Whether you kept up with the news or not, here is what went down last month:

The evening of November 13, there were a series of crimes that targeted 6 different locations in Paris and Saint-Denis with 130 killed and 368 injured. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for this tragic event, which included three suicide bombs in Stade de France, mass shootings in cafes and restaurants, and taking hostages from the Bataclan Theatre. With the traumatic attacks coming to an end, officials counted the deaths of 7 attackers and arrested countless suspects for being possible accomplices to the criminals. The series of attacks were called the deadliest in France since World War II and in the European Union since the Madrid train bombing from 2004.

Two days after the attacks, the French government took action in taking revenge. They launched the biggest airstrikes to Raqqa, a city where ISIL is based. The government also settled political problems to resolve the issue at hand. They have helped the citizens recover from the tragedy. To show respect for the victims of the terror attacks, major public areas and landmarks such as Disneyland and the Eiffel Tower were closed for days. Citizens gathered with flowers and lit candles to remember their loved ones.

The rest of the world shared their condolences for the Paris attacks’ victims. Countries illuminated their state buildings with the colors blue, white, and red to represent the French Flag. Global citizens also took part in showing their support through various hashtags such as #PorteOuverte (which means “open doors” – it was used to offer overnight shelters for the victims of the attacks,) #peaceforparis, and #prayforparis. Major corporations engaged in spreading the news. Google added a black ribbon on the bottom of their search engine page to mourn for the casualties. Facebook provided users with a French flag filter (as did Snapchat) for their profile pictures. Skype allowed free domestic and international calls to landlines and mobiles in France so that families and friends could reach out to their loved ones.

With so much love comes with some hate. It was upsetting to see that some people posted loathful comments about how Paris’ terror attacks were overrated. They refused to add filters to their profile pictures on Facebook, claiming that those who took part in using the filters were under peer pressure to do so, and did their best to show almost no support for the victims. Many people thought this way because other terror attacks in smaller, developing countries were virtually ignored. They agreed that the media is biased and accentuates certain topics of discussion over others. Instead of encouraging #prayforParis, they are advocating #prayfortheworld in consideration of the people in Iraq, Syria, Beirut, Baghdad, and many more.

The November Paris Attacks were amongst the events that grabbed the most attention this year. It was nice to see the world show so much love and support for France. We hope for them to bounce back to their normal lives. This shocking experience is something we will never forget.


Photo: Christian Michelides

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