canadian film "My Enemy, My Brother".  The panel, which took place in the evening of December 5th, was part of a special event focused on the challenges and benefits of welcoming migrants.

"My Enemy, My Brother" is an Academy Award shortlisted film by Canadian director Ann Shin.  The film tells the stories of two soldiers on opposite sides of the Iran/Iraq conflict.  The younger soldier saves the life of his injured enemy then by sheer coincidence, meets him again over 20 years later in Canada where they are both living as refugees.  It is a story about reconciliation, fate and how the human condition transcends war and hatred.

Following the film, there was a panel discussion consisting of H.E. Amb Stephane Dion, Ann Shin, Sawsan Chebli (who is the Permanent Secretary for Active Citizenship and International Relations for the State of Berlin) and poet Anja Saleh.  The panel, moderated by the host of Deutsche Welle's "Quadriga", Ali Aslan, lent its expertise to a frank and open discussion about how to successfully deal with the ongoing influx of refugees to Canada and Germany.   H.E Amb. Stephane Dion emphasized that Canada is a society built on immigration and it continues to see diversity not as a threat, but as an opportunity.  These ideas were among viewpoints expressed by not only the panel but also by members of the audience.  This event was a rare opportunity to address important issues with people who are truly experts in the field.

When asked what she hoped to achieve with this film, Ann Shin replied that she had hoped to spark discussion about migrants and the challenges they face, which was the outcome of the night's event.  That is Cultural Diplomacy at its finest.

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