While our families, our friends and ourselves are safe, the shootings this past Friday evening, November 13th, have shaken and saddened us.
The victims of this mindless violence had only in common that they were French, the attacks being focused on north-east Paris, far from the central districts favored by most international visitors, our guests in particular.
Most of the casualties were attending a hard rock concert (presumably a symbol of depravity…) at the Bataclan concert hall, which had long been a target of Islamist extremists due to the supposed zionist connections of its owner.
These coordinated Islamic attacks are reminiscent of a similar series of suicide bombings that occurred simultaneously in London on July 7th 2005, killing 52 and wounding 700. The London attack remained an isolated incident.
We have been very moved by the influx of kind messages of concern, as well as the graphic demonstrations of support all around the world in blue, white and red. It is heartening to feel the support of the whole world pulling together. The human spirit is strong.
When Paris turned out its lights in mourning, the rest of the world turned them on.
Such worldwide support will perhaps help fanatical terrorists realize that they cannot defeat the spirit of freedom and enjoyment of life.
As the New York Times beautifully put it:
“France embodies everything religious zealots everywhere hate: enjoyment of life here on earth in a myriad little ways: a fragrant cup of coffee and buttery croissant in the morning, beautiful women in short dresses smiling freely on the street, the smell of warm bread, a bottle of wine shared with friends, a dab of perfume, children paying in the Luxembourg Gardens, the right not to believe in any god, not to worry about calories, to flirt and smoke and enjoy sex outside of marriage, to take vacations, to read any book you want, to go to school for free, to play, to laugh, to argue, to make fun of prelates and politicians alike, to leave worrying about the afterlife to the dead.
No country does life on earth better than the French.
Paris, we love you. We cry for you. You are mourning tonight, and we with you. We know you will laugh again, and sing again, and make love, and heal, because loving life is your essence. The forces of darkness will ebb. They will lose. They always do”
In the immortal words of Humphrey Bogart: “We’ll always have Paris”.
Your friends in Paris,
The A La Carte Paris team: Alex, Julie, Catherine, Katy, Jean-Eric, Annabelle, Carole, Gemma, Phil, Jacquie, Julio, Danielle, Gilbert and Rolly.
Please comment and contribute your thoughts and impressions in the comments section below.