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Column Marianne Loof | Take flight

12 October 2015

Cobouw marianne loof 1501116 op de vlucht

My past few weeks have been dominated by wander. Sometimes in a group, sometimes alone, I took one flight after the other. I slept in a variety of places, and had breakfast surrounded by people I did not know. After arriving in unfamiliar cities, I was collected and given something to eat. The rooms in which I slept felt strange, and I was kept awake by new nightly sounds.

At the moment, there are millions of people who could tell this story. Though our experiences differ immensely. I travelled out of free will, by airplane, and was welcomed personally by a friendly face. Next, I was transported to a comfortable hotel, and taken care of from breakfast to dinner. I spend time with my family, took part in meetings, and gave lectures.

As a Syrian, there is at the moment no other choice than to take flight to secure the safety of your family. They have to cross the sea in unsafe boats and vessels. They have to walk long distances passing through unfamiliar and unfriendly European countries. Eventually, they are registered somewhere, to subsequently be transferred from sports hall to tent camp.

It was not too long ago that our parents and grandparents took a flight from hunger and violence. They were welcomed in places ranging from Friesland to the United States of America. Since we are now the ones who live in freedom and safety, we need to take action. Because as Europeans we can go wherever we want, our children can study abroad, and we can live and work anywhere

‘Doing something’ can take on different forms. One of them is participating in the Sense of Belonging initiative of the branch association for architecture firms, the BNA. The emphasis is placed on DOING, and this applies to the architect as well as the developer and the constructor. A large number of architects have responded with much enthusiasm and energy. However, there is a demand for more participants! The world has always needed dreamers and doers, but now, more than ever, we need dreamers who do!

October 2015,