The National Archive of Catalonia to incorporate more than 30 years of material about exiled people

The National Archives of Catalonia will include over 30 years of material about exilement into their archives on Monday. The documentation will present Catalonia?s perspective on exilement, regarding people who left the country and people who arrived from

CNA / Sarah Garrahan

June 22, 2010 12:49 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- The National Archives of Catalonia (Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya) will incorporate more than 30 years of documentation about exiles this Monday, said the Catalan Secretary of Immigration Oriol Amorós. The addition coincides with the International Day of Refugees. Amorós stated that Catalans see their country as a “land of political asylum and freedom”. The celebration was held at the Santa Àgata Chapel in Barcelona’s Plaça del Rei, where Algerian refugee Fatima Allache and Catalan refugee Amèlia Trueca were in attendance. There are currently more than 43 million refugees around the world.


Amarós led the event along with the Barcelona’s Commissioner for Immigration, Daniel de Torres, and Barcelona’s Councillor for Welfare and Territorial Cohesion, Imma Moraleda. Moraleda has referred to the new law of reception which has entered into force this year. This law defines Catalan nation as a land of reception. “The development of a country is the development of its liberties”, said Amarós.

Also present at the celebration was international politics journalist Maria Rosa Calaf, who introduced the stories of two refugees: Algerian Fatima Allache and Catalan Amèlia Trueca, who was exiled to the United Kingdom during the Spanish Civil War.

Calaf opened her speech with a quote from a global trends report carried out by the Catalan Government. “There are currently over 43 million refugees around the world, an amount equivalent to 26 times the population of Barcelona” she stated. The main receptive countries are Pakistan and Iran, due to their geographic position, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the main emitter countries include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, and Sri Lanka.

Calaf graphically exposed the position of the Spanish State on the issue of political asylum, expressing that they only accept 11 of every 100 cases of asylum that they receive. The principal countries seeking political asylum in Spain are Nigeria, Somalia, and Morocco. At the event, Calaf invited refugees to stand up and tell their personal histories of exilement.

Fatima Allache, Algerian refugee: “Moderate Islam is a host to fundamentalism”

Fatima Allache, an Algerian refugee who works as a professor and collaborator with various feminist groups, escaped her country after receiving extremist threats. “The extremism in Algeria does not come from Algerians”, explained Allache. With the arrival of pan-arabianism, extremism started to grow until it became like a new religion in Algeria. The situation has changed since I left. There is still fundamentalism, but it’s more hidden”.

Alleche stated that “after fighting French colonialism for more than 100 years”, Algeria has come to a new ideological current. “Moderate Islam is now a host to fundamentalism”, said Alleche. The case of Catalan refugee Amèlia Trueca was very different. “I was exiled with my father. I was 11 years old when we went to the United Kingdom”.