The Journey into Europe team recently arrived in Marseille, France where Dr. Amineh Hoti sat down with Messaouda Akacha, a social activist in the Muslim community who interacts with the media in order to improve relations between communities. Having just finished her master’s degree, she is interested in further studies and continuing her work in interfaith dialogue. Messaouda discussed her Algerian background, the Muslim community in Marseille, and the challenges Muslims face in France.
Marseille, the second city of France, is the major port in southern France lying on the Mediterranean Sea. It has a storied role in French history, with volunteers from Marseille in the French Revolution coining the French national anthem, Le Marseillasse. This ancient city has had a long history of immigration to its shores, especially from former French colonies. Currently, there are roughly 300,000 Muslims living in Marseille, largely from North Africa, which makes them over 30% of the population of the city.