Saturday morning – lifeless streets, plundered souls
Friday night is emblematic in the French capital. Parisians gather in crowded bistrots, walk down gushing streets, dance to their favourite music.
Yesterday, civilians were attacked while enjoying these same activities. A football match was brutally interrupted in the renowned Stade de France. Thousands were frightfully brought to their knees at an illustrious concert venue. People were executed still holding a glass of beer in their hands. In short, war was declared on my beloved hometown.
At around 10pm, as I was getting ready to go out for drinks with a friend next to one of the attacks, my best friend called me saying I should not go because shootings had occurred in the 10th arrondissement. Not realising the importance of the event, I hung up and turned on the news. In less than two hours, 60 people were already reported dead and more than 40 hurt. Terrorized, I sent messages to everyone I knew in Paris. Some of my friends were near the attacks and witnessed the shootings. They were luckily brought to a safe place with the haunting memory of a bloodbath. However, the moving number of deaths and severely injured continued to increase until dawn. Many are still fighting for their lives at this time.
Hours after this tragedy, I want to turn myself towards everyone that has been affected by the attacks. First and foremost, my heart goes out to all the victims and their families – only love can give us the necessary strength to rise from this darkness forced upon us. My thoughts go to my friends living abroad, away from their family and country – we know you are with us. Finally, my concern goes to my city. Parisians, stay safe – walk down our streets proudly, but know we will not judge if you are not ready to do so.
For months, years, we have feared war, feared the uprise of terrorism in our country and the rest of the world. Now that the day has come, it is not shock that hits our souls but the sickening helplessness we feel as a result of such massacres. We must realise the implications of what has happened and unite to fight for our roots, our values and our blood.
Fight for Paris, fight for the world and fight for humanity.
We knew this day would come. But we are not fearless. We did not ask for any sort of violence or even resist when brought to our knees. We were just enjoying a typical Friday night out and, frankly, we did not deserve all of this attention.
Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
Featured image: Jean Jullien via Twitter