Sneha Girap


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Country  France
Area  59,221
Region  Ile-de-France
Mayor  Francois Pupponi

Sarcelles is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 16.3 km (10.1 mi) from the center of Paris. Sarcelles is a sub-prefecture of the Val-dOise department and the seat of the Arrondissement of Sarcelles.


Map of Sarcelles

In the south of the commune, during the 1950s and 1960s, HLMs were built in order to accommodate pieds-noirs (that is French settlers from Algeria) and Jews, who left Algeria due to the Algerian War of Independence. A few Jews from Egypt settled there after the Suez crisis, and Jews from Tunisia and Morocco settled in Sarcelles after unrest and riots against Jews due to the Six-Day War and to the Yom Kippur War.


Sarcelles is served by Garges – Sarcelles station on Paris RER line D.

It is also served by Sarcelles – Saint-Brice station on the Transilien Paris – Nord suburban rail line. This station, although administratively located on the territory of the neighboring commune of Saint-Brice-sous-Foret, lies in fact very near the town center of Sarcelles.


The majority of the inhabitants of the town are pieds-noirs from Northwest Africa who immigrated to France in the 1960s. Sarcelles is also home to a vibrant Jewish community and the largest concentration of Assyrians in France.

Rahsaan Maxwell, author of Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, stated that compared to other French communities, the ethnic minorities in Sarcelles have more influence, so therefore "Sarcelles should not be considered representative of cities across metropolitan France". Residents believe that there is a "Sarcelles identity," meaning any ethnic group can be a part of the city, and they believe it lowers levels of crime and violence.

Compared to other parts of France, ethnic minorities in Sarcelles gained political power at a faster rate, with gains made in the 1980s instead of the 1990s and 2000s. Many politicians catered to minority demands sooner since many immigrants, especially Caribbeans and Sephardic Jews, had French citizenship. Francois Pupponi, the mayor in the 2000s, catered to immigrants. He dedicated monuments highlighting histories of ethnic groups, funding organizations that offer events for specific ethnic groups such as Arabic and Hindi language classes, and permitted the use of public facilities for religious events. Pupponi argued that this style is the best method of giving many ethnic groups one sense of community. Critics argued that funding groups catering to specific ethnic groups promotes segregation.

As of 2008 8.7% of the population was of Caribbean in origins. As of 2012 many of the ethnic Caribbean residents have French citizenship.

By the 1970s area Caribbeans became more interested in changing politics, and by then they were residing in the city for a longer period of time. By the 1980s Guy Guyoubli, a local activist, organized an almost-all-Caribbean protest list. Maxwellwrote that this demonstrated that Caribbeans had serious intentions of participating in the political system, even though there were no representatives elected from the lists. At the time ethnic minorities across Metropolitan France were increasingly trying to influence the political system. The citys first ever two Caribbean councilors were elected in 1989. Around 1989 Raymond Lamontagne, the mayor, opened Metropolitan Frances first ever Caribbean-oriented, council-funded community center.

In the 1950s and 1960s Maghrebians began to arrive in Sarcelles. Political organization came in subsequent decades. Originally the Muslims worshipped in converted makeshift areas, but later purpose-built mosques appeared. In the 1990s Maghrebians were first elected to the commune council. Maxwell wrote that Maghrebians began obtaining "key positions" only in the recent vicinity of 2012 due to "low turnout and weak community organizations".

A memorial to Assyro-Chaldean victims of the 1915 Assyrian genocide was dedicated in 2005. Part of the film The Last Assyrians features the Assyrian community.

Sarcelles gained a large population of Sephardic Jews as a consequence of the post-WWII Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries. As of 2012 many of the Jewish residents have French citizenship.

During the peak immigration of Sephardic Jews, they subscribed to a belief in assimilation and secularism and they had the North African belief of what Michel Wieviorka and Philippe Bataille, authors of The Lure of Anti-Semitism: Hatred of Jews in Present-Day France, describe as "a structuring role" that "does not cover all aspects of social life". Beginning in the 1980s, religion became more public and important, and Wieviorka and Bataille stated that the previous North African practice is "becoming mixed up with the neo-Orthodox practices of the young people for whom religion controls everything."

In 1983 there was a wave of councilors who were Sephardic Jews.


In 2012 Maxwell stated that "petty crime" and vandalism became consistent issues and that "violent confrontations" between black migrants, Maghrebians, and Jews was "a recurring theme". He added that by 2012 the commune had "developed a reputation as one of the more dangerous Paris suburbs." Maxwell wrote that local residents told him that the reputation was overblown.

Maxwell wrote that during the 2005 France Riots a report concluded that the damage to buildings in Sarcelles was "relatively moderate" and that a later report concluded that compared to most cities, Sarcelles had fewer days of severe riots. He also stated that local residents characterized the damage as "not as bad as elsewhere and not as bad as one might have expected given Sarcelless economic and ethnic profile."

International relations

Sarcelles is twinned with:

  • Netanya, Israel, since 1988
  • Hattersheim, Germany, since 1987


The community has six public colleges and two public lycees. The latter are Lycee Polyvalent de La Tourelle and Lycee Polyvalent J.J. Rousseau.

The Bibliotheque intercommunale Anna Langfus is located in Sarcelles. This library has over 60,000 items and is divided between an adults section and a childrens section. In addition the Espace Musique Mel Bonis is in Sarcelles.




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