-- The Other France
- George Packer, The New Yorker
, Aug. 31, 2015
"For all their vitality, the banlieues
feel isolated from the city, and from France itself. Parisians and tourists rarely visit them, and residents complain that journalists drop in only to report on car burnings and drug shootings. The suburb Clichy-sous-Bois—the scene, in 2005, of youth riots that spread across the country—has tried to raise revenue by offering a tour de banlieue
for curious outsiders. Many suburban residents, meanwhile, never even think of going to Paris. Compared with American slums, the banlieues
have relatively decent standards of housing and safety, but the psychological distance between the 93 and the Champs-Elysées can feel insuperable—much greater than that between the Bronx and Times Square. The apartment blocks in the cités
, often arranged around a pharmacy, a convenience store, and a fast-food joint, look inward. Many have no street addresses, obvious points of entry, or places to park. The sense of separation is heightened by the names of the surrounding streets and schools, preserved from a historical France that has little connection to residents’ lives. The roads around Gros Saule—a drug-ridden cité
where the police dare not enter—include Rue Henri Matisse and Rue Claude Debussy."
-- From Brighton to the battlefield: how four young Britons were drawn to jihad
- Mark Townsend, The Guardian
, Mar. 31, 2016
"Less than a week later, Einas was travelling on the number 27 bus from Brighton with Amer and his brothers when a group of youths surrounded them. Leaning towards the family the mob made throat slitting gestures and told them: “You are dead.” On 11 September, shortly after nightfall, a large group of youths congregated in the front garden, hurling bottles, bricks and stones at the house, smashing the dining room window. On 14 September, one of the twins received anonymous threats on Facebook and the Deghayes’s house and car were attacked again. On 22 September, when walking home from school, the twins were ambushed by a group wearing balaclavas. During the assault, Abdullah was stamped repeatedly on the head and kicked in the ribs."