I don’t know where to start. I am probably still shocked with what happened last week Friday, November 13, 2015. It was a typical Friday, I was invited by a friend to hang out, have late lunch and some apero in a brasserie around the corner. We were sitting outside on the terrace having our wine when she asked me, “Do you know it’s Friday the 13th?” I answered “Yes, But did you know that it’s statistically safer to be on the streets because more people are careful of accidents.” Little did I know I will have to swallow the words that came out of my mouth a few hours after.
I was watching the friendly football match between France and Germany when it was cut right away to some breaking news where 18 people have died. I wasn’t paying much attention and decided to sleep. I was awaken by a call and never-ending messages from friends and family. The incidents have gone worse, more than 100 people have died because of several attacks. I cannot believe I woke up to this. I then tried my best to reply and call back. After reading some news, I cannot help but tell myself, “It could have been me.” The suicide bombings took place just outside the stadium where we watch football or rugby match, and even concerts. The series of shootings happened a few blocks from where we just celebrated a friend’s birthday just last week. The massacre was in a concert hall was were I watched for the first time my favourite artist .
The more I think about it, the more I realize how much better we have it here. We live freely, have entertainment, dine at restaurants or simply spend time with our friends and loved ones. A lot people do not have this luxury and have been living in fear their whole lives.
So in solidarity with Paris, France, my adoptive city, I changed my profile photo with a French flag filter. It was my way of saying I am against the atrocities that happened. I continue to read and watch news and a few days ago I saw that France had launched airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. The first thing that I thought of was that they will definitely fight back and more terrorist attacks will happen. But on second thought, there are civilians who are definitely affected by these airstrikes and have been killed not because they were the target but merely casualties of this retaliation. Innocent lives were lost so how then are these attacks any different? Is it to protect the country? Or to show power?
Violence breeds more violence as much as hate breeds more hate. I don’t think this cycle will never stop as long as we let ourselves get sucked down into this pit of quicksand. For this reason, I changed back my profile photo. I could have changed it to another flag but I do not think I can represent all countries in turmoil. Just take this change as a representation my resistance to more violence and my hope for a better and peaceful world.