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Last Group of 108 Palestinian Refugees Is Received in Brazil

Jordan Refugees A last group of Palestinian refugees arrived in Brazil this Tuesday, November 6. They landed at the Guarulhos International Airport, in the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo, and headed to the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

The eight-person group is, in fact, a family whose matriarch is Rashida Qassem Mahmoud, 77 years old. She should have come with the previous group, which arrived on October 19th. But Rashida preferred to wait for the rest of the family: her daughter, her four grandsons, her daughters-in-law, and her great-granddaughter Nivin, who is only two years old.

Rashida was separated from her family. For the last four years, she lived in the Al Rwashid refugee camp, in Jordan, while her family was in another camp in Syria.

Now, Rashida's family will go through the same procedure as the other Palestinian refugees that were received in Brazil. In total, there are 108 people spread throughout five cities in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and in Mogi das Cruzes, a city in the interior of the state of São Paulo.

The decision of receiving the group was made on May this year by the National Committee for Refugees (Conare), presided by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.

The refugee reception and resettling work is being carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in partnership with non-government organizations Cáritas Brasileira, and Associação Antônio Vieira (ASAV).

For a period of two years, they are going to receive support for rental, for purchasing furniture, and material aid, in addition to Portuguese classes, which are mandatory. The children should start attending schools in 2008.

The family of Rashida was received by the coordinator at the resettling project in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Karin Kaid Wapechowski, a member of Associação Antônio Vieira.

She came accompanied by Hayat Saleh, a Palestinian who has already been living in Brazil for 27 years. Rashida and her group are going to live in the city of Venâncio Aires, 130 kilometers away from the capital Porto Alegre.

First off, though, they will stay in the capital for a week to undergo a medical and dental check-up, and to take cultural orientation lessons, so as to know more about the state and the city that they are going to live in.

According to Karin, the Palestinians who are already in Rio Grande do Sul, and who came in three trips in September and October, are undergoing an adaptation phase, but many are already integrating themselves into the local communities, especially with the Palestinians and descendents, who have a strong presence in the state.

Anba

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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Hong Lee

    Paul,your comment sound like it come from an ignorant.Palestinians,Arabs or middle-eastern are never poor for too long.In fact they can be an important economical asset by creating employment for Brazilians.One Lebanese or Palestinian can create 10 jobs because they are hard worker with middle east connections.Lula care about poor Brazilians and he know why he invite those Palestinians.

  • Paul Oliphant

    Paul
    How can Brazil possibly take in refugees when the country can not even feed all of its own people?
    Shouldn’t Brazil first try to fix their own problems, maybe try and get their poor out of the slums into govenment housing, before they go out and try and save the world? I just don’t understand how such an undeveloped nation can go about thinking it can take in an influx of refugees. It doen not make sence

  • swissoutofbrazil

    HEY Ch.c ! Where are you?
    Like I said before Swiss are all liars and criminals by nature. Close the embassy and kick them all out of the country!!!!!! Invade that shitty country and make a big parking lot out of it!

  • SOMETHING STINKS IN HERE!!!!!

    HOW CAN BRAZZIL MAG BE THE ONLY NEWS ORG THAT DIDN’T PLUBLISHED ALL THIS ARTICLES???
    Brazil investigates UBS, Credit Suisse, AIG in money laundering probe
    À‚·Buy This Report
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    11/06/2007 04:03:08 PM EST
    AP WorldStream English (all)

