Brussels is slowly recovering from the horrific attacks of 22 March. The current death toll is 31, with 300 people injured of whom 70 critically. We re-opened our office today determined not to allow acts of terrorism to disturb our daily operations, or to change our ways of life and work. We are relieved that all EI staff remained unharmed. But the attacks on our city have affected all of us. Some of us have friends among the victims or know people who were injured.
Terrorism has become one of the evils of our time. Throughout EI’s history we have strongly and consistently raised our voice when our members, children and innocent people became targets of extreme violence. We have also drawn on our professional strength, convinced as we are that the fight against extremism is to pass through our classrooms.
We wish to thank you for your messages of solidarity, which conveyed not only your - highly appreciated - concern about the safety of your EI colleagues, but also your resolve that we stand together without fear to prevent extremists from diluting our democratic values and freedoms.
In the picture above, Sofía Gutiérrez Acosta (17), daughter of one of our colleagues, expressed her, ours and Belgium’s feelings of sorrow, which we wanted to share with you as a token of our appreciation for your messages.
Brussels, 24 March 2016
Fred van Leeuwen,