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French Community Of New York: All Except The Desert
From France-Amerique

By Arnaud Thieffry,
President, UFE New York

After learning about the efforts of Ms Laetitia Longuefosse (France-Amerique 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 (L’Age d’Or, CJFA), philosophical (loges maçonniques), educational (colleges, parents d’élèves) 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 language".

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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