I’m deeply troubled by the carnage this past weekend in both Paris and Beirut. This sadness comes from a number of places—I have friends, both from Lebanon and from France, and I feel the intense sadness they feel for their own people. I am also troubled because this is another tragic moment where fanaticism and hateful, exclusionary ideology has manifested itself as a violent outbreak, leaving the global community crippled and asking, yet again, “Why?”
Aside from my grief, I feel something else; I feel confused. I am confused as to why a global outpour of sympathy has been directed almost exclusively towards France, leaving Lebanon, for the most part, in the dark. This is not to say I think there should be no sympathy shown for France—on the contrary, I wonder why people do not see the bombing and loss of innocent life in Lebanon, by the same group of fanatics, as troubling as the French incident. Monuments were lit up with France’s colors of red, white and blue, as well as people’s Facebook profile pictures, and I was sitting there wondering, what about the rest of the victims? Aren’t their lives equally precious and important? I did not see this sort of solidarity for the victims of the Lebanese bombings, or the Yemeni civilians crippled by airstrikes, or the Jordanian fighter pilot, and all the other journalists and aid workers who were brutally murdered at the hands of ISIS. These are just a few examples that hit close to home.
I just wonder, what if my home in Jordan, which is just a borderline away from Lebanon, were to be subjected to such terror? Would the global community stand in solidarity with my people, my family, my friends and my home? Or will it be seen as just another act of violence that can be expected in such a turbulent region?
My thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone who has been affected by this past weekend’s global tragedy; no life is less precious than any other.