Last week, when the bombs went off in Brussels, a huge amount of foreign journalists booked a trip to Belgium. Our little country was flooded with photographers, newspaper journalists and tv stations. One of them was Fox News, an American television news station.
Since none of the Fox News reporters spoke French or Dutch, nor had they an insight in how everything works here, they reached out to me. The past week, I translated articles for them, I called the police, the airport and the prosecutor's office to ask for more information and I fed the team bits and pieces of new info. I explained our politics and I tried to explain the thing with the different languages. I basically worked as a journalist and a fixer for them.
During the afternoons we would jump in a taxi to race to Molenbeek to follow the arrest of a suspect. Or we would go to Schaarbeek to interview a local politician to understand what the situation in his community was.
We camped the afternoon and the night on the Beursplein, or as they called it Bourse Plaza. I whispered updates to reporters in between live stand-ups that started at 6PM and that could last till 3AM in the morning.
The whole week I also saw solidarity between the Belgians throughout the whole city of Brussels. That noon where hooligans came and riots started was an ugly moment in an otherwise serene week. I mostly saw a lot of tears, hugs and comfort.
I was happy to be working as a journalist last week, as I could see Brussels and Belgium trying to get back on their feet. Helping to provide news made me feel useful. As I can not cure wounded people or make sure places are secure, I tried to help in my way. By helping to tell news and stories in an as accurate way as possible to keep people in the loop. And of course, my camera helped me with that.
Andrew, Mike, Jim, Svein, Greg, Tommy, Cicely, Martin, Shep, Patrizia, Melvin, Addisu, Caddy, Ken, Yael, Yoav, Ryan, Claire, Pierre, John, Yaniv, Hava and all the other ones I have forgotten: it was a pleasure working with you!