08:54 GMT25 January 2020
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    A German firm has purportedly sent an internal letter to a candidate instead of issuing a polite formal reply, and thereby sparked a debate over these attitudes being common in a country hit by a severe migration crisis several years ago.

    A large Berlin-based architecture firm found itself in hot water on Wednesday after their way too straightforward response to a job candidate that he shared on his Facebook.

    “No Arabs please”, the employer, which brags about a multinational staff on its website and has a second office in China, emailed Yaseen Gabr, a man of Egyptian descent, and the story instantly started a far-reaching journey all across social media.

    The firm called GKK+Architekten and founded back in 2000 features 30 flags on its website signifying the ethnicity of those working at the company, did not deny the incident but said “a misunderstanding” had occurred due to the message being “cut short” and “taken out of context”.

    The company didn’t explain how exactly the message was “misleadingly” shortened or what the misunderstanding consisted of.

    "The cornerstone of our success is diversity, internationality, and our intercultural teams”, the firm stated going on to note that the reason why they hadn’t accepted Gabr for the vacancy is because he didn’t have the skills they were looking for.

    The company said they had offered him their apologies for the rejection letter, which was apparently sent to him by mistake.

    Netizens instantly rushed to social networks to express their disdain.

    “Worst rejection letter”, one posted adding she is overly sad about “this happening in Germany”. Many echoed the sentiment:

    …while some suggested the matter should be effectively overhauled by German state and given sufficient media attention:

    Some, however, agreed, the choice of words like “misunderstanding” was odd:

    According to the country’s Federal Employment Agency, of the 2.27 million unemployed persons in Germany in 2019, 46 percent were not ethnic Germans, and that immigrants account for 23 percent of the population.

    Another annual report, by Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, the country’s levels of racist discrimination in the workplace exceed EU data. For example, across the bloc, in 9 percent of cases there is registered discrimination among people of African descent, while in Germany the number is 14 percent.

    The controversy over the migration issue has reached its climax since in 2015, Germany took in over one million refugees from Africa and Middle East amid the severe European migration crisis, as part of what Chancellor Merkel called an “open-door policy” – something that was one of the reasons for the rift in the governing coalition and a big public outcry.

    In 2018, to mitigate the row, the German interior ministry set up so-called “transfer centres” and “anchor” bases to keep and process migrants who had illegally crossed into the country, with deportations now being carried out by separate German states under the supervision of the federal police.


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