“Don’t be who ISIS wants you to be”: Bloggers on Paris and Beirut

By Michelle W.

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Telling stories has power; they connect us, help us work through the raw emotion, and give us a way to make sense of events. After last week’s devastating violence in Paris and Beirut, these nine bloggers shared theirs, helping us do just that. Reading their posts may not be easy — but it is important.

Cultive le Web, “Attentats à Paris, j’étais rue de Charonne

A writer from Cultive le Web was out for an evening with friends Friday night when shooting began on the rue de Charonne. The staccato phrasing of this play-by-play post captures brings readers some tiny measure of the fear, panic, and disbelief. It’s an unvarnished outpouring we wish he had no occasion to write, but are glad he did.

9:45 p.m. Noise, screams. A fight? A rowdy crowd there at the bar? They must be drunk, like on any Friday night in Paris, right? I come closer. A group of people has formed on the other side of the sidewalk. “Kalashnikov shots.” “Casualties.” “Dozens of casualties.” “Broken glass, everywhere.” There’s a gush of details — who to believe? What to make out of this? What are they talking about? A shoot-out? Settling scores like in Marseille? But thinking about it, why not a terrorist attack? I ask, naively. “Obviously it’s a terrorist attack!” answer the patrons who’d fled running, all at once.*

*Translated from the French by WordPress.com editor Ben Huberman.

The Seventy Fifth, “Sense and Senselessness

Patrick lives in Paris’ 11e arrondissement, a short walk from Le Bataclan. Waking up the morning after Friday’s attacks, he looks for patterns in the violence that might give him hints for staying safe  — but finds none.

It makes sense, sadly, that an attack may occur at or near a French football match – the President was there, after all. We can avoid large displays of nationalism, sports, culture or otherwise. But
Source: Claire Huschle GMU  

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