Je Suis Paris

November 16, 2015 5

24

Paris, Je suis Paris,

How do I start a blog post about a topic where I struggle to find words? Last Friday’s Paris attacks have left me speechless, motionless, sad, worried, angry. Paris is an important city in my life, I also call it a second home. Many people I love live there, people I care about and people I was worried about when I learned the dreadful news on Friday evening. Once I knew everyone was ok, I expected relief. But that moment of relief lasted but a second. I was numb while watching the news, hearing details I did not want to hear, seeing places I know and did not want to see in this context – and one thought circled my mind: My friends could have been there. I could have been there (in fact I passed two of the locations just last weekend). In fact, anyone of us could have been there. What’s wrong with the world we live in?

Paris, Je suis Paris

Paris, Je suis Paris

I started this blog post two days ago but I was unable to finish it. I needed a few more days of ’emotional distance’ to recuperate my mind. I am terrified for what happened not only in Paris – this happens all the time at places we little know. And our media care little. It was only after the Paris attacks that I heard of similar attacks in Beirut. I am terrified for the people suffering, people who lost their beloved ones through such perfidious, coward attacks. And I realized that this is not a story about Paris even though Paris has been affected so much this year. This is about all of us. About our lives, our choices, our freedom. It scares me to think of this as a sort of third world war that knows no battlegrounds but targets our daily lives. And I ask myself: Will I be scared to travel in future? Will I be afraid next time I am in Paris? Will I go out and have dinner in the 11th arrondissement? Will I go and see a show in a Paris theatre?

Paris, Je suis Paris

Paris, Je suis Paris

Paris, Je suis Paris

For me there can only be one answer to that question: No, I will not let terror define my life and my lifestyle. I will not be scared. And Paris will remain my city of choice and the place where I will return constantly. It is home to people I love and I love the city as a whole. It is a city that celebrates life, it is not a city defined by terror. And it will not be. I am deeply sorry for the people who lost someone beloved, for them this will leave a mark for life, but it is up to us to stand against this terror. We must not give in. We must be stronger and we will be. Paris will be stronger. Beirut will be stronger. Any city struck by cowards will be stronger.

Paris, Je suis Paris

Paris, Je suis Paris

It is hard to go back to normal life, to a daily routine while the thoughts keep circulating around the recent events. But I believe in a better future. For the sake of all of us. And I want to close this blog post with a great quote I have seen recently, one by Martin Luther King, Jr. It speaks from my heart: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Photography by Igor Josifovic

24 Comments

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24 Comments

  • Reply Yvonne November 16, 2015 at 11:15

    I don’t even know how to soothe you as I don’t even know how to soothe myself. It’s something that concerns us all. I 100% agree with you that we have to continue to live our beautiful lives and let nobody take our laughs and freedom.

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2015 at 14:48

      That’s exactly what I mean Yvonne! We must stay stronger! And we will!

  • Reply Pia November 16, 2015 at 12:23

    Well said Igor. I agree with you. I used to live there as well (although for a short period of time) and find these events extremely sad and disturbing but will NEVER EVER give in to terror. All the best, Pia

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2015 at 14:49

      Thank you Pia!

  • Reply un23 ilaria November 16, 2015 at 14:22

    I love your pictures as usual! Bravo for this post and for your words. I don’t have the strength to do the same. They won’t take away our freedom to live but it still hurts it could happen in those streets and places we used to walk to when in Paris. I hope all your friends are safe. xoxo

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2015 at 14:46

      Merci Ilaria! I am still in a sort of bubble where I am struggling to believe this actually happened. I mean this is the area we all go to. This is the area I went to last week. It is scary but it must not define our life. That is for sure! Luckily all my friends are ok, I hope all your friends are safe too!

  • Reply Yvonne November 16, 2015 at 14:48

    There really are no words to describe something like this, except terrifying. I totally agree. I’m so glad you posted this. Wishing everyone strength. Stay safe.

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2015 at 14:51

      Thank you Yvonne! I felt the need to put something down in words, especially since I am blogging so often about Paris and since I have many dear people living there.

  • Reply Eclectic Hamilton November 16, 2015 at 14:59

    Lieber Igor, ein tolles Statement!
    Ganz großes Dankeschön dafür!!!

    Greetings & Love
    Ines

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2015 at 16:05

      Danke Dir Ines!

  • Reply Iro November 16, 2015 at 17:23

    Oh Igor… Keeping the beautiful pictures, allowing for a virtual visit to a city I love & need to / will return to, as much as the words that speak from your heart quoted in the end, close to my heart to.

    Thank you & warm wishes my friend. xoxo

    • Reply Igor November 17, 2015 at 11:29

      Merci my friend! We will have coffee in Paris one day, promised!

  • Reply sadia November 16, 2015 at 18:09

    PARIS est éternelle ! vive la France ! vive la liberté ! It was so horrible last friday but we must continue to blogging beautiful pictures and talks about all wonderful things in the world : decor, green plants, designers, flowers, artisans, travel …
    Live, Love and pray for the victims …

    • Reply Igor November 17, 2015 at 11:30

      That is the spirit Sadia! Thank you & here’s to more happy news and a better future! In Paris and everywhere else!

  • Reply Yeshen November 16, 2015 at 20:57

    Thanks for this post Igor. A reminder that we should not let terrorists dictate how we enjoy the cities we love.

    • Reply Igor November 17, 2015 at 11:30

      Thank you Yeshen for taking the time to comment! We will not let them dictate anything!

  • Reply Mark November 17, 2015 at 03:56

    Well said. I had the pleasure of visiting Paris a few years ago. It was my first time in Europe but definitely not my last! In fact, after watching the recent tragic events, I’m going to start planning my next trip! Live in fear? Not a chance!

    Loving you blog – keep up the good work!

    • Reply Igor November 17, 2015 at 11:31

      Thank you very much Mark!

  • Reply Tiff @Curate & Display November 17, 2015 at 19:38

    It’s such a difficult thing to comprehend. And I battled with this the following day when I had to go into London. I was worried. And yes, to a point I thought that it would be better if I stayed away, just in case, but you can’t live life that way, that’s what they want. Paris is a city that I have as yet to visit, but it won’t keep me away, I can’t wait to walk its streets and fall in love with it as so many have and will continue to do. And I am glad that you and yours are safe and well. Very, very glad. X

    • Reply Igor November 17, 2015 at 20:23

      Thank you Tiff! That is important, we must not change our life and be afraid because then we are giving in. And it would be my honor to take you on a stroll in Paris and enjoy a coffee with you there!

  • Reply mel November 19, 2015 at 07:55

    Absolutely heart wrenching. Thank you for that last quote, it’s more than perfect. x

    • Reply Igor November 19, 2015 at 11:25

      It gives me hope, Mel! We must not forget that. Sending you a big hug!

  • Reply Maddalena Ferella Falda November 19, 2015 at 16:28

    Je suis Paris, too. Thanks for your words, Igor.

  • Reply julia I mintlametta November 20, 2015 at 22:38

    lieber igor, du hast so treffende worte gefunden, so ehrliche persönliche zeilen und zugleich so grundsätzlich richtiges, das uns alle betrifft – liebe grüße, julia

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