Reflections from Paris

Reflections from Paris

Paris Attacks reflections
Photo © S. Borisov/Shutterstock

This week, as a shadow of darkness hangs over our beloved Paris, we have struggled to find the right words to share with you. So we reached out to our amazing contributors and friends, who have helped produce this special issue of INSPIRELLE – a collection of inspiring voices which show that compassion can drive out hate and fear, that the light of humanity can fight the darkness of terror.

It began as a typical Friday evening. Our families were, fortunately, all safe at home watching a DVD or the France-Germany soccer match, one of our teenage kids studying for an exam. Then the media alerts started popping up on our iphones: multiple shootings, explosions outside the Stade de France, where the soccer match was taking place. Fussilade. Attentats à Paris. Again.

Immediately, we knew that our chief editor, who also works for a major American TV news network, was going to be off chasing the story. Text and social media messages began zinging between friends and family in Paris and from overseas to check if everyone we know was safe.

Some of our friends live near Bataclan, close enough to hear the gunshots from their apartments. Nearly every Parisian teenager or young adult has partied in that area. Le Petit Cambodge was a regular hangout for another friend, but not last Friday. While we are thankful that nobody in our immediate families or circle of friends were hurt, every one of us has been touched by the news of someone’s friend or relative, student or employee, who just barely escaped with their lives, or not.

mourning victims of Paris attacksTouching testimonies of shock, loss, compassion and courage are starting to emerge. Sean, the Eagles of Death Metal sound engineer who survived the concert hall attack by diving under a sound console. Julien, the young journalist who made a mad dash across the stage as the attackers reloaded their guns–but stopped to help hoist a wounded teenager out before bolting out the exit door himself. Sophie, who left the safety of her home near La Belle Equipe restaurant with her first aid kit in hand to help bandage the wounded. Ordinary citizens, young and old, who were just out living their normal lives.

We continue to mourn the lives lost and our hearts reach out to their loved ones as well as those still struggling for their lives. The question now is: how do we move on? If there’s one message resonating throughout Paris – the same message after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January – it’s that we will stand up to these acts of terrorism by continuing to carry on with our normal lives as much as we can.

Once again, we are seeing joggers in the park, children returning to school, people going back to work, dining at their local cafés and going out to museums and cinemas. Paris, the City of Light, defiantly shines.

Join the Conversation

If you have thoughts you’d like to share with us our our readers, we invite you to leave a comment in the box below this post.


  1. Hi! Thank you for creating this space. Yesterday I have written this blogpost about the role of parents in these difficult times.
    (I live in London at the moment, but was in Paris until Nov 2014. My hubby is Parisian and lots of family and friend live in Paris. So I do feel, I belong to Paris and Paris belong to me…and anyway, it is a European issue rather than a Parisian one.)

  2. I also worked on this tragic story and would like to add a brief comment.
    The emotion expressed in your article is I’m certain shared by all.
    However, what also moved me to tears was the overwhelming reaction from around the world. All those magnificent monuments lit up in red white and blue, the Marseillaise sung by British soccer fans and the heartfelt sympathy messages I personally received from friends around the world was unbelievably touching. So thank you everybody who felt what we were living through.
    Just lets hope it never happens again. Though I fear it will.


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