Belgium Learns The Hard Way After Terrorist Attacks

Died 1Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 37, died at Brussels airport while her husband and twin daughters played nearby.

“If a blind man says he going to throw a stone at you, don’t laugh at him. He has one under his foot.” That’s a Ghanaian proverb.

One of my priorities in Belgium sixteen years ago was to integrate properly, have a good communication skills, just  to be productive and efficient in the society. But I realized that the biggest problem in Belgium is ‘Underestimation of foreigners, especially Africans.”

Underestimation and discrimination go together. It is a universal problem but I believe its heavier in Belgium than any country in the world, even though I haven’t been to the four corners of the globe.

If Belgium had put away underestimation, the recent terrorist attacks at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport and the Metro stations could have been prevented. I guessed that attacks shocked the entire nation and questioned their security strength.

During the days of terrorist Osama Bin Laden, Belgium received a threat of invasion and destruction. Instead of taking this treat serious, in one of Belgium’s newspapers  was the response that: “Belgium is too small that Osama Bin Laden can’t find the country on the map.” Evidence of Belgium’s attitude of underestimation.

Before and after the Paris attacks, there were similar messages from various terrorist groups to infiltrate Belgium and cause destruction, yet the Belgian government ignored those warnings and waited till three bomb attacks  killing thirty-two and injuring many people in the three bomb attacks at Brussels’ airport and Maelbeek Metro station.

Underestimation can be part of the words in the dictionary, but it shouldn’t be practical or attitude, because, in Ghana, there is another proverb which says: “The river you don’t respect is exactly what will carry you away.”

 

New Threat Of Terrorism Overshadows Antwerp

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Meir, one of the busiest commercial centers in the city of Antwerp.

Following the Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Metro station attacks by terrorists,  which claimed lives and caused injuries, a group of terrorists claiming to be ISIS, posted a message on Facebook that: “Antwerp will never have a good sleep,” since then the Antwerp police have increased security to bring comfort to ‘Antwerpners’ amidst fear.

In today’s (8/4/2016) edition of Gazette Van Antwerpen, one of Belgium’s newspapers, reports that extra security is now in force, with heavily armed police, protecting citizens, after a mother warns the Antwerp police that her son has joined the Syrian fighters.

According to the woman, the intention of her son is to join other terrorists to target the famous commercial center Meir, City festival centers, and cinemas, to kill and destroy. Antwerp’s police boss Wouter Bruyns has confirmed the story.

The police have therefore issued a warning to everyone to keep away from Meir, one of the busiest shopping centers in Antwerp, and entertainment spots to avoid any bloodshed. Even though the mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, is working hand in hand with the police, to provide extra security throughout the city, many people are still afraid, because of the violent and unpredictable nature of the terrorists.

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Part of the beauty of Antwerp’s Meir at a glance.

Already, the Belgian government has lost millions of revenue, following the closure of the Zaventem airport for a number of days, to restore the badly affected halls at the airport. Now that activities at Meir, one of the busiest commercial centers in the city, has been halted, no one can predict  how bad it’s going to affect Belgium’s economy or the Province of Antwerp.