Germany Prints Its Constitution in Arabic for Refugees to Learn

Madeline Chambers, Reuters, September 30, 2015

Germany has translated the first 20 articles of the country’s constitution, which outline basic rights like freedom of speech, into Arabic for refugees to help them integrate.

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Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, also chairman of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), told Bild daily that refugees were welcome but that they have to make an effort to fit in.

“People who come here must not only learn the German language, but also learn the rules of the game of living together,” Gabriel told the newspaper.

“I am convinced that the first 20 articles of our constitution are what shape our culture,” he said, adding Germany had printed 10,000 copies for distribution among refugees at registration centers.

Germany’s “Basic Law” was adopted in 1949 and sets out the principles which underpin the legal system and the division of power between central government and 16 regional states.

“No one is forced, when he comes to Germany, to change his religion, to alter his private life. But what is important for our culture is that the principles of our democratic society apply to everyone,” Gabriel added.

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