Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mourning Or Gloating?

The news last Monday of the murder of Arzu Erbas, 33 year old owner of a creche in Amsterdam has been to many, including me as the biggest shock ever. The attack happened at 6.40pm after Mrs. Erbas finished her work at the “Moedersschoot” childcare centre and was on her way to her parked car, when a man attacked her and stabbed her to death, and ran away – until this moment the identity or the whereabouts of the man unknown, according to the police.

Not long ago she was in fact with her husband and two sons enjoying their summer vacation in their father-land, Turkey, when she decided to get back here because of her busy work scheduling.

The motive for the attack is unknown, said the police, who are appealing for witnesses to come forward and tell what they saw. Yesterday was a special coverage on TV program Opspoor Verzocht on the crime where the police appealed to any one who has tips or witnessed anything who might help them to find that merciless murderer.

Arzu Erbas, or as many like to call her “the mother of all children” or “the perfect woman” was born in the Turkish coastal town of Rize and moved to the Netherlands when she was at a very young age, she studied Pedagogy and married later. Her energy and determination to make her dreams come true were beyond description. She got the idea of establishing her own childcare center was not a mere idea. Her dream was to make that childcare center something special for the children and not just a shelter for little children when parents go to work for eight or more hours. The success of the first “moedershoot” (in English Mother’s Womb or lap) motivated her to take a step further and to open a bigger establishment, not far located from the first. She had plan to open a third one in addition to her plans to open an orphanage in Turkey, not to mention her voluntarily work regarding integration in the Netherlands, as the case with her beautiful contribution to the work of Stichting Waterval in the city of Almere.

I visited in the past different child care centers, and I know people close to me (relatives and friends) who described the atmosphere there and told me stories about how childcare centers in Amsterdam and other cities where they took their daughters and sons looked like (I don’t blog about everything, I know), but to me, Arzu’s dream was spectacular (no disrespect to other owners of other childcare centers), because for the first time I see in the Netherlands a merge in dealing with babies and children between western-methods and middle-eastern upbringing: something that many immigrants (as well as Dutch) found it unique and perfect.

Some might say from reading and knowing Arzu Erbas that she did not achieve everything she was dreaming of. I tend to disagree, because such a wonderful woman had one dream, just one: care for children in any way possible and with any means. In fact, seeing what she established and what she provided for many children and their parents is a big proof of what I say.


I am not going to politicize this tragedy as some did. I am not going to ruin a moment of mourning many of us are living at the moment for a lovable person like Arzu, BUT it outraged me seeing the amount of disgusting and low-level comments put on Dutch newspaper Telegraaf related to this horrible news! The comments by many sick-minded people changed in the past days, and based on the assumption for the motive of the crime: such as how come that a 33 years old woman has own a luxury Mercedes? Later on the focus was on the one and only thing a typical Dutch person would think when seeing or hearing about a Muslim woman wearing a head-scarf being murdered: murder in the name of family honour. Yesterday night, drugs and mafia was involved! I am sure there will be more and more speculation. Before I forgot, some of those who were putting comments took the opportunity to express their pride of showing their lova and support for Geert Wilders!! I don’t understand what Wilders has to do with the whole thing, unless the telegraaf became the ultimate portal for Wilder’s fans. However, one thing can be attached to Wilders in this regards: thanks to him, he is one of the main igniters to trigger such sentiment among people put comments on the Telegraaf.

I agree with the opinion that the Netherlands is not the same compare it to 10 years ago, but it is not that dramatic as I see, unless I am seeing the wrong picture here and someone has to show me the way through- I would be grateful, though, relying on my experience I would be shocked when I hear someone say that “that concept of tolerance Dutch are famous with is just a big lie”.

I am not going to carry on with this, seeing other media sources and their warm words and passion, their sadness, from everyone, all reflected how much common people are shocked with what happened to Arzu – I personally cannot believe such a thing can happen, but that’s our cruel reality.

There is no overrated assumption if I say that The Netherlands has lost a great woman. She is the perfect symbol of social integration for people migrated from her country and for people believing in her faith – does that pause any threat to anyone? Yet, whatever the reason might be, killing in such a way as happened to Arzu will never be justifiable, because all those who knew that woman, all those around her remember her smile, her hospitality, her care, and her determination to reach out for her dreams.

Rest in peace, Arzu


P.S. There is a memorial forum made for the victim where people can leave their thoughts and wishes for Arzu and her family

1 comment:

Branwen said...

It seems so unfair when good descent people are taken from this world so cruelly. I hope her childcare centres do not suffer from the lose of her absence but continue to blossom in her memory.
My heart goes out to her loved ones.