A values driven world: Terror, pride and shame


It was early in the morning of July the 7th 2005, when I took my usual train from Hatfield to travel to the Ministry of Justice where I used to work as the Human Rights Advisor. Around 8:30, my train arrived at Kings cross where I changed to take the underground. It was not until later that I realised that I took the train just before the one that Germain Linsdsay detonated between Kings Cross and Russell Square killing 26 people. At the time, I did not understand what this meant for me.

In the morning of the 22nd March 2016, I was at home feeling frustrated as a meeting that I had with the European Commission that day was cancelled. I had spent days of preparing for a project on radicalisation, restorative justice and human rights only to find out that it was not going to happen. When my mother called in panic to see if I was alive, I did not know what to say. Maalbeek metro station next to the Commission's offices had been bombed and to my surprise the hotel that I had booked was right above it. At the time, I did not understand what this meant for me.

Three days ago, I was in Brussels for an EC meeting (yes, close to Maalbeek station) on a new European project that we have been awarded on the radicalisation of young people. Towards the evening, the news of the Westminster bridge terrorist attack reached me. This time, I did not have any plans to be at the target place but here I was in the reverse place that I should have been last year only this time the attack took place at home. At the time, I did not understand what this meant for me.

I could not sleep last night. I think I now know what these personal coincidences meant for me and as always, I find comfort in writing how I feel.

Despite the rhetoric for an immoral society that lacks values and beliefs, I came to conclude that never before the world has been driven so strongly by values.

I also came to accept that we are not here to change or define