Refugees Are Changing the Land of Ikea and Abba

The Reshaping of Sweden's Social and Political Model

“Which color?” asked the officer, who sat on the other side of the solid table.

“What?” I answered cautiously.

The state representative, whom I met on a gray February day in early 1990 at the Swedish consulate in Zurich, where I studied at that time, became louder: “What color does the toothbrush have?”

I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by this question and responded, whispering, “The color of my toothbrush?”

“No sir,” he screamed back, “the one of your girlfriend!”

I do not remember the ending of this uneven conversation …

More In: European Refugees

Europe Has a Problem With Immigrants, Not With Islam

Reforming Schools and Labor Laws Would Help a Lot More Than Fixating on Religion

In Germany last month, the debate over Europe’s growing Muslim population reached a fever pitch. More than 100 robberies and sexual assaults were reported in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, …

Why Cologne Will Keep Welcoming Refugees

The Assaults on New Year’s Eve Have Made My Hometown Anxious About Safety, but I Worry More About Our Sanity

The pastry shop Cup Cakes Cologne has put two fancy cakes in its shop window. One cake shows German chancellor Angela Merkel in the style of a red angel. The …

For Refugees, Home Is a Place Called Never

Having Fled Sarajevo as a Child, I Find It Hard Telling Syrians There Is No Going Back

I recognized Basel immediately when the shot cut to a group of refugees standing in the rain, and he turned to look briefly at the camera. I was at home …

Learning in the Midst of a Humanitarian Crisis

In Its Struggle to Respond to a Massive Surge of Refugees, the EU Needs a More Collaborative and Global Approach

Europe’s current refugee crisis offers many good examples for how to better deal with the 19 million refugees around the world—and a host of hard lessons about mistakes to avoid, …

What Does the Refugee Crisis Mean for the European Ideal?

This Should Have Been the European Union's Finest Moment

Refugees cling to crowded boats and cross borders by train and by foot, unsure of whether they will be met by unyielding force or warm empathy. It’s as if history …