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nrc.next interview series – II Ingrid

I don’t want to be indifferent

Short series about how young people deal with grief. Today part two: Ingrid Burggraaff. She lost both of her parents and her brother in the airplane crash in Tripoli. Ingrid had to see the crash site with her own eyes before she could realize they were really gone.

By: MARIEKE POELMANN

Ingrid Burggraaff (35) lost her parents and younger brother in the airplane crash in Tripoli. She was left behind as the only family member. Five days after the crash she decided to travel to Libya herself. She talks about how that visit helped her to deal with reality.

„I had to go. The government discouraged us to go but I had to be with them. I didn’t want to leave my father, my mother and my brother alone, so far away in a foreign country. So five days later I was on a plane to Tripoli. I had already given the forensics all the information about their identification and they had taken my DNA material, I could go.

I work for an international company and my colleagues made sure my flight and visa were all in order. When I arrived at Tripoli airport, it was chaos. I felt so bad about it happening there, this place felt like it had nothing to do with my parents. The vacation to South Africa wasn’t something they would do every year, to the contrary. It was the second time ever they left Europe and everything was carefully planned out. Tripoli was supposed to be a simple overlay for them. There was a hostile atmosphere at the airport when I got there. Dilapidated buildings and armed soldiers. My husband and I were placed in a small room. What am I doing here? I tried to explain why we were there, but nobody spoke English. Finally, our visas turned out to be waiting for us right after customs. We were welcomed by Kenyon Disaster Management, they had even arranged a Dutch interpreter.


Read full text (in Dutch) here