I’m angry. Brussels is my city. I lived there for five years. I have many friends there.
For the first time since the London bombings on 7th July 2005, I’ve spent a day texting, calling, emailing and messaging friends to make sure they’re still alive. I’ve spent a day glued to the live feed of various news websites.
My old office is located about five minutes from Maelbeek metro station. Colleagues use that station daily. One of my good friends was due at Zaventem a couple of hours after the attack. For me, the Brussels attacks are personal.
These attacks are scorched forever onto my memory, but that isn’t to say that I don’t care about the attacks in other parts of the world. According to Wikipedia, so far this year there have been 223 terrorist incidents around the world. Who gets to say which ones are important? The media? Politicians? I can tell you which ones have the greatest effect on me, personally, but I don’t mean to diminish anyone else’s pain by doing so.
So let me just say today that I am angry, no, absolutely fucking furious, for anyone who has to spend a day like I have; for anyone who has to live in fear; for anyone who is affected by terrorism in any form.
I don’t say pray for Brussels, because I don’t say pray for anyone. If you want to pray, then do that, but take action, too. We need to stand together, despite our differences. If we are all united, then the terrorists can’t win.
Note: There have been some beautiful illustrations created in solidarity circulating the internet, but I’ve chosen to include pictures of happy times which I’ve spent in Brussels and Paris, because that is what I want to think of when I think about these cities. And terrorism generally. Because it can go fuck itself.