Monday, November 16, 2015

Je Suis Paris

Such saddness around the world as we fully witness the tragedy in France.  I hold so many fond memories of my travels throughout France and will not let them be tainted by evil.  I currently have a handful of projects in various stages of developement that feature my love of this country and now they even feel more precious.

I remember on one of my travels through Europe I faced challenges in trying to figure out how to leave Croatia and a Canadian Muslim woman aproached me because she realized I spoke English.  I asked her about the challenges of traveling in a post 911 world. She said if she wore her Burka she was always pulled out of the TSA line for searching.  I shared with her that with all the challenges in the world we must keep being kind travelers...the good must suffocate the bad.  I have reprinted an open