Bombs in Belgium

What’s on my mind? Bombs in Belgium, I guess few of you have missed. Condolences to the affected, to humanity.

Quite worried about the consequences, I just have to add: This kind of violence is what causes people to flee from their homes around the world. This kind of violence aims to create fear and hatred. Please don’t fall for it, don’t let it win. I know it’s hard to not be afraid. It’s natural to be afraid. It’s not wrong to be afraid. We want to build walls and close doors, because it makes us feel safer. Also in our house, we’ve mostly stayed home since last week. Don’t get me wrong – fear is crucial in self preservation. However much can we protect ourselves – against what, and at what cost?

The only thing I know, is that hatred will not build peace. If someone wants to hurt us, they will. Never before have I felt our mortality so tangible. If we want, we could live our lives in fear, and it would be justified. Sometimes, I fear mankind and I feel like hiding in a corner under a blanket (I know, blankets don’t protect much against physical violence). But let us not punish the most vulnerable people. Let us remember that the perpetrators are not religions or ethnicities. Possibly ideologies – extreme ideologies bred in inequality, ignorance and hate. Ideologies that want to create more inequality, segregation and fear. Let us not feed the fire – we will all get burnt.

On another note, I see quite some criticism of the disproportional amount of attention this gets compared to other incidents around the world. Do I agree? I think yes. As I now live in Turkey, I’m quite aware of attacks here. In the western part of the country, I should add. But how many of you have read about, heard of or grieved over the bus bomb in Peshawar (Pakistan) or the suicide attack in a mosque in Maiduguri (Nigeria), last week? I admit, I had not until today.

I don’t think it’s wrong to feel stronger about certain things than others, I don’t think that we have to speak about every problem in order to justify speaking at all. If that would be the case, we would certainly never be able to speak at all – although traditional media and politicians at least, could take a greater responsibility. Nevertheless, let this be a reminder of the injustice, and let us work against it every day. Not only days when it is extra visible in social media.

On a third note: EU-Turkey deal. Maybe related, not so related. Actually, I’ll write about that tomorrow instead.

Photo: Lighthouse camp, Lesvos, December 2015. Because we can. I’m sure we can.

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