Absolutely horrifying. The attacks on Friday night in Paris are upsetting, hitting you right in the stomach. Then there’s the terrible attacks in the suburb of Beirut on Thursday… What is the world coming to?
As someone who has written a lot about Paris, I feel that I have to pay tribute to the City of Light. I can’t speak for Beirut or Lebanon but I’m sure those who know it can speak to its beauty or its character. Paris is a magnificent city, deserving of all of the grandeur and praise that it was gotten over the years. I love nothing more than to walk its streets, preferably with a Nutella crepe in hand in the winter. There is the beauty in the everyday life there. Walking you’ll see the markets, the food markets were each stall has its speciality, the bird and fish market near Notre Dame, and even the flea markets (if you know where to go). There’s the cafes where people will sit outside even in December! There’s the booksellers along the Seine, the imperial looking streets with buildings and lights tipped with gold. This is the city of the ex-pats, of writers, artists and even the jazz musicians escaping racism in the States. And there are the personal connections. The amazing friends that we have made over the years.
It hurts to see this city maligned, bruised and battered by brutal people. And yes, I know there is a dark side to Paris, like any city. I love Chicago despite its corruption, stupefying violence, and more. But this I know: Paris will rise from the horrible events on Friday. There may be weeks or months of investigation to understand how this occurred. There will be some unpleasant times to be sure. But It survived two wars in the 20th century, the French Revolution, and so much more. Paris will ever remain Paris.
What remains for us? I think George Takei on his Facebook page said it best: “There no doubt will be those who look upon immigrants and refugees as the enemy as a result of these attacks, because they look like those who perpetrated these attacks, just as peaceful Japanese Americans were viewed as the enemy after Pearl Harbor. But we must resist the urge to categorize and dehumanize, for it is that very impulse that fueled the insanity and violence perpetrated this evening.
Tonight, hold your loved ones, and pray or wish for peace, not only from guns and bombs, but from hatred and fear. If it is our freedom and joy they seek to destroy, give them not that victory. Against the forces of darkness and terror, love and compassion shall always prevail. #JeSuisParis”
I will pray for peace. To this, I add: don’t run away from Paris. Now is the time to show that it means something to you. Is it scary to contemplate going to a place where such brutal acts occurred? Yes, yes it is. But we have to live our lives. We cannot let these terrorists terrorize us.
Show your love to Paris in any way you can.
That’s all for now.