By, Siraj Hashmi
A dark cloud hangs over Brussels after the city that is home to the headquarters of the European Union came under attack by ISIS on Tuesday, where terrorists set off explosions at Brussels Airport and a metro station killing 31 and injuring 230 people.
The attack in Brussels comes just days after an ISIS suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in a busy Istanbul street, killing four.
Ellen Eato, an American living in Brussels, was about to embark on a flight back to the U.S. for the Easter holiday when the terrorists struck quickly, sending panic and confusion throughout the airport.
"I was walking around the terminal since I was so early [for my flight] and saw a group of people walking quickly by me and crying on their phones," Eato told GVH Live. "I thought it was odd and that maybe they had missed their flight, then more people starting migrating to the far end of the terminal."
Eato was fortunate to make it out of the airport alive, and while she is still deeply upset over the attacks, she is amazed at how people are coming together.
"You really get to see the good in people in these times of fear and sadness," she said. "As humans we are capable of so much love and strength. The potential to stomp out hate is there if we all can put our minds and hearts into it."
Another Brussels resident, Yigit Yazgan, works within a few miles of the airport, and while he did not see an explosion, he could certainly hear it.
"You could see the smoke billowing from the terminal building," Yazgan told GVH Live. "The mood is very somber. This is unprecedented in the history of Belgium."
Yazgan, who grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, said that while he is saddened about what happened in Brussels, he noted that there is a double standard in the way the media has been covering the attacks in Brussels versus their coverage of the attacks in Ankara and his hometown.
"It does upset me to a degree," he said. "Obviously, when it's a western country that's subject to an attack, we all show solidarity to the best of our ability. But when it's a Middle Eastern country that's subject to a similar attack, people don't seem to care as much at least on the surface."
Presidential candidates have been weighing in on the attacks that range from condemnation of ISIS to admonishment of the Muslim community.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz had the most controversial comments in light of the attacks, stating in a press release, "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."
When he heard this, Yazgan said Cruz's comments were "over the top, opportunistic (given people's emotions) and unconstitutional."
He continued, "How many neighborhoods are there in the States with a 99% Muslim population. It can never be done."