When I walk along the streets of Beirut, I always look at the walls of the city. The walls talk through street art. On my way to work, I see famous faces like Einstein on the stairs of Gemmayze or Fairuz in another tiny street. Then I see more common people, people that could be you and me: an old woman giving flowers to a man, a policeman beating a protester.
Suddenly, I notice these strange posters. They are new. I am getting closer as it caught my attention. The poster is white with a black text and a little red heart on the top. Then I realized the text is addressing the people regarding the terrorists’ attacks that happened lately in Beirut and Paris. Indeed, it was a call for love, unity and respect for humanity. It was also a way to say that a life taken there should not worth more than a life taken here. We are all humans and we share the same pain. Media coverage is also selective but WE should not be.
Besides the movements of solidarity worldwide, the hidden part of the iceberg was not so bright. Reactions to the attacks also included anger and violence. I will not talk here about the reaction of governments even though responding by using violence does not end a vicious circle. Rather it leads to more violence and destruction.
I want to comment on what these attacks changed in us: We are now living in a world where we are afraid of our neighbor, where we are scared to go out or to take the plane, where we are suspicious of someone wearing religious clothes, where we became intolerant to differences and where we forgot to love. Instead of these reactions we should be united and come together to reach a global understanding of solidarity.
The Dalai Lama’s idea of a “global family” would be very useful to help us achieve peaceful coexistence. The global family principles highlights unity as one global family and contributing to a better mankind. The key is to accept that we share a universal responsibility for the benefit of everyone around us. This is the foundation of world peace. No violence would be needed here and each one of us can contribute to create a happier world.
Written by Celine Hintermeister, a regional intern at the World Youth Alliance Middle East office. If you would like to learn more about Solidarity, you may enroll to WYA’s Certified Training Program.