This week’s “Mondays On the Move” song is called “Give me a chance.” We wrote this song with a young man from Yemen, who told us he was so grateful to Belgium for welcoming him. All he wanted was to be given a chance to give something back in return.
This year has been a challenging one for freedom of movement, given that so many borders were closed to anyone from the outside for many months during a global lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, the center has once again opened its doors to all those souls seeking a safe, healthy life. May Belgium welcome them, one and all.
This afternoon, Sarah and I were so grateful to reconnect after two weeks apart. Sarah had traveled to the south of France on holiday with her family, while my husband and I spent hours upon hours looking for a place to live in the north of France. We were mostly unsuccessful and exhausted and very frustrated in our search, and I cannot even begin to imagine how challenging it must be to apply for asylum in France given the roadblocks we met just trying to rent a house for a year. The hidden gift was that I was able to meet Sarah this Monday since my husband and I are still in Brussels for another few days.
We began our afternoon at my favorite music shop by Grand Place. This is the shop where I have purchased all of the handheld rhythm instruments in a little bag with an image of the world on it that I bring with me for all songwriting and song singing sessions. With an instrument in hand, every person is empowered to take on the role of musician, and a creative community and shared experience is born.
Sarah’s favorite rhythm instrument is the egg shaker, so as a parting gift (just for now) I wanted to her to have a set of all three colors: red, green, and blue. From there, we walked to Petit-Château for our performance of at the very spot where asylum seekers line up to wait their turn to register for asylum in Belgium.
Sarah shares her thoughts about this corner of Brussels.
Voici, our music video! To jump ahead to listen to the song, go to 1:28. Enjoy!
To learn more about Fedasil and the asylum process in Belgium, visit their official site and their Facebook page. Normally, you can go to the top left and choose from French, Nederlands, or English. It looks like the English version is under construction at the moment.