Step out of Brussels South and you step back in time — into a different world that looks exotic in this part of the world but not out of place. This is the main train station that connects Belgium's capital with Paris, London — thanks to Eurorail — and the rest of Europe.
During a visit to the European Union headquarters a couple of years back, one was pleasantly surprised to see all those restaurants offering "halal" food and elderly Arab and Turkish gentlemen enjoying their cuppa of heady Turkish coffee and even an occasional shisha by the roadside cafe.
This is the heart of Europe, the seat of European Parliament and perhaps the capital of coming United States of Europe. With Arabs and Muslims living and working in this quintessentially European city, Brussels increasingly looks like Beirut, Istanbul or any other great city of the Middle East.