A beautiful summer day in Seattle reminds Jan Kiaer of his hometown, Oslo, Norway. Kiaer says the comparable view, climate, and available work convinced him and thousands of Norwegians to relocate here in the 1940s and 50s.
While he was growing his architectural firm on the Eastside, many family members and friends continued to build their lives in the Oslo area. Kiaer just returned from visiting them in Oslo earlier this month, and describes Oslo as a very clean city with happy inhabitants and low unemployment. That's why this week's violence is so shocking and disturbing.
I'm glad it was a Norwegian who appears to have killed dozens of people, says Kiaer. He explains that, in his view, it will be much easier to recover from this horrific act of terrorism knowing that the suspect was homegrown.
Kiaer explains that recently many immigrants have flooded into his homeland, bringing their religion and customs with them. Most of them work hard and desire to assimilate, he says.
However, he believes that had an immigrant been responsible, the crimes may have only fueled hatred towards the rest of the innocent population. While a Norwegian committing acts of violence against his fellow countrymen is unconscionable, Kiaer hopes that life will quickly return to normal without any ethnic tensions.
Soon after the crimes, Kiaer received e-mail from his closest friend in Oslo, reassuring him of his safety. While Kiaer is closely following the news, he considered the suspect an oddball who is not representative of the otherwise peace-loving inhabitants of this scenic country.