The Sound Kitchen

Brussels neighbourhood not 'the heart of European terrorism'

Audio 27:37
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the neighbourhood in Brussels where the 15 November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks were planned. There’s “On This Day”, some great music from Mexico as well as “Music from Erwan” - and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy! 


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winner's names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

I am busy cooking up special shows with your musical requests, so get them in! Send your musical requests to  Tell us why you like the piece of music, too – it makes it more interesting for us all!

Be sure you check out our wonderful podcasts!

In addition to the breaking news articles on our site,, with in-depth analysis of current affairs in France and across the globe, we have several podcasts which will leave you hungry for more.

There’s Paris PerspectiveAfrica Calling, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still part of the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

To listen to our podcasts from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose "Listen to RFI / Podcasts", and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our podcasts from your mobile phone, slide through the tabs just under the lead article (the first tab is “Headline News”) until you see “Podcasts”, and choose your show. 

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

Another idea for your students: my beloved music teacher from St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, Br Gerald Muller, has been writing books for young adults in his retirement – and they are free! There is a volume of biographies of painters and musicians called Gentle Giants, and an excellent biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are also a good way to help you improve your English - that’s how I worked on my French, reading books which were meant for young readers – and I guarantee you, it’s a good method for improving your language skills. To get Br. Gerald’s free books, click here.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department in all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to her so that I know what is going on, too. N.B.: You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

This week’s quiz: On 18 September, I asked you to refer to my colleague Michael Fitzpatrick’s article “The Paris attacks seen through the eyes of Belgian investigators”. The head of the Belgian investigation team into the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris ended her testimony with a plea for the world to not equate the Brussels neighborhood where the plans for the attacks were made as a “terrorist hotbed”. I asked you to send in the name of that neighborhood, or district.

The answer is: Molenbeek. It’s one of Brussels’ 19 districts.

Investigator Isabelle Panou said, and I quote from Michael’s article: “Stressing that she spoke ‘from personal experience,’ not as a sociologist or a lawyer or as a tour guide, Panou told the court that it was ‘nonsense to identify one of the 19 districts of Brussels with Islamic extremism . . .  worse than ridiculous to call it 'the heart of European terrorism'.

This is a densely populated village community in which distances are measured in metres, not kilometres.

There are mosques, yes. That's normal with such a large Muslim community. There are some radical preachers, yes. But the vast majority of those who live in Molenbeek are peaceful citizens."

As a reminder, my excellent colleague RFI English journalist Michael Fitzpatrick is at the trial every day; you can read his daily articles on our homepage. They are heartbreaking and difficult, but I highly suggest you read them all.

The winners are: There are two this week from India: Radhakrishna Pillai from Kerala State and Zenon Teles for the Christian – Marxist – Leninist - Maoist Association of Listening DX-ers in Goa. There are two winners from Bangladesh as well:  Juli Sarmile from Munshiganj and Maksud Alam from Chittaganj. Last but not least, there’s Richard Wasajja from Masaka, Uganda.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s programme: “Dos Arbolitos” by Chucho Martinez Gil, sung by Linda, Mike, and Pete Ronstadt; “Dark Improv”, written and performed by Crystal Sawyer; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Ashley” by Celeste Ray, written and performed by Celeste Ray and the Celeste Ray ensemble, and traditional music from Papua New Guinea.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 8 November to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 13 November podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here

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