Sunday, 15 November 2015

An Ode to the City of Love

Like so many around the globe, this weekend has left me heartbroken and with a little less innocence and naivety about the world we live in. Watching the horrific events in Paris play out on the News felt surreal and like something from a nightmare. There is nothing worse than knowing that people are terrified, hurting and even dying right at that very moment but there's nothing you can do except be a helpless onlooker. However, despite the tragic losses, and I pray for everyone affected, Paris, and the world, stayed united. Paris is known for being the 'city of love' but this weekend they proved that this goes far beyond romantic love, as they demonstrated a love for each other and all of humanity.


It's always amazing to see how people band together in desperate times, but I guess these times are when humanity is needed most and at its strongest. It was incredible to see the impact social media had on this crisis and , despite recent criticisms, the Internet played a very positive role during the events. The hashtag #PorteOuverte (translated as 'open door') was used by locals to offer those stranded in Paris, or far away from home, refuge in their houses. Those who were in need of help could search through the hashtag for the 'open doors' near them and I guarantee this simple act of togetherness saved lives.

This act of humanity was not isolated and throughout the past few days we have seen many brave, selfless responses to the tragedy. Taxi drivers turned off their metres and set about taking people to safety for free, risking their own lives by still being out in the streets. French police and millitants also risked their lives by staying out all night to protect the Parisian citizens. The following day, when people could have stayed at home terrified,  queues of people lined outside French hospitals, looking to donate blood to help the injured.

These little acts of humanity prove just why terrorism will never win. The fact that the people of Paris even got out of bed and got dressed the next day proves why it will never win. Even during evacuation, fans at the Stade de France joined together and sang the French National Anthem as an act of defiance. That's why terrorism will never win. When Paris turned off its lights to mourn, the rest of the world stepped up to the mark and turned them on on France's behalf. Famous landmarks all around the world lit up in French colours to signify that we stand together as one and we're not afraid.

Terrorists hope that the fear and destruction they cause will destroy a nation, hurt it so badly that it will never recover. Granted, France, and the rest of the world, are hurting. Many will have never experienced hurt so bad, but these little glimmers of hope shown so soon after adversity prove that France will be ok. With fear comes hope and with heartbreak comes love, both of which are a million times stronger than cowardly acts of violence. This weekend the city of love has done just that: love, love and love some more. And there is absolutely nothing in this world stronger than that.

Paris: 1 Terrorism : 0.

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Love Emma

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