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In the wake of mayhem

For the second time this year on Friday, my country France and the people of Paris suffered a ruthless and cowardly terrorist attack. It left 129 and counting for dead, hundreds critically injured and millions scared and scarred. Once again, one of the world’s most beautiful cities witnessed the ugliest man is capable of.

The targets weren’t symbolic locations, cleverly picked to send a strong message. The victims weren’t politicians, soldiers nor fearless, defiant journalists. They were random people, out for a drink, a meal or a gig. They were just there to enjoy life, to be around loves ones. They were me, they were you.

When I sat down to write this post, I intended to go on some long, angry political rant. But today, sadness and shock prevail over anger. I’m lost for words, stunned by the cruelty, the insanity, the randomness of it all.

So in the wake of yet another black day for mankind, I decide to instead focus on the best we’ve seen in people over the last few days, in the wake of mayhem.

The outpour of solidarity around the world has been incredible, with famous landmarks everywhere lighting us in support during the Capital of Light’s darkest of hours:

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Including here in London:

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This amazing trending image which tells 1000 words:

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This video of football fans evacuating the Stade de France following the attacks. Refusing to be silenced, they spontaneously started singing the national anthem in defiance:

Those beautiful words published in the New York Times:

And those from French footballer Lassana Diarra, who lost his cousin in the attacks while playing for his country. It read: ‘In this climate of terror, it’s important for all of us, who are representatives of our country and its diversity, to speak up and remain united in the face of this horror which has no race or religion.’

The hundreds of people who queued up to donate blood for the victims the following morning:

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The #PorteOuverte which went viral on Twitter on Friday, used by strangers to offer shelter to those affected by the attacks. Millions tweeted and retweeted to help people find a place to stay and be safe.

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This rose covering a bullet hole at one of the scenes, the note reading ‘In the name of what?’:

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My thoughts are with the victims and their families. When our very way of life is under attack, we all stand together in mourning.

Vive la France.

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