By Susannah Hutcheson & Lorene Belotti, Guest BloggersNovember 18, 2015
On Friday, November 13th, Paris came under attack. Terror unfolded on the streets shattering peace in France’s capital. The events unfolded just a day after suicide bombers attacked a neighborhood in Beirut, killing 43 people.
With what seems to be a constant stream of violence and darkness unfolding all over the globe, it seems as if the world is broken. It’s hard to see any good come out of so much bad--the deep chasms of sorry, the hatred, the people we keep losing.
Despite this, we know beauty finds its way even in the destruction.
The power of humanity is a strong one, and it is the one that will pull us off the ground and back on to our feet.
It is the flashing smile of a friendly face, the waving of a flag, the holding of a hand- those are the things that will heal us. Humanity pays no attention to religious affiliations, skin color, or country.
Here are a few words from fellow I AM THAT GIRL contributor and French national, Lorene Belotti:
Paris, the capital city of my dear country, is the pride of French people and a kind of dream to the whole world, including us. Paris is synonymous with culture, beauty, the preservation of what our ancestors built and fought for, and also of progress. Freedom is the main word that comes to my mind. Yes, Paris is the symbol of liberty’s fighters.
I live far from Paris and, fortunately, my friend who lives there has not been directly touched by the tragedy. Despite this distance, I feel the pain of my fellow countrymen; I’m angry and sad. I honestly don’t understand why I feel so touched while no one I know is involved. I guess it’s because what’s hitting us is bigger than us, not understandable, not rational. We feel powerless. I’m shocked. It’s like a bad reality has slapped us in the face for simply being who we are, and this is unbearable.
This tragedy that showed the worst side of humanity also showed that the best of humanity also exists in dark times: we rose to beautiful acts of bravery, kindness, and solidarity. The international support particularly blew my mind and warmed my heart, from the Marseillaise played in the NYC’s Opera to the black banner around the arm of the Statue of David in Florence, Italy. I realized compassion, kind words, tolerance, and support are not just words preached by idealists. No, these values have as much power as hatred; they allow us to stand strong together, as one. And right now, there’s nothing more powerful.
As these tragedies continue to unfold, here are some ways that you can add your light:
Donate to Friends of Fondation de France: This organization allows Americans to donate directly to support the Fonds du 11 Janvier, a fund created after this year’s Charlie Hebdo attacks.
If you live in the Paris area, and have a place for people to stay, you can tweet #PorteOuverte, literally meaning “open door.”
Those in the U.S. can tweet #StrandedInUS.
Donations to the Red Cross Foundation can be made to help efforts around the world, including the events unfolding in Paris and Beirut.
Save the Children allows for donations to help young Lebanese children in a violence-ridden time.
Doctors Without Borders accepts donations to help in crisis situations.
On behalf of the IATG Family, we are saddened by these recent events and committed to remaining stronger, together.
Know a great resource to offer help, aid, or support for people impacted by these or other global tragedies? Share your information with us here.
Susannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth.
Lorene is a French observer and learner of life. She’s been working as a salesperson and a marketing assistant for four years to learn the ropes of the business world. She used to be a sports journalist while doing her Master’s degree and she loves writing and telling stories about great people too much not to go back to her first love soon. She lives in the French Alps, and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. Oh, and she’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).
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