On Friday, November 13th 2015, France, my beautiful and cherished country, the one so many people are risking their life for, was attacked by terrorists. Nine months after the shooting of members of the satiric newspaper Charlie Hebdo, my country is in grief. A deep and painful grief we will all need time to recover from.
This time, the hatred of France of these extremists led them to murder the hope of our nation. Young people, parents, children, students, teachers, lawyers, lovers, they all just wanted to celebrate the end of the week, they were just living their life of free and independent people in an independent country. Hélie de Saint-Marc, a French poet, wrote Que dire à une jeune de vingt ans [What to say to a twenty year old person], it says;
“Je lui dirai qu’envers et contre tous il faut croire à son pays et en son avenir.” [I will tell him, beating all the odds, that you need to believe in your country and in its future].
We need to stand up and to believe in the strength of our nation. Even though it is hard, we have seen that the country has never been this united in decades. As the New-York Times perfectly wrote, France embodies everything you can dream of. Just wander in the streets of Paris to be convinced.
These attacks deeply hurt the country and France’s response to these attacks was fast. Within one day, our President, Francois Hollande, reacted and denounced the attacks as “an act of war”, disclosing a speech very similar from the one Georges W. Bush gave after 9/11. Yesterday, Sunday November 15th, massive bombing was launched on ISIS territories, as a response to an attack against the French values. Was it the best response ? Probably not. As a lot of people noticed, it might exacerbate the violence and end up in a war that will never end, like the one in Afghanistan. The bombing will kill Syrian citizens, that just happened to be in Raqqa. Some say our President reacted under the pressures of right-hand political personalities like Marine Le Pen or Nicolas Sarkozy. Some say it was the only way to respond. Because he used the term “war”, France had to fight back. This is a live issue and we cannot really know what the best outcome could have been. But what were the other possibilities ? It is true that fighting back seems to be what ISIS expected, that it will be their justification for all their future threats, but a decision had to be taken fast and we cannot blame our President for reacting before the second attacks within a year.
Even though this is a painful time, great values still emerge from our world. They will not take our love and our culture away. Life goes forward properly in Paris, we will show them that they will not win. Refugees from those countries, destructed by ISIS struggle to come to France and live the life they deserve to live in peace. They have not been through all this for nothing, not to end up living in a country in war. We will make them kneel down.
Citizens from all over the world “pray for Paris”, our National Anthem is sung throughout the world, our flag painted on millions of pictures. But do not only pray for Paris, pray for Beirut as well, and pray for the world.