This is an editorial piece I wrote for The New Hampshire. Although I wrote on behalf of the staff, I stand by my words. #prayforParis #prayforhumanity
Facebook pages have become filled with profile pictures of the French flag and hashtags expressing condolences and support for France following the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris over the weekend.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive support for the victims of these attacks, Facebook statuses, tweets and even a poem shared by over 90,000 accounts surfaced on why we should be paying more attention to other worldwide tragedies with the main issue being the perceived lack of media coverage for the terrorist bombings in Beirut that killed 43 people 3 days before the attacks in Paris.
As a staff, The New Hampshire feels deep sympathy for the recent tragedies in both Paris and Beirut. Furthermore, we encourage everyone to treat such tragedies with respect and not to disparage support expressed on social media.
Following the attacks, an Indian blogger named Karuna Ezara Parikh wrote and posted a poem on her Instagram account, explaining why she believes we should be praying for the entire world and not just Paris.
The poem’s main point comes from the lines that read, “It is not Paris we should pray for. It is the world. It is a world in which Beirut, reeling from bombing two days before Paris is not covered in the press.”
Parikh’s poem certainly has a noble message. It’s an unfortunate reality that we live in a world where tragedy strikes, especially in the form of violent attacks, on a regular basis. What happened in Beirut is terrible, and our most sincere condolences go out to those affected by the attack.
However, it is grossly inappropriate to belittle supporters of Paris by calling into question the validity of support that has been shown by thousands on social media.
Tragedy is not a competition. It is up to you as an individual to read the news. The media covered the bombings in Beirut; not seeing it does not make it less of an issue.
What seems to be the trouble is that more and more people tend to only follow the news that is “trending” on social media.
Both Paris and Beirut deserve judgment-free mourning and support from people around the world. It is our responsibility as a nation, and as humans of the world, to pay more attention to what is being reported.
Take initiative to show your support for everyone. Open others’ eyes to the world’s issues without disregarding the fact that the attack on Paris was the most deadly assault on France since World War II, according to CNN. Making fun of people who use a hashtag or change a profile picture by saying the support is a “fad” is simply immature. We can’t all fly to these devastated areas and personally console the family and friends who have lost loved ones or people who are traumatized. What we can do, and what many people worldwide are doing an unbelievably terrific job at, is showing support from all over the world. Those suffering can see that we see their pain, we feel their pain and we have their backs.
Look through the news and find where people have experienced a traumatic event. In this day and age, everyone has access to speak to the world. Use your resources, use the Internet to show your support and teach others about these issues. Show others where the love is needed, but don’t do it through chastising people who aren’t showing support for all causes equally. Doing that takes the focus away from what really matters: the lives of innocent people lost.