Let’s Pray for Beirut the Same Way We’re Praying for Paris.

Via on Nov 14, 2015

lebanese flag

Relephant read: This will silence those saying “kill every muslim.” His daughter died, too.

I am from Lebanon.

As a writer, my introductions are normally hard. I need a line that can introduce my body of words in a catchy, yet narrowed way. But for the first time ever, my introduction isn’t as arduous as I thought.

“I am from Lebanon.”

Lebanon is that tiny country that stands between Syria and Israel. We’re only 10,452 kilometers square, hence, hard to spot on a map.

To start off, we sincerely express our solidarity with Paris after yesterday’s terror attacks.

Everybody knows what happened in Paris and the death toll from the series of orchestrated attacks.

On the contrast, allow me to tell you what half of the world “doesn’t” know, or perhaps chooses to ignore.

Two suicide bombings took place yesterday in Southern Beirut. Forty individuals were killed and 200 were injured. Shops were damaged, families were killed.

We were left speechless. I watched the news of yesterday’s attacks in Beirut as if I was seeing a news program that keeps running on repeat. The insecurity we have constantly felt in Beirut has now returned stronger than ever. We thought that the series of bombings that were occurring in our country for the past six years finally came to an end. But they haven’t stopped.

Putting Paris’ attack and Beirut’s together leaves me with one startling question: How is the world reacting to each?

Opening Facebook shortly after yesterday’s events in Paris to see a safety check option for those residing in Paris left me tongue-tied.

Facebook also gave me the option of supporting France by changing my profile picture to its flag. Presidents from countries around the world went insane with tweets and posts about the attack in France.

But where do other nations that have been suffering for ages stand? Why are they forgotten? Why are people in the Middle East not having the chance to mark themselves safe when an attack or a bombing occurs? Why isn’t there an option of changing your profile picture to your country’s flag during an attack?

The world might claim that we’re used to it. Others believe that the Middle East is where “terror” lives. But we still go to our jobs—most of which are in the heart of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. We still party hard, go out for dinners and hit pubs in Beirut. Although we are living in the midst of what people call “terror,” we’re living it courageously and pretty well.

Media coverage leads people to believe that the Middle East, especially Lebanon, is in a constant hazardous state. That’s why when an attack takes place, it’s “pretty normal.” The media describes the normal state of other countries as peaceful and violence free.

I want to remind you that all countries in the world are facing daily attacks and unfair deaths but we just don’t always know it. We don’t know about them because they don’t show them to us. Thus, when a big attack takes place, it therefore leaves people in shock and leaves us asking: How come such a peaceful country face this tragedy?

The truth is, there is peace in the Middle East as much as there is in Europe. But the media paints it differently.

It is about time to stop this duality that the media has created.

Mass media has shed the light on certain countries thoroughly demolishing others. It is not an attack against Paris. It is not an attack against Beirut. It is an attack against humanity. This is how we should see it. Everyday, somewhere on this vast earth, thousands are unfairly being killed. And still, we divide attacks as if peoples’ lives in Europe are more pronounced than peoples’ lives in the Middle East.

World leaders should understand that the innocent people who lost their souls in Paris are the same ones who are losing their souls every single day in any another country facing terror and violence. But no one is mourning them. No one is supporting them. This one single night attack in Paris has been a constant norm in Lebanon for the past 30 years. Who supported us? No one.

When will we understand that all lives on this earth count? Every country that faces a tragedy must have a “I am Safe” option on Facebook. Every soul that is being unfairly killed should earn a hashtag. People, politicians and especially the media shouldn’t be indifferent to any unfair death. We should mourn every human dying in an attack, no exception, no excuses.

Let’s pray for Beirut as much as we’re praying for Paris.

Let’s pray for the whole wide world, in fact. Let’s see each each other as equal human beings; not as different countries.

Let’s stop dualities. Let’s be one in our view on death.





Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Image: Robbie Dale/Flickr


About Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, photography, writing, and traveling. She is a Buddhist student who's still discovering the roots of suffering and the way out of them. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and traveling. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and she hopes to inspire as many people as possible with them. Once her mission is accomplished here, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you're wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.



72 Responses to “Let’s Pray for Beirut the Same Way We’re Praying for Paris.”

  1. Elissar says:

    I totally agree but I have to say I as a Lebanese would rather the sympathies and solidarity of my people first. I did not see the candles being lit, flowers laid or prayers offered on the eve of the Beirut attacks, neither the next day, I did not see sympathies pouring in on Facebook for Beirut from Lebanese people as much as I saw sympathies given to the Parisians. When the Paris terror attacks happened, those same Lebanese people that ignored the Beirut “Dahiya” expressed their horror and stood up for the French people, some even changed their profile pic and added the French flag. I am horrified by the Paris attacks, I love Paris, one of my favorite cities, I expressed my horror and too, but the difference is 1st came Beirut, my Lebanon, my people, my flag than came the others. There is so much hate between the Lebanese it is awful. I do not blame the western media of ignoring to give the same coverage to Lebanon attacks as much as the French attacks, I blame my people, our media for failing to do that. if we do not love each other and stand together why should the world stand with us.

  2. Robert says:


    Were you blogging to these arabs asking them to stand with us when they were done celebrating the thousands of deaths here on 9/11? This is why there is no Beirut flag changy thing on facebook. This is also why it probably didn't make the news here. Some of meant it when we said never forget. I won't celebrate in the streets, laugh about it with my friends, or even think they deserved it, but I'm certainly not going to bother google searching a flag image.

  3. Johnny Jonsson says:


    I’m looking for a lebanese modern song to share on facebook to honour all all the people suffered from the Daesh-attack in southern Beirut last wednesday.


  4. georgea says:

    Elyane, I support you. And I want to know more about your life if you want it share with me. I want to say to my friends about you. You all are so strong. I am sorry about your country.

  5. Ronald Wild says:

    Why pray? It achieves nothing.

    Let’s just stop killing people, use military budgets for building infrastructure and have the West stop invading countries and setting up mercenary armies that go feral.

  6. Alaa says:

    Two words for you: thank you

  7. Nathan M. says:

    The paragraphs below are not my own, but a friend's. They succinctly explain why we do not have to be guilty if we mourn over Paris, but not every other tragedy in the world.


    I have, in these first few days after the Paris bombings, read several op eds decrying the West’s hypocrisy, small-mindedness, ignorance, etc., because we do not grieve as much for the victims of similar terrorist attacks in Beirut, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere in the middle east. Suffice to say, the critique is that our solidarity with France is cheap because it is a solidarity of specificity and not for the whole world and for its every wound. And it is true, I feel Paris more than I feel Syria/Lebanon/Iraq ad infinitum. This is not because I believe Lebanese or Iraqi blood is cheaper than French blood but rather, it is because the West has spent centuries building ties with each other. Modern Europe grew out of a tribal system that was eventually united and settled into its current state by empire, war, religion, royalty, trade, travel, and philosophy. Europe, has never kept itself to itself. It is too geographically concentrated for that. Its mountains are not so high to prohibit crossing and no sea is too big to separate it. Europe has had its own even recent “tribal” conflicts (e.g. the Troubles in Ireland, Bosnian genocide, Holocaust), but it also has a history of extreme coexistence. And America in particular owes a lot to the French. Our founding ideals get its toes wet in French philosophy. England gave the world the industrial revolution and France gave it the Enlightenment and America owes so much of its identity and success to both. And it was the French who were – thanks to a desire to stick it to the British – America’s first friends. The French have fought our wars, built our cities, and broadened our minds.

