She’s Sarkozy’s voice in French slums

Fadela Amara, a daughter of Algerian migrants, rises as an outspoken, leftist minister of urban affairs in France amidst Nicolas Sarkozy’s controversial comments and proposals relating to immigrants in France. Citing that exploitation is rife, Amara is fighting the proposal to legitimize a French citizenry by requiring immigrants to submit to DNA tests in order to prove they have relatives in France. Amara is encouraging youth from immigrant families and suburban slums to embrace a more inclusionary role in French identity.

Sarkozy’s government faces test in the French suburbs

PARIS (AFP) – President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government turns its sights on the troubled suburbs this week, launching a nationwide drive for a new plan that would give immigrant youth a stake in changing France. Nearly two years after the “banlieues” exploded into rioting, Sarkozy has tasked his urban affairs minister and outspoken rights activist Fadela Amara with drafting a set of measures to address joblessness and discrimination. The daughter of Algerian immigrants who grew up in one of France’s rundown housing projects, Amara has released a rough draft of what she has dubbed an “anti-loafing” plan to prevent bored and excluded youth from rebelling.

Sarkozy reshuffles French government

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday sent a strong signal to France’s disaffected minorities by appointing an outspoken advocate of Muslim women and a woman of Senegalese origin Tuesday to his government – among France’s most diverse ever. As junior minister for city policy, feminist activist Fadela Amara will oversee the renovation of dilapidated housing estates where many immigrants live – neighborhoods similar to the one she grew up in with her Algerian immigrant parents. Senegalese-born Rama Yade was appointed to a new post of junior minister for human rights, an area Sarkozy has identified as a priority for his month-old government, which he reshuffled and expanded Tuesday after his governing conservative party did not fare as well as expected in weekend parliamentary elections.