WBEZ | Iceland http://www.wbez.org/tags/iceland Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Icelanders say they want to house Syrian refugees — but in Greece the government and residents are overwhelmed http://www.wbez.org/news/icelanders-say-they-want-house-syrian-refugees-%E2%80%94-greece-government-and-residents-are <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RTX1P1HW.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Iceland&#39;s government announced that it was only willing to take in 50 Syrian refugees during the next two years, Reykjavík resident Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir got angry.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Fifty people is not even a good wedding party,&quot; she says.&nbsp;</p><p>So Björgvinsdóttir created a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1481734488816658/1481836258806481/" target="_blank">Facebook event page</a>, where some 10,000 of her fellow Icelanders offered their homes, as well as food and clothing to Syrians on the run. &nbsp;</p><p>&quot;The idea is to show we can raise that number from 50 to 100 to 500, even 5,000,&quot; she says. &quot;One man offered a house with 11 bathrooms. People just really want to do something.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>But Björgvinsdóttir&#39;s Facebook page has also attracted skeptics, who argued that extending a welcome&nbsp;to refugees only encourages vulnerable populations to&nbsp;risk their lives in rickety boats or as stowaways.</p><p>Others who commented on the website were hateful.</p><p>&quot;Tell us the date when you&#39;ll leave Islam, we can talk about immigration then,&quot; one post reads.</p><p>For her own part, Björgvinsdóttir says she can&#39;t offer Syrians shelter since she lives with her parents. But she&#39;s teamed up with a friend who says he has enough extra space to house five refugees fleeing Syria&#39;s war. Björgvinsdóttir has promised to pay the costs of plane tickets for the five Syrians.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t think it&#39;s that much for five lives,&quot; she says.</p><p>Meanwhile, further south in the Greek island of Lesbos, residents have been facing a sharp increase in the number of refugees arriving on the island&rsquo;s shore. Greece has called on governments in northern Europe, places like Iceland, to help relieve the pressure.</p><p>According to Kirk Day, the emergency field director on Lesbos with the International Rescue Committee, 4,000 refugees arrived on the island last Saturday alone.</p><p>Similar numbers made it there on Sunday.&nbsp;Day says the situation is &ldquo;near complete chaos.&rdquo;</p><p>He says the town of Mytilini&nbsp;has a population of around 30,000.</p><p>&ldquo;One out of every four or more people that you see are refugees,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;&ldquo;People are sleeping on the sidewalks, alleyways and parks.&rdquo;</p><p>But while the situation has left Mytilini residents overwhelmed, Day says that for some businesses, the refugee influx has been good. That&rsquo;s because many of them have brought with them their entire life savings and some have been spending that money on food and lodging.</p><p>But on the whole, the tiny island can&rsquo;t handle the&nbsp;sheer number of people.</p><p>&ldquo;If you take five years of austerity measures and you take the most recent financial crisis and their consequences, then how well-suited do we think an administrative structure should be on this remote island to handle this massive influx of refugees?&rdquo; Day asks.</p><p>While the Greeks have been feeling pressure from the large number of refugees, things certainly haven&rsquo;t been easy for the refugees, either.&nbsp;Many, Day says, never wanted to leave their country in the first place.</p><p>&ldquo;The Syrians love their country and they don&rsquo;t want to necessarily leave, but they say that there were simply no way that they and their families could live safely in their homes,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-09-01/icelanders-say-they-want-house-syrian-refugees-greece-government-and-residents" target="_blank"><em>The World</em></a></p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/icelanders-say-they-want-house-syrian-refugees-%E2%80%94-greece-government-and-residents-are How the NATO peoples helped settle Chicago, Part 2 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/how-nato-peoples-helped-settle-chicago-part-2-99028 <p><p>Today we continue the capsule stories of how people from the 28 NATO countries helped build Chicago. The final part will be posted tomorrow.</p><p><strong>Albania</strong>—Chicago has never had a large Albanian population, and no real Albanian neighborhoods. The most prominent local person of Albanian ancestry was probably comedian John Belushi, who grew up in Wheaton.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Albania-St.%20Nicholas.JPG" title="St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church--2701 N. Narragansett Ave."></div><p><strong>Croatia</strong>—Because Croatia didn’t become independent until 1991, Chicago’s Croatians were commonly classified as “Yugoslavians.” Most of the local community life was centered around a few parishes, such as St. Jerome’s in Armour Square. Mayor Michael Bilandic and Alderman Ed Vrdolyak are the city’s most famous Croatians.</p><p><strong>Denmark</strong>—Most of the Chicago’s earliest Danish immigrants settled along the axis of Milwaukee Avenue, close to other Scandinavians. By 1910 there were nearly 20,000 Danes in the city, the majority of them located near North Avenue in Humboldt Park. From there the newer generations moved northwest and gradually dispersed.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Denmark-Danish%20Home.jpg" title="The Danish Home--5656 N. Newcastle Ave."