Tous les yeux sur Paris

   Days after we remember we are reminded. New York 2001, is no longer a once in a lifetime strike of tragedy. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more rare if one isn’t effected. People in death become a number while the living are left to count. I know very little about death, only what the world is left with after.

I know that the world is shocked. I do not know why. Early this morning CNN News reported that terrorist group ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris late last night. This news should not have shocked the world, for we have been captivated by the dramatic irony. We know, yet we merely watch the drama unfold before our eyes. The world has watched ISIS terrorize Syria and many places like it, though our governments have merely chosen to appease their actions and accept the product with no further plans for resolution. Why is the world shocked? Because we are no longer the audience – we are the actors…

I know that World War Two started the exact same way. I still do not understand why. As generations progress we seem to remember Hitler’s name, but forget why he is famous. The lives lost in Paris last night have joined those who have perished at the crossroad of ignorance and hate – who will now sever as an example, who have become a number.  The only way I can understand this act of dehumanization is that numbers are simply more easy to comprehend; that terrorism can only be recognized after we are terrified; that action will be taken only after the fight is over…

I know that being human does not always have to be this way. I know that not so long ago Martin Luther King had a dream, and now millions of coloured people are equal to those that once oppressed them; I know that Nelson Mandela fought hate so he could die free; I know that even Elie Wiesel believes in humanity, even after seeing the absolute darkest corners of it; I know that people do not have to suffer at the expense of ignorance, yet so many inevitably will.

 As humans we grieve for individuals we did not know, because their death was tragic and because we did not do anything about it. As a country we continue to accept refugees, because we did not fight to keep Syria a place their people wished to stay. As individual’s we ignore our duty to stand for a cause that has yet to effect us, because we fear the consequences losing entails. Paris is 4,580 miles away – the problem is not.

“Just above our terror, the stars painted this story

in perfect silver calligraphy. And our souls, too often

abused by ignorance, covered our eyes with mercy.”

― Aberjhani, I Made My Boy Out of Poetry


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One thought on “Tous les yeux sur Paris

  1. Em,

    Wow. I am always amazed at what you write, because I can connect to your pieces so deeply. This piece especially brought up points that I knew not how to express; the Paris attacks were not the first acts of terror, but they were the first to truly hit home for a lot of people. I thank you for expressing the grief and solidarity that I felt but did not know how to express – thank you.

    First of all, your thinking is amazing. There are more than a handful of sentences I would like to frame and send to news broadcasters, for I think many of them are so profound that they should be shared with the world. For instance, this quote really struck me: “Why is the world shocked? Because we are no longer the audience – we are the actors…” Tgis is so strikingly true in regards to today’s world. For the first time, ISIS/L attacked not for territorial gain, they attacked for chaos. We are now the actors because we are now afraid. We are not afraid of what they have done, but of what they could now do; a barrier was broken on the day of the attacks. Now, all of a sudden, terror doesn’t look so far away. I think this was a point that was held firmly throughout your piece. You bring up such unique and honest points of views that really made me, as a reader, stop and think about terrorism in a different light.

    Your use of repitition in this piece was an excellent way of reiterating to your audience the points that you got across. The use of “I know” to begin every paragraph was genius; with every paragraph you brought to the table a different idea, all of which were marvellous.

    The only piece of constructive criticism I would offer to you is to perhaps place the quote in the beginning instead of at the end. I loved the quote, and I think, for me, maybe it would have cut a clear path for what I was to be thinking about in this piece. But it is truly an amazing quote, and I would like to hear your thoughts on why you put it at the end..? I feel like, knowing you, therein probably a specific reason! 🙂

    Amazing job emily, you always evoke such deep thinking form within your writing, and it truly is a treat to be able to read it. Thank you 🙂

    Much love,


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