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.

Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

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Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

How Sincere Are People, When It Comes To Money?

Money acts as a medium of exchange in transactions. Without it life doesn’t go normal as expected. Many work very hard for money, while others prefer to acquire it through dubious means, criminal or illegal activities. Even though money plays important role in our lives, it has also its evil side. Money ruins friendship, marriage and destroys entire family.

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Many use money as a weapon against the vulnerable and the underprivileged. Due to the lack of money many have been denied justice. There are many warnings about money in the Bible, my favourite is at First Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

In Antwerp, Belgium, I live in a three-bed-room apartment which belongs to Housing Company: Woonhaven, paying 615 Euros monthly, at the beginning of the year 2014. In the month of March, after paying the stated amount, I received a letter from the company requesting the payment of extra 18.36 (Eighteen Euros, thirty-six cents). I called their office and made inquiries over the extra payment. They told me it’s arrears.

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I therefore paid the arrears of 18.36 x 3, for January, February and March. Before the month of April, I went to the bank to change the hiring price 615.00 + 18.36 Euros, to the total amount the company is looking for, since the bank pays on my behalf. That is exactly 633.36 Euros. After paying this new figure, in May came another letter asking for payment of arrears of 10.00 Euros, for the month of January till May. I knew there is something wrong. Either they are making illegal profit or dwelling on defrauding tenants.

Without informing the company, I sent a registered letter to the mayor of Antwerp, Honourable Bart De Wever, explaining in detail exactly like what’s in this article. A month later, I received a letter from the mayor’s office, confirming that the House Company has admitted it was a mistake. The actual hiring price is 615.36 Euros, and all the extra payments I made were mistake. The letter stated that the House Company would pay back the money into my account and indeed they did.

Why do some people choose to live this way? It is not only terrorism, crime and immorality which have destroyed our society, but also greed and dishonesty. Honesty is the best policy. What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his poor soul, without taking away a pin of what he struggled for? People shouldn’t do to others what they wouldn’t like. To err is human, I have therefore forgiven them.

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