The past few weeks zipped by in a blur of constant travel. I took more planes and trains than I’ve ever had in the span of three weeks as I travelled twice to the Middle East for work and to France for vacation.
Due to the terrorist attack at the Brussels airport, these journeys took much longer than usual as some of my flights were cancelled or re-directed to nearby cities. Which was understandable and one just has to adapt to it.
I was in Doha on 22 March. A colleague told me that there had been an explosion at the airport when we stepped out during a break at the conference. I thought she was joking or maybe I had misheard something. It didn’t seem real.
But I wasn’t surprised that this had happened. It was only a matter of time.
I’ve been living in Brussels for more than four years. I’m often struck by how segregated the city and its inhabitants are. There is much poverty in and around the city. For instance, one can see and feel the anger and anti-social sentiment when walking through the city centre where shop windows are constantly smashed for no reason.
The hours and days that followed 22 March were cloaked in a surreal haze. My consciousness was absorbed with every news update on the attacks.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
I’m deeply saddened by these atrocities. What upsets me more is knowing that this is not the end. That things will get worse, not just in Belgium or Europe, but also in the rest of the world including in Africa and Asia.
What can we ordinary citizens of the world do? Let’s keep our minds and hearts open. Life must goes on.