When The Lights Went Out in Paris

When the lights went our in Paris, I thought of how such a romantic city could go dark. Pitch-black dark. The city we tend to romanticize…the city where love conquers all in the movies.

I thought of the loved ones missing or killed and how they’re loved ones would hear about it.

And my mind, unlike mass media, kept going further, beyond the borders of France.

I thought of Aylan Kurdi, the little boy that was washed to shore early September, as him and his parents fled Syria seeking refuge somewhere that is not home. I thought of the tiny shoes he was wearing.

I thought of Diaa, Razan, and Yusor, three beautiful souls that left the world because of a hate crime. I thought of Diaa’s wedding picture, bouncing a basketball. I thought of their smiles.

I thought of Ahed, Zakkaryah, Mohammad, and Ismail, four little boys playing on a beach in Gaza when an IOF missle struck them and ended their short lives. I thought of Ahed’s brother in a documentary I watched a few days ago; he’s suffering from PTSD.

I thought of Saji Darwish and how his body was carried around campus as professors and students watched. I thought of the screaming quiet that still gives me shivers.

I thought everyone on Facebook is right. Where is the solidarity when it comes to the world that isn’t “white”?

I think: When will this ever end? When do we stop hating one another for what we think is “other”? When do we live under the peace the old time animation films tricked us in believing actually exists? When will people of power ever take a step back and look at the bigger picture? How do we teach children that they are all equal no matter what race, religion, gender, color, language – this, that, this, that -when we don’t know it ourselves?

The lights in Paris went off, but the “light” went out a long, long time ago…but we’ll keep praying…and maybe we’ll think of getting up and away from the sidelines.



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