Tag Archives: belfast

Discovering Belfast

There are sometimes moments in life, which are not easy to describe or define. Although some of these moments leave a permanent trace in our lives, it is hard to express our views, feelings and “internal transformation”. We might have read several books in relation to a particular topic, however seeing something in reality often changes our perspective or perceptions of places and/ or people.

I am convinced that visiting Belfast and Northern Ireland (13th – 14th May) will stay with me for many months. Belfast has a great vibe; good Universities, plenty of international students, many parks, a lovely city centre or incredibly powerful Crumlin Road Gaol Museum. The capital city of Northern Ireland is quite very special and unique.

I thought I “knew Belfast”. Reading a few books about the history of Northern Ireland was pretty informative, however driving through certain parts of Belfast was breath-taking. I felt stunned and speechless on quite a few occasions. On the way to Newcastle and County Down, I noticed small villages, literally next to each other, full of either British or Irish flags. “Political and historical separation” was strongly felt during our trip. In many ways, I was lucky as I was visiting Northern Ireland a week or so after the coronation of Charles III and ahead of the Local Elections.

Belfast itself was spectacular. Murals, paintings, Peace Wall, barracks are only a few examples of a “divided city”. Although there are clear signs of pain and suffering of this lovely place and its people, the extraordinary efforts to find a peaceful solution in most challenging circumstances are equally, if not more, powerful. Northern Ireland went through so much. The healing hasn’t ended but I hope that the process of reconciliation and growth will continue to positively impact many lives.

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

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