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Paris: what the rest of the world is saying

As all of you know, November 13, 2015 is now home to a scar in French history.

In light of the massacre that occurred in Paris Bataclan Concert Hall by terrorist organization ISIS, the world responded with sympathy for the French community on social media, with some people going as far as changing their Facebook profile pictures to include a filter depicting a translucent French national flag.

Although some have done this with the utmost degree of good faith and empathy, others are finding it a hard pill to swallow.

People have found this outpouring of support for the French community touching, but also hypocritical when compared to the tens of thousands of devastating terrorist attacks that occur throughout the world each year.

It has only recently come to many people’s attention that there was another attack in the world last week.

Despite media outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, as well as countless others, the news of a terrorist attack in Lebanon last Thursday was evidently overlooked, as were the casualties of close to 50 innocent civilians.

The question is, why did this happen? Why weren’t there any Lebanese flag filters cycling through Facebook? The answer here is disturbing in its simplicity.

People in the West don’t care about the warring Middle East. It doesn’t hit close to home for us, and Lebanon’s stigma due to what we would consider an unfortunate geographical location has no chance of competing with the shattered romanticism and innocence associated with Paris, France.

Max Fisher, a reporter at Vox Latest News, has dedicated the last five years of his journalistic career to the pursuit of raising awareness for global bombings outside of the Western World.

Fisher wants to show that there are both tragedies and innocence, and there are children, not dissimilar to ours in North America, being orphaned and murdered; he also strives to show that these places are not always in a perpetual state of war.

There are times of peace in Middle Eastern countries, until there is not. The times where it is not is where journalists come in and painstakingly gather information from broken homes and communities, despite the fact they are being told by their editors and colleagues, “Nobody is going to read this.”

Like any other global event, different parts of the world are having conflicting views on the bombings in Paris and the media frenzy followed.

On the evening of Tuesday, November 17, before a friendly soccer game between Turkey and Greece at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium, league officials announced that prior to the match, there would be a moment of silence for those individuals slain in the Paris attacks last Friday.

This proposed moment of silence was instead filled by an orchestra of 17,000 booing football fans.

However, according to social media afterwards, the “boo’s” were not intended to be disrespect towards the victims of the Paris attacks, but rather towards the Western World’s hypocrisy in light of this specific attack.

“International teams did not hold a minute’s silence after the Ankara terror attack in October [2015]. More than 100 people died in the Turkish capital after two bombs were set off outside the Ankara Central railway station on October 11,” reports Tom Sheen of the UK-based publication Independent.

League representatives then addressed the issue to the media after the match concluded, saying, “Our fans should have behaved during the national anthems and during the one-minute silence, Greece is our neighbour. Today is world neighbours day, but our fans didn’t behave like neighbours in this match.”

However wrong and ultimately disrespectful to the fallen and their families, one can begin to understand the frustration of these people when faced with the overwhelming facts.

This publication is meant to be nothing more than one side of an ever-changing global debate topic.

The information provided here is a reflection of my research that has been conducted in light of this truly devastating event in world history.

I hold the highest degree of empathy for the victims and their families in Paris, and do not debate that it should be viewed as a global tragedy and gross injustice.

However, the message here is there are events like this happening every day around the world and you would be sorely mistaken if you believe that the West doesn’t play its role in inducing tragedy as well.

So, I am asking you to please, next time there is some tragedy in the world as there was in Paris, Lebanon, and Baghdad last week, keep in mind that there were a total of 12,500 terrorist attacks throughout the world in 2014 alone, that there are other tragedies that happen on a daily basis, tragedies that are just as catastrophic if not more so, tragedies that tear families apart and devastate communities.

Please be aware of this before you start to think that Western culture tragedies are the only tragedies. We are all citizens of this planet and we all have a right to be a part of it for as long as we can.

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