Our extended family is probably not going to enjoy reading this post, but I feel like I should address it. Every once in a while, something happens that makes Jason and I stop and think differently about our decision to move overseas. The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th are one example. The on-going refugee crisis. Today’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. Europe in general feels much less safe at the moment. Is it really a good time to be moving with our children to Spain for a year?
We are not big news addicts in this family. Most of the information I get about the world comes from listening to NPR when I’m driving my kids to and from school. I’d much rather watch House of Cards on Netflix, or read a novel than watch CNN or read a newspaper. It’s probably a little irresponsible of me, but that’s the way I am. My point is, we are not bombarded on an hourly basis with all the terror, sadness and pain that is going on in the world. We are also not taking this move to Spain lightly.
The areas that are now known as Spain and Portugal were under Muslim rule for more than 700 years. Granada, the city we are moving to was the last stronghold of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula until 1492. The beautiful Alhambra is a prime example of Moorish art and architecture. The Albayzin neighborhood where we will be living is described as the “Old Muslim Quarter.” We will be surrounded by Muslim history, art and people. But that’s OK. We don’t equate Muslims with terrorists. They are not the same. And that’s what we hope to teach our children.
What does give me pause however, is how close we will be to Morocco and the ISIS terror cells located there. The rumors that ISIS wants to control Spain by 2020. Traveling to major cities in Europe while we are living there. But then I get angry. I will not give the terrorists a chance to win. I will not stay locked in my house in Seattle, or allow my children to be afraid of the world. We will be careful, we will be alert, but we will not let fear rule our lives. This year will be a gift to our family, and we will take advantage of it.
*On a lighter note (I think), Matthew asked recently, “If Donald Trump becomes President, will he let us back in the country after we live in Spain?”