    SAO PAULO, Brazil_Police detained 19 people Tuesday for allegedly taking part in a scheme to help large Brazilian companies evade taxes by laundering money through two major Swiss banks and U.S.-based American International Group Inc., the world’s largest insurer.
    The raids at 44 sites in four states were part of a clampdown by Brazilian authorities on tax evasion that last month led to raids on the local offices of U.S. network-equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc.
    Two Swiss nationals were taken into custody Tuesday _ one of them a Swiss-based employee of UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, the company said. Authorities were seeking the arrest of another foreigner currently outside of Brazil, but did not disclose that person’s nationality.
    Detectives also seized over US$4 million (Àƒ‚À¢‚¬2.75 million) in Brazilian and U.S. currency, said Ricardo Saadi, the federal police detective in charge of the investigation.
    He declined to name the banks under investigation, but federal judge Fausto Martin de Sanctis in a statement identified the financial institutions under investigation as UBS, Credit Suisse Group, AIG and Clariden, a unit of Credit Suisse.
    “We’re still gathering the facts, but we’re not aware of any wrongdoing by any AIG private bank employee,” said Chris Winans, spokesman for New York-based AIG.
    Messages left seeking comment with UBS and Credit Suisse, both based in Zurich, were not immediately returned, though a UBS spokeswoman acknowledged before the judge identified the banks that the employee had been detained.
    Saadi said the alleged scheme the involved the movement of as much as 7 million reals (US$4.1 million; Àƒ‚À¢‚¬2.8 million) a month out of Brazil for big companies seeking to avoid taxes.
    The Brazilian companies, which Saadi declined to name because of secrecy laws, deposited the funds into overseas accounts via black-market money changers with accounts in Brazil and abroad. The companies used the money hidden abroad to buy merchandise in the United States and China that was then shipped to Brazil, he said.
    Saadi estimated that the companies may have avoided as much as 1 billion reals (US$588 million; Àƒ‚À¢‚¬404 million) in taxes over the last 18 months.
    UBS spokeswoman Rebeca Garcia declined to identify the detained employee, but said he works for the company’s wealth management and business banking division. UBS is trying to find out why he was detained in Sao Paulo during a business trip to Brazil, said Garcia, who declined further comment.
    Saadi said those arrested Tuesday have not been charged but can be detained for at least five days while authorities continue investigating and prosecutors evaluate the case. The 19 arrested Tuesday included the two Swiss nationals and 17 Brazilians ranging from company owners and executives to money changers, he said.
    Tax evasion in Brazil has enormous economic impact that is now becoming a government priority.
    “There’s been capital flight out of Brazil for a long time, but the Brazilians are absolutely starting to pay attention to this,” said Keith Prager, who specializes in investigations in the Latin American financial services sector for the U.S.-based Corporate Resolutions Inc.
    Saadi said the investigation into the banks began after seven Credit Suisse executives were detained last year in Brazil in a money laundering probe.
    The earlier investigation, known as “Operation Switzerland,” focused on whether the executives illegally transferred large sums of money overseas for Brazilian clients. Saadi did not provide an update on the probe involving Credit Suisse Group.
    Tuesday’s detentions came three weeks after federal agents and tax authorities raided the Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices of Cisco, alleging the U.S. company benefited from a scheme to avoid duties on products shipped from tax havens to Brazil.
    Four Cisco employees were detained, then released. Cisco denied it acted inappropriately, saying it does not import products directly into Brazil.

  • SOMETHING STINKS IN HERE!!!!!

    HOW CAN BRAZZIL MAG BE THE ONLY NEWS ORG THAT DIDN’T PLUBLISHED ALL THIS ARTICLES???
    Brazil targets Swiss banks in money laundering probe
    Two Swiss nationals were taken into custody Tuesday _ one of them a Swiss-based employee of UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, the company said. Authorities were seeking the arrest of another foreigner currently outside of Brazil, but did not disclose that person’s nationality.
    Detectives also seized over US$4 million (Àƒ‚À¢‚¬2.75 million) in Brazilian and U.S. currency, said Ricardo Saadi, the federal police detective in charge of the investigation
    He declined to name the banks under investigation or the home country of the third bank, but said they helped move as much as 7 million reals (US$4.1 million; Àƒ‚À¢‚¬2.8 million) a month out of Brazil for companies seeking to avoid taxes.

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