></div><p><strong>Greece</strong>—Greeks began arriving in the city as early as 1840. By the turn of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century, a thriving community called the Delta was established around the area of Harrison and Halsted. Unlike most other ethnic groups, a large percentage of Greek immigrants remained in America only long enough to make their fortune, then returned to their native land. But enough of them stayed to make Chicago’s Greek settlement one of the country’s biggest.</p><p>Today over 100,000 people of Greek descent live in metro Chicago. During the 1960s, the new University of Illinois campus displaced many residents, and the Greek community dispersed to such areas as Lincoln Square. However, a remnant of the city’s historic Greektown remains on the Near West Side, along Halsted just north of the university. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Iceland</strong>—In all the years I’ve been in Chicago, I’ve only known one person of Icelandic descent. It was the early 1970s, and she lived near Diversey and Central—which you might say made Cragin the city’s Icelandic neighborhood. If there are any more Icelanders out there, let me know.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Norway-Rockne%20%28LofC%29.jpg" style="float: right; height: 339px; width: 250px;" title="A Norwegian immigrant to Chicago: Knute Rockne (Library of Congress)"></div><p><strong>Norway</strong>—Norwegians were among the earliest immigrants to put down roots in Chicago. They lived along Milwaukee Avenue, mainly in Logan Square. By 1900 there were over 40,000 Norwegians in Chicago, including future football legend Knute Rockne. Though the community is no longer concentrated in one area, a Norwegian Constitution Day Parade is staged annually in Park Ridge.</p><p><strong>Poland</strong>—Chicago’s first wave of Polish immigrants started arriving in the 1850s. They settled on the near Northwest Side. St. Stanislaus Kostka parish was founded in 1864, and as more people came, other churches were built. Business, cultural, and political organizations sprang up. The area near Milwaukee and Division became known as Polish Downtown.</p><p>During the 20<sup>th</sup> century, Poles began moving up Milwaukee Avenue toward Niles. Meanwhile, Polish enclaves developed in Back of the Yards, South Chicago, Hegewisch, and other areas. The Poles became the city’s largest ethnic group, and Chicago was said to be "the second biggest Polish city in the world."</p><p>Today the Chicago area counts about 1.5 million people of Polish ancestry. The community has dispersed, though many Poles still live along the Milwaukee Avenue corridor. The Polish Museum of America is located near the onetime Polish Downtown.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Poland-family%20group%2C%201907.jpg" title="Polish family group, 1907. (Author's collection)"></div><p><strong>Portugal</strong>—Portugal sent an official delegation to the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Yet as late as 1940 there were only 47 Portuguese residents in all of Cook County. The current metro population is said to be about 3,000.</p><p><strong>Spain</strong>—Though Chicago’s Hispanic community is large, the number of ethnic Spaniards has always been very small. The latest estimate puts the number of Spaniards in the Chicago metro area at about 500.</p></p> Wed, 16 May 2012 07:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/how-nato-peoples-helped-settle-chicago-part-2-99028 Proposed European credit rating agency set to give American “big three” competition http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/proposed-european-credit-rating-agency-set-give-american-%E2%80%9Cbig-three%E2%80%9D-com <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-21/german.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>American credit ratings agencies recently downgraded Greece, Portugal and Ireland’s debt to junk status, making it harder for the EU to avoid an economic meltdown. In Europe, there’s growing discontent over these agencies’ unchecked power. Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the creation of a new European credit ratings agency.</p><p><a href="http://www.rolandberger.com/expertise/experts/expert_profile/rbsc-exp-Markus_Krall.html" target="_blank">Markus Krall</a>, an economist at Roland Burger in Germany who's leading the effort, tells us how it would work.</p></p> Thu, 21 Jul 2011 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/proposed-european-credit-rating-agency-set-give-american-%E2%80%9Cbig-three%E2%80%9D-com Play the 'Worldview' names quiz! http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-30/play-worldview-names-quiz-88560 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-30/800px-Caf_babies.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It's the last day of the pledge drive, which means one thing on <em>Worldview</em>: it's quiz time. Today, we'll test your knowledge of names around the world. We're taking about societies with first names, surnames, patronymic names and just one name.</p><p><em>Worldview </em>producer Alexandra Salomon also has a special request. She's in her third trimester of pregnancy, and she still doesn’t have a name for the baby. To solve this conundrum, we’re asking you to name the child! Her only criteria: it can’t be an American name, but it has to be a moniker Americans can say. Call us at <strong>312.923.9239</strong> to play along and take a crack at naming Alexandra’s baby!</p><p><a href="http://www.polisci.northwestern.edu/people/winters.html" target="_blank">Jeffrey Winters</a> joins in on the fun. He's a political science professor at Northwestern University and expert on Indonesia, including, unofficially, Indonesian naming traditions.</p></p> Thu, 30 Jun 2011 14:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-30/play-worldview-names-quiz-88560