There is not enough space in this paper to write about the sorrow, anger and grief that people are feeling after the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, France, that killed at least 132 people and injured more than 300. The day before, a double suicide bomb attack killed 43 people in Beirut.
A perfectly executed timing of mass destruction shook the grounds of the France’s capital when a bomb went off during a soccer match at the Stade de France, a concert at Bataclan and several restaurants and cafés in the 10th and 11th arrondissement.
The news was all too familiar for New Yorkers, who were instantly transported back the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Islamic State proudly took responsibility for both country’s massacres, as the rest of the world began to execute safety measures and plot a course of revenge.
For those in Paris, Facebook launched a check-in feature for users in the city, allowing them to notify friends and family that they were safe. The site also allowed users to filter their profile pictures with the French flag, but did nothing for those in Beirut, who felt overshadowed and forgotten.
But it is not enough to post #prayforparis or send empty condolences in the form of 140 characters. During this time of thanks and giving, those who truly want to help should consider donating more of themselves.
For those near Europe, blood donations are needed for the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, who are coordinating relief efforts in France and Beruit. French Popular Relief is accepting clothing, money and material assistance for those in France as Mercy Corps is accepting money and material assistance to provide to Lebanese victims.
The City of Lights was dimmed for a little while, but now shines brighter than ever. Pray for Paris and believe for Beirut.