Thoughts from Abroad: On Terrorism


I had hoped that I would never have to write another one of these posts, after I covered the terrorist attacks in Paris that ended up killing 130 people back in November. My post back then was dedicated to what Paris meant to me through media, art, and actually visiting the city personally. While I may have no personal connection to the country of Belgium, that doesn’t make me any less horrified by the recent attack of Brussels, killing 31 people as of right now and injuring at least 250 others. This is the most recent of several attacks made by terrorist groups in the past few months, joining that of Dalori, Nigeria on February 1st, and Istanbul, Turkey on March 20th, both of which claimed a combined total of 90 lives.

I am sitting here typing out this blog from my room in a flat in another country. Luckily, I am studying abroad in New Zealand, a nation with relatively few enemies and no major terror threat as of right now. Living in a nation that is not my own provides amazing insight in a variety of ways, opening one up to new cultures, ways of life, and customs. But particularly, being in another country today when terror struck put a lot of things into perspective for me.

Terrorism very much creates an “us vs. them” situation: there are those feeling the fear and those causing the fear. As of now, those of us feeling the fear are standing in united solidarity, just as we did in response to Paris and just as we do when any new development in this harrowing situation unfolds. Tonight, the cities of Berlin, Dubai, New York, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and many others showed their support by illuminating the faces of their most iconic architectural structures in the colors of the Belgian flag. Seen in the featured image of this blog post is a picture I took of the Auckland Sky Tower tonight, also illuminated in the colors of the flag.  Being abroad when something like this happened has shown me that no matter how far someone is from their perceived “home,” love, hope, and support are universal.

I am donating to the Brussels Terror Attack Victims Fund on GoFundMe, but there are other means by which you can help, which I have linked to here and here. We are an international family united by hope who rejects fear and pain, and no matter where you live or where you come from, the support from this family is widespread and all-encompassing. Let’s reject fear together, regardless of borders or distance.

Pray for Brussels, pray for the world.

The Auckland Sky Tower by night in the colors of the Belgian flag. Taken March 23rd, 2016. Photo by author.

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