    And finally, this is not about nationalism or hate towards one group or another. I grew up in Europe seeing the American flag spat on, trampled on, and burnt by Europeans who did not like American foreign policy. And so on 9/11 when I saw the American flag held up, and celebrated in those same countries that I know have an often (legitimately) uneasy relationship with us, it meant a lot. It meant that they felt the September 11th massacre in their guts, too, as I now feel theirs.

    And so I do not think it is fair or just to shake a finger at people for feeling the Paris slaughter in ourselves, when maybe we don’t feel other calamities as much. I understand that there are other horrors happening to other people everyday but it is, for better or worse, a more intellectual experience for reasons of history, genetics, culture, geography, and religion, etc. Suffering is suffering. That is the one of the few things all of us humans share. I UNDERSTAND that the world is full of equally valuable suffering, but I FEEL France’s.

  8. Aleda says:


    “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou

    With recent attacks in Paris, and Beirut along with the existing ones in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya and others, I had to limit my time on Facebook for a while because I couldn’t bear seeing all the blame and hate messages towards Muslims and Islam. However, the saddest thing of all is how the mainstream media add fuel to the fire by showing only half of the truth, if not lies, to the masses.

    Read more >> http://www.aledaboyd.com/…/Islam-terrorism

  9. Todd says:

    I do appreciate this article and each and every live does matter. The question of why the west doesn't report as much or show remorse for Middle Eastern violence is an interesting question, but I do remember dancing in the streets throughout the Middle East on September 11, 2001. It is a hard thing to ask the victims of that day to forget the demonstrations from this part of the world on our day of need. Perhaps we can move forward and move to a unified front against terrorism one day, but it is hard to show remorse for those that danced when we were attacked. The idea of the silent majority is something to discuss, but do a simple google search and the celebrations on 9/11/2001 was throughout the Middle East. Perhaps that mind set needs to change before the west is able to embrace the idea that we need to show compassion for those who danced.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I have been praying for all of mankind. I have a couple of friends in Lebanon. I am deeply sorry for your losses there. I don’t know what the answer is to stop the terrorism. I also have been posting things such as this that you’ve written to open peoples eyes! My name is Jenny and I love you and will keep you and all in my prayers.

  11. George Vreeland Hill says:

    I pray for Beirut, but here is the sad truth about why Paris is remembered and Beirut is not …
    People around the world are separating themselves from Middle East culture.
    The region has seen war and death since before the Bible.
    Their lives are stone-age like and often barbaric.
    Terrorism there is nothing new, but it is new to most people, so they reject it.
    They have read and have seen women being stoned to death for being raped which makes them unclean and unfit to live, and beheadings, beatings, mass genocide and on and on and on.
    People do not want to associate with it.
    They don't want it in their backyard.
    So they say … "So what? That's the way they live."
    Paris is not that way, so people sympathize.
    The Middle East will never change and we will not change it.
    However, their people go to other countries and try to change things there.
    It is causing problems to the point where they are no longer wanted.
    Not that they ever were.
    The result … No one cares about them.
    So the victims of Beirut are forgotten.
    Look around Facebook and you will see France on full display.

    George Vreeland Hill

  12. Susan Burt MacVicar says:

    Well written and very thought provoking with so much feeling it really makes people think we are all in this life together. No one country is alone and terrorism appears from every where and " IS"often over looked or ignored when informing the world. Every little soul is precious and important in this life wonderful gift of life god has given us. Thank you so much for this post. For opening everyone eyes. God bless you Elyane Youssef and all souls in this world. Peace be with you.

  13. Natali_78 says:

    Let's pray for the whole world. It's pain we all feel and it has no flag, no skin color. Yes, it may seem unfair that Paris gets more attention and people don't see what's happening in the other countries. Recently I have read the article how the biggest world companies supported France http://personalmoneyservice.com/business-world-su… but I didn't see anything like this about Beirut.

  14. Allen F Mackenzie says:

    Distinctions in between combatants and civilians have to be made.
    The attack by ISIS was on Hizbullah headquarters, a terrorist organization.

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