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Paris – One Week On

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By Maria Loizou

We are all aware of the horrendous acts of terrorism that Paris fell victim to on the 13th November. Hundreds of innocent citizens lost their lives in a series of attacks, and the whole worlds eyes were on the news in fear for the poor Parisians and their families. A week later, with plenty of time to reflect, how are people feeling about the attacks?

The footage of mourning that was at the centre of the news headlines has now been replaced by investigations and suspicions, and whilst the city will surely recover its unique magic and incredible atmosphere, for now the city is segregated.

Memorial_to_November_2015_Paris_attacks_at_French_embassy_in_Moscow_15With terror threats still consistently high, civilians have been informed to avoid meeting in large groups. There are some locals who are living in fear, unable to go near the areas affected without feeling plagued with guilt and anger. Loved ones, friends and colleagues of the deceased and injured will suffer the inevitable pain from their unimaginable loss and trauma. Other Parisians have a different approach, they truly are ‘not afraid’, and despite advice not to, they have been meeting up, singing and dancing, in order to show how they won’t let terrorists stop them from continuing their lives. Like a stone thrown into a pond, the ripples of association from each of the hundreds of personal tragedies touches so many people in its wake.

When considering the position of citizens in Paris, others are being wrongly prejudiced. Those with no direct association or responsibility are destined to suffer a backlash of anger and ridicule, and will therefore be ostracised by many Parisians, just because they happen to share the same God as the terrorists, and that their families too originate from the Middle East.

Personally, I will never forget the shock and horror as the news unfolded on the Friday evening, and the following Saturday morning, and the deep, genuine anger I had as the evil acts continued. This seemed to ring true for many others, as all over my social media I could see tributes and images dedicated to those suffering. We all felt sadness, and a desire to show France that we too shared their pain.

A week on, and it is evident the outcomes of these horrendous acts are intended to create tensions between the already delicate relationships between French born residents and the local Muslims. The people of France were already in a precarious state after the events in January, and this will only have worsened their feelings and worries.

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I for one have never sung the French national anthem before, but when watching the England vs France friendly on Tuesday I felt compelled to support our neighbours in Paris, and was truly humbled by the minutes silence that occurred on Monday, and again in the football match on Tuesday. I really hope that the Parisians can now unite against the fanatics, and soon can contribute to make Paris the beautiful inviting city that we all know and love.

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aAh!

aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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