#ParisAttacks : 5 messages to my Facebook “friends”


Unless you are living under a (huge) rock, you must all know by now about the terrible terrorists attacks on Paris last Friday. I have spent the last decade working in war affected countries and Paris has always been my shelter, my little paradise where I could recharge my batteries with love and beauty.

I feel deeply hurt and shocked. But I don’t hate anyone, I am praying for peace in my home and in the world.I spent endless hours on Twitter and Facebook last week end, sharing the messages of families looking for their relative, forwarding requests for blood donations, trying to fathom what happened.Facebook is incredibly useful, but some posts really shocked me:

  1. How do you understand respect for the victims?

Imagine your father has been killed in a terrorist attack. You’ve been anxiously praying and hoping, but he will never come back home. Now how would YOU feel when a friend tells you “bah, some thousands km away, a girl lost 3 family members, at least you have the media talking about your father! hope you feel for her“.

(c) Alexandra Ferrero
(c) Alexandra Ferrero

No. I can’t feel for her NOW.

You cant ask me to feel for someone else when I can’t even feel anything inside of me.

Before you are able to open your heart again, you have to fix it first. I do respect others’ pains and sorrows, but I loathe the comparison, the rude contextualisation. When there are still many families anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones, how can people be so heartless and publish pictures of other victims of terrorist attacks (without even blurring their faces, showing the little respect they also have for them)  in other countries? is it a competition? are we supposed to feel better knowing we are not the only ones?

where is the respect here? we are talking human beings, with unique stories, with parents and children, would they be in Paris, Beyrouth, Syria or anywhere in the world. This is not marketing for a cause.

( and I am not even talking about shameless politicians ..)

2. Why some can’t help but lecturing and patronizing ? 

I could not believe I would be so touched with people from all over the world adding a French flag filter to their profile picture. It felt like hugs from everywhere, and it does warm our hearts. The profiles with Eiffel towers, with hearts, really touched me.

I am not mad at the ones who did not change it. I did not even change mine. There are many other ways to express our sympathy. But I am mad at the stupid justifications of people who refused to do it, because they consider it as “meaningless”.

(c) joannagniadi
(c) joannagniadi

Some people felt the need to explain that they would not change their picture because it was “not enough”. People had to do more, think more than just clicking.

Again, there is a time for everything. Not all people can do more, but at least for one hour, for one day, they expressed their solidarity. it goes beyond the French flag to me. We are talking about the values of “freedom, equality and fraternity”.

There is a time for talking to your heart, and another one for addressing your head. Of course we need to talk more, do more and come with concrete measures to fight terrorism and create a culture of peace. We all agree on that. But give time to time. Let’s stand beside all the victims first and express our simple compassion. This is more urgent to me than “thinking forward”.

3. Why judging the messages of sympathy?

(c) Sfar Joann

I consider myself 100% Parisian (minus the cigarette that I dropped years ago). But still I am praying. And I am thankful and grateful for all the people who are praying too, for peace and love in our world. If you feel like praying for love, please do so.

If you feel like meditating, dancing, singing, shouting, please please do so.

We all have our ways of coping, we all have our ways to express ourselves. Lets respect each others, we need all the love, whatever the form. The more we have, the more we can share. Not all Parisians are behind this drawing, believe me:

Express your solidarity to each and every one who has  been hurt. What I learnt from last Weekend attacks is that it means something. Wherever in the world there is another human being in pain, extend a piece of your heart. A prayer, a “I think of you” , a kiss, a pad on the back. We are all together into this, we can all stand strong together, so our values of love, peace and respect for one another will prevail against obscurantism and fanatisme.

But for the thousands of peace lovers:

4. Thanks for helping us feeling strong again. So we can stand again and unite all together for peaceful world

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.09.11

Those lights are symbols of hope and resilience. They stand for fight against terrorism and respect for diversity, anywhere in the world. They mean freedom.

5. And because life still goes on ..

and the best way to respond to the violence and madness of these men is to continue to live normally:

Parisians stand strong : It’s not 3 terrorists who ll prevent me from paying 5 euros for my coffee in terrace!

16 thoughts on “#ParisAttacks : 5 messages to my Facebook “friends”

      1. I’m one of those who changed their Facebook profile pics too! its little acts like these, simple as they may be, that matter and now i know it matters more, because I am lucky enough to have met you here in WordPress and this post of yours acknowledging the thousands of Facebook profile pics that have been changed to show your country’s colors makes it more meaningful. One simple act. If only we can do one small, simple seemingly insignificant beautiful act to one person everyday and pass it forward, maybe, just maybe, we can let more goodness and positivity shine through.

    1. Of course you can use it 🙂 THanks for your kind message, I do really appreciate it. And I totally agree, this is not religion. Religion preaches love and respect. Words that those criminals totally despise.

  1. Beautiful post and absolutely agree with your points. I actually unfollowed a group on FB today who continually express anti-refugee sentiments and appear to have no sympathy for what has happened. I do wonder sometimes why I have some of my FaceBook “friends” – we have such different beliefs and are connected only by having attended the same school. I am saddened and embarrassed by their narrow-minded behaviour. More hugs to you X.

    1. Thanks a lot my dear! I felt the same about many of my FB “friends” . I first commented on the stupid posts, but it took me so much time that I finally opted for the efficient option : Unfollowing. I don’t need this kind of energy in my life.
      Taking all the hugs with great pleasure Xthanks thanks thanks again

  2. Wonderful post, Estelea. I’m following the news daily and am happy that many of the terrorists involved are under arrest. We have to keep positively imagining that peace and love will eventually overcome the violence and hatred. *hugs*

    1. Thanks so much dear for your message! I can’t agree more with you, we have to be united and stand very strong for love, freedom and respect. Many hugs back at you X

  3. Agree with all your points.
    And what I have found to be the best response from the people of Paris:
    “Même pas peur!”
    On va continuer à se peler de froid sur les terrasses rien que pour prendre un café.
    Même pas peur!

    1. Pareil pour moi! Cette réponse m’a fait tellement chaud au coeur. Meme pas peur de payer un micro cafe 5 ridicules euros en terrace 😉 Santé, Companero!

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