July 23, 2011

The post that wasn't

I started to write this post yesterday afternoon. It was suppose to be about my lunch at Galwin at Windows a couple of weeks ago. Before I started I checked Facebook, just like I do so many times during the day when I'm at home. A colleague at the Oslo office had just posted a comment saying - There has been a big explosion of some sort in central Oslo. The whole office building shook.

The office building is very much central Oslo so I immediately checked out the big new sites. Nothing. Reuters was first out 5 minutes later saying that there had been an explosion close to the PM's office and the office of the Oil and Energy Minister. I then turned to the Norwegian newspapers and was totally shocked from the photos coming in. This couldn't be down-town Oslo. It looked like a war-zone.

Suddenly eyewitness reports, photos and videos poured in via Twitter, Facebook and all the news sites. I turned on BBC on the TV, but otherwise I couldn't move. As the events unfolded and more information came in it just felt surreal. Norway is our western neighbour and Oslo only 3 hours away. A small but very proud country. A country that take great pride in freedom and democracy. A country where "gå på tur" (hiking or cross-country skiing in the mountains ) is a national past-time and having a "hytte" (cabin) in the mountains is a must. Bombs are not part of how we see Norway.

When the news started to come in about the shooting at Utøya my heart broke. Reading tweets about people asking those who lived closed to the island to go out and pick up the kids who were fleeing the island by swimming. Tweets that said there is someone here shooting. He's dressed like a policeman.

I cried because I couldn’t and still can't understand how someone very cold-blooded can kill innocent teenagers at a camp, although a political camp. It doesn't matter if your skin is white, black, yellow or purple and whether you're a Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu you do not kill innocent people. There is no God saying that killing people is all right.

I watched a DVD during the evening just to get away from it all, but in my stomach there was and still is a big knot that won't go away. All of me say it's it's so wrong and unfair. The last thing I heard before going to bed was that there was probably a lot more dead people at Utøya than they had said in the beginning. And yes after a restless night I woke up to the news that 84 people had been killed there. Not the way you want to start your morning.

Sweden is quite sombre today. We all think about friends and families in Norway and how life can totally change in a heartbeat just because someone takes the right to bomb and kill innocent people.

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