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Sat Nov 14, 2015, 11:18 AM

The Streets of Paris Are as Familiar to Me as the Streets of Beirut


The Streets of Paris Are as Familiar to Me as the Streets of Beirut
Posted 14 November 2015 7:39 GMT

Written by Joey Ayoub


Meme widely shared in solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks.


I come from a privileged Francophone community in Lebanon. This has meant that I have always seen France as my second home. The streets of Paris are as familiar to me as the streets of Beirut. I was just in Paris a few days ago.

These have been two horrible nights of violence. The first took the lives of over 40 in Beirut; the second took the lives of over 120 people and counting in Paris.

It also seems clear to me that to the world, my people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris.

We do not get a “safe” button on Facebook. We do not get late night statements from the most powerful men and women alive and millions of online users.

We do not change policies which will affect the lives of countless innocent refugees.

This could not be clearer.

I say this with no resentment whatsoever, just sadness.

It is a hard thing to realize that for all that was said, for all the progressive rhetoric we have managed to create as a seemingly united human voice, most of us members of this curious species are still excluded from the dominant concerns of the “world”.

And I know that by “world”, I am myself excluding most of the world. Because that’s how power structures work.

I do not matter.

My “body” does not matter to the “world”.

If I die, it will not make a difference.

Again, I say this with no resentment.

That statement is merely a fact. It is a political fact, true, but a fact nonetheless.

Maybe I should have some resentment in me, but I am too tired. It is a heavy thing to realize.

I know that I am fortunate enough that when I do die, I will be remembered by friends and loved ones. Maybe my blog and an online presence might even gather some thoughts by people around the world. That is the beauty of the internet. And even that is out of reach to too many.

Never so clearly as now have I understood what Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about when he spoke of the Black Body in America. I think there is a story to be told of the Arab Body as well. The Native American Body. The Indigenous Body. The Latin American Body. The Indian Body. The Kurdish Body. The Pakistani Body. The Chinese Body. And so many other bodies.

The Human Body is not one. It sure feels that it should be by now. Maybe that in itself is an illusion. But maybe it is an illusion worth preserving because without even that vague aspiration towards oneness on the part of some part of the body, I am not sure what sort of world we would be living in now.

Some bodies are global, but most bodies remain local, regional, “ethnic”.

My thoughts are with all the victims of today’s and yesterday's horrific attacks, and my thoughts are with all those who will suffer serious discrimination as a result of the actions of a few mass murderers and the general failure of humanity’s imagination to see itself as a unified entity.

My only hope is that we can be strong enough to generate the opposite response to what these criminals intended. I want to be optimistic enough to say that we are getting there, wherever “there” might be.

We need to talk about these things. We need to talk about Race. We just have to.

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https://globalvoices.org/2015/11/14/the-streets-of-paris-are-as-familiar-to-me-as-the-streets-of-beirut/

12 replies, 2217 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Streets of Paris Are as Familiar to Me as the Streets of Beirut (Original post)
Catherina Nov 2015 OP
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2015 #1
Catherina Nov 2015 #3
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2015 #5
Catherina Nov 2015 #6
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2015 #7
cpwm17 Nov 2015 #10
Cal Carpenter Nov 2015 #2
Catherina Nov 2015 #4
Ghost Dog Nov 2015 #8
Catherina Nov 2015 #12
riderinthestorm Nov 2015 #9
Catherina Nov 2015 #11

Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 11:53 AM

1. Excellent point, and correct.

I read about the attacks in Beirut last night.
dunno if there was any MSM coverage.

But yes, we still have too much "less than" attitude floating around, even here on DU, where I was appalled to read virulent anti-Muslim posts.
Let me be clear..those posts were anti ALL Muslims, not just limited to ISIS which is a radical destructive sect of one BRANCH of Muslim belief.

and race is a large part of the ANTI Middle East hatred.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 02:01 PM

3. There's rarely any coverage. Look how fast they swept the hospital bombing in Afghanistan

under the rug even as MSF increases its cries for an honest investigation.

Everyhour on my twitter feed, I get multiple reports of US-backed terror attacks around the world. We're currently warring in 74 countries right now, 74! JSOC, which isn't accountable to congress, is deployed all over for proxy wars.

DU has literally been making me ill since yesterday afternoon. So much refusal to examine root causes, so much hatred of our victims, so much sick justification to continue hating the people we terrorize.

Hi dixiegrrrrl

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Response to Catherina (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 02:48 PM

5. Good to hear from you.

I was reading quite a few "anti-ALL-Muslims" rhetoric on DU yesterday/last night.

The inability to see except in shades of either-or., black or white, even here, is so much a part of the problem.

edited to add:

to re-iterate specifically what you pointed out:
"Jeremy Scahill in Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, writes,
“By mid-2010, the Obama administration had increased the presence of Special Operations forces from sixty countries to seventy-five countries. SOCOM had about 4,000 people deployed around the world in countries besides Iraq and Afghanistan.”


I have that book.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 03:27 PM

6. It is, so much part of the problem

discouraging too. Especially seeing some of the people spouting it.

I've been watching French news all day. Calls for state violence are being paraded as mourning. I hope the French won't bite.

Let's not even talk about US news.

I want that book.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:46 PM

7. I pm'd you. n/t

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 06:57 PM

10. "and race is a large part of the ANTI Middle East hatred."

 

Of course it is. Islamophobia is cover for racism.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 01:56 PM

2. K & R

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Response to Cal Carpenter (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 02:02 PM

4. Hi Cal, thank you

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 06:46 PM

8. This is very much on the mark

(au point).

Thanks, Catherina.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 11:30 PM

12. Thanks for reading it & commenting Ghost Dog.

Merci beaucoup

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 06:49 PM

9. K&R Catherina. As usual you bring some of the best stuff to DU! nt

 



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 11:29 PM

11. Merci! That's really kind and gracious of you

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