I came across an interesting news article from the New York Times this evening that explained everything I’ve been thinking for the last two days on the current situation in Paris, France after a deadly terrorist attack Friday left 130 people dead.
However, while Paris has been all over the news with world leaders and the international community alike standing proud and united as some sort of means to finally put our foot down against terrorism, it seems the two deadly suicide bombings that took place 24 hours before in Lebanon meant nothing.
As the article suggests, and I will leave a link to it below, there were no monuments lit up with the colors of the flag, there were no speeches from presidents or prime ministers and there were no moments of mourning for the more than 40 people that died that day.
Because it’s the Middle East, and that’s what makes the lack of global sympathy so despicable.
What makes the atrocities that happened in Lebanon any different than what happened in Paris?
Lives were lost. Families were broken. A city and its people are left in ruins.
Perhaps this is why I feel so numb to what has occurred in France.
Yes, what has happened is a tragedy and innocent lives should never be lost by a person or by people so willing to kill in the name of a group such as the Islamic State that is not representative of this region I live in and the people I am surrounded by, nor should it be seen as a representation of Islam, a religion I am as equally and deeply connected to as the people of the Middle East.
However, because Paris was targeted not even a year after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, and suicide bombs seem to be a daily thing in the Middle East as portrayed by Western media, a global outpouring of support comes to France while Lebanon and its victims quite literally get left in the rubble.
As the article puts it: suicide bombs are just “something that happens in THOSE parts of the world.”
What exactly is “THOSE parts of the world”?
As far as I’m concerned, THIS part of the world is just like any other.
The West seems to forget that life still matters here just as much as it does in some city like Paris.
The West also seems to ignore the fact that violence and carnage are surprisingly not an everyday occurrence throughout the Middle East, despite what your television likes to depict.
What happened Thursday in Beirut was the first real attack I’ve even heard about since coming here almost three months ago, and Lebanon is surprisingly safe despite what has just occurred.
In fact, this time last week I would have probably felt safer in Beirut than in my own city of Amman where there was an attack on a military training center not even 30 minutes away from me that left five people dead.
Even then, the situation in Amman was a lone wolf incident and is again not reflective of Islam, ISIS or the Middle East.
This region is a lot calmer than you’d like or choose to think.
The notion that Americans and Westerners alike hold that this region of the world matters less because it’s known for hoarding people who hold extremist ideas is absolutely ridiculous to me.
A terrorist attack in a city like Paris should not be held to a different status than one in Beirut, and it shouldn’t give reason for the West to finally unite and go up in arms against the Islamic State.
We drop everything when 130 people lose their lives in Paris. Meanwhile we actively choose to ignore that people continue to lose their lives here in Syria’s civil war or in fleeing to find refuge in a country like France.
Why doesn’t this matter? Where’s the condemnation and plot for revenge from world leaders? Why isn’t there more of a push to fight ISIS because of this very reason?
Because the Middle East is a lost cause.
This region and its people don’t matter, and that, quite frankly, is disgusting.