Belgians Respond To Terrorist Attacks By Coming Together

#ikwilhelpen (I will help) and #porteouvert (open home).

In the wake of this morning's deadly terrorist attack in Brussels, people are coming together using the hashtags "#ikwilhelpen" (I will help) and "#porteouvert" (open home). 

Two blasts earlier this morning — one at the airport and one at the metro — left at least 34 dead and hundreds injured. The attack comes just days after authorities ended a four-month-long manhunt by arresting Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks, in the Brussels' suburb of Molenbeek.

While police investigate this morning's attack, Belgians and citizens of Brussels have begun taking matters into their own hands. People are going online to offer their homes as safety for anyone who is stuck in the city, in need of a ride, a meal, a place to sleep, and so forth. It's a beautiful reminder that the power of community can do a lot in times of crisis. 

Here are some of the tweets being sent:

Mark Coenen, 57, lives outside the city with his wife and four children, but didn't hesitate to open his home when he saw his friends using the hashtag. 

"In times like these we have to stand together, even if we don't really know right from wrong anymore," Coenen told A Plus. "People must help each other, that's why we're human."

"You don't know who will react on it, but I have trust in people that they will use it well," 20-year-old Céline told A Plus. "If I was in Brussels right now, I would be happy if people would do that for me. So I'm doing the same for them."

Some people are using hashtags to ask for help, too.

And the world is noticing how amazing it is.

Obama held a press conference this morning, pledging support for and solidarity with Belgium.

"This is yet another reminder that the world must unite," he said. "We must be together to fight against the scourge of terrorism."

Additional reporting by Steven Lerner. 

Cover photo: Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images.


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