From Iceland — Ask Not What Immigration Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Immigration

Ask Not What Immigration Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Immigration

Published June 30, 2006

The Grapevine has long been a strong advocate of the immigrant population in Iceland. We have brought you news from the immigrant community, we have covered important subjects that relate to immigrants, and we have questioned politicians for their stand on immigrant issues. This time, we go a step further, as one of our own, journalist Paul F. Nikolov, takes the first step towards organizing a political party, for the immigrants, by the immigrants, right here on the pages of the Grapevine.

Paul’s initiative could be viewed as an answer to the poor representation of the immigrant community in the recent municipal elections. It could also be viewed as an answer to a recent Gallup poll suggesting that a third of the nation might support an anti-immigration party. Seeing that in Reykjavík, the number of immigrants with voting rights exceeded 5,000, an immigrant party might be a real political force on the municipal level. There are also large immigrant communities in other areas of Iceland so the party could realistically be formed on a national level. I urge immigrants here in Iceland, and those interested in immigrants’ issues to contact Paul and help the project off the ground.

Apart from breaking new ground in the political landscape, this issue is focused on the Icelandic heritage. The Grapevine’s journalists celebrated the Independence Day on June 17, visited the Viking Festival in Hafnafjörður, and took a tour of historical sites from the Icelandic Sagas. We also enjoyed a good conversation with Scottish crime novelist Ian Rankin, and traveled to Greenland. I guess we could have done more, but the World Cup is still the main agenda around the office. I’m still bummed by the fact that our lovely national team didn’t make it to the final competition in Germany, but I’d like to thank them for taking the time to pose for our cover.

At last, in the last issue, we misstated that Mikael Torfason is the editor of the gossip weekly Hér og Nú. The truth is that Torfason is the editor of the slightly less cheesy Séð og Heyrt. Or is it the other way around? I keep getting those confused. In any case, this has now been corrected… I think.

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