2015-11-18 / Features

Our Prayers Are With Paris

Following terrorist attacks on November 13 in Paris and its suburb of Saint-Denis, an estimated 129 people have died, not to mention leaving 352 wounded, 99 of whom are in serious condition. Targeting spaces in which ex-pats, internationals and locals mixed among each other to spend a typical night in the metropolitan hub, hostages were taken, and a series of explosions and shootings unfolded. The Bataclan Theatre incurred the most harm, while the Stade de France and two or more restaurants were also targeted, which, needless to say, caught us all off guard.

The events not only remind Europe of other acts of terrorism such as 2004’s train bombings in Madrid, which took 191 innocent lives, but they of course also remind us New Yorkers of what it felt like to live through September 11, 2001. As such, we are empathetic with the people of France, whose tragedy ISIS proudly claims. The attacks follow suicide bombings in Beirut just a day before, in which more than 40 lives were lost and many more injured. Although that event has yet to be confirmed as an ISIS attack as well, the very existence of these tragedies puts into perspective how badly the world needs to stop innocent people from getting killed.

Obviously, these events terrify us, put us on high alert, fill us with fear, paranoia, and suspicion, the purpose of terrorism. Though reports state the attacks were carried out by European nationals, wariness of Syrian refugees is now compounded. Beyond updating our Facebook profiles with photos of ourselves overlaid with the French flag, we are asked to show even more in terms of solidarity with the world, and urge leaders that any action taken must be precise, coordinated and effective.

The Gazette’s thoughts and prayers are with the people of France, and those around the world who are innocent victims of terrorism.

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