French Community Of New York:
All Except The Desert
By Arnaud Thieffry,
President, UFE New York
After learning about the efforts of Ms Laetitia
of June 29, 2002) to create a new network for the French of
New York, I decided that it was necessary to clarify a few issues.
While congratulating Ms Longuefosse on her initiative,
I would like to point out that she has not created anything new.
Had she checked the websites of the Consulate of
France, and of the Committee of Associations, she would have noticed
that there are more than 45 French associations in New York, which
represent many groups for information (UFE, UFEU, ADFE), regional
(Breton, Corsican, Norman, Alsatian, Provencal, Corréziens),
professional (civils servant, banks, large schools, lawyers, engineers,
restoration, etc), générationnel (LAge dOr,
CJFA), philosophical (loges maçonniques), educational (colleges,
parents délèves) and Charity (Entraide française,
aumônerie catholique, Accueil New York)
The majority of these associations are online and
they have very informative Internet sites, which allow French people
to get information about life in New York and to communicate amongst
themselves (meetings, employment, small advertisements, etc).
Thus, Ms Longuefosse comments, such as "we
do not have a French community, only some dispersed groups that
do not manage to meet", show that she did not recently attend
the picnic of Vatel Club (400 people), the official reception of
"Philantrophique" (350 people), the dinner of the Committee
of Associations 7th anniversary, nor many the other activities of
individual associations, which would enable her to note "exchanges
of smiling, calling cards or simple division of French culture and
However, of course, I give her credit for the activities
of the national festival
Ms Longuefosse seems to believe that with a little
effort, she will gather 50,000 French people living in New York.
If that is true, she has to know the fact that from those 50,000
French, only 20,000 are registered with the French consulate, and
more than 70 percent of these 20,000 do not show for the elections.
Translated from French by Elias Saber
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