The night of November 13th brought ISIS to the Western world for the first time as attacks left hundreds either dead or wounded, a tragedy that has resulted in the love and mourning of people from every corner of the world.
In light of the Paris attacks, support has spread from one side of the globe to the other, the world has been blanketed by the French flag, with the Empire State Building and Sydney Opera house donning its colors in solace. Facebook even went as far as providing a safety check for the French, which provided them a way to see if their family and friends were safe, allowing them to rest easy during the distressing time.
The Paris attacks were of course a tragedy, there is no denying that these are dark times. Obviously, the love and support being provided by the media and people all over the globe is well deserved and appreciated, but the problem lies in the media coverage and the corresponding outpouring of love that has not been granted to countries such as Beirut, Nigeria, and Baghdad.
In Beirut specifically, 40 died and over 200 were wounded when two ISIS operatives blew themselves up in a crowded marketplace, just one day before the attack in Paris. This attack is the worst Beirut has seen in many years, and yet the attention and coverage of the attack has been vastly different than in Paris.
The attack in Paris was described as an attack on the youth, people simply enjoying their night out at a concert, while the attack in Beirut was seen as ISIS striking a war ridden area, containing supporters of Bashar-al Assad’s regime. Beirut, however, isn’t just that. It’s a diverse area containing people of all different countries and religions. People from all these different groups were killed in the suicide bombing, not just a certain group. Women, children, and elderly were lost but somehow this event isn’t deemed as an “attack on humanity.”
There was no Facebook safety check, no colors of the Lebanese flag projected on signature architecture or used as a filter for everyone's profile picture. It is understandable that Paris hits us closer to home, but it’s simply unfair that one group of people deserves less collective mourning than another.
Places like Beirut, Iraq, Syria, and many more have been collectively expected to live with bombings, mass killings, death. The West has deemed these events as a usual occurrence, the grieving the world may have felt is overshadowed by the conditioned apathy felt towards these places of war. How long does it take for a tragedies to become ordinary?
It is a tragedy in itself that apparently where you live determines the amount of compassion you deserve.
Yes, the attack on Paris was an attack on humanity, and it deserves all the love it is receiving, but all of the tragedies around the world, all the mass killings, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly, whether in Beirut, Syria, Baghdad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Iraq, or Paris, are attacks on humanity.Don’t forget your compassion, a life is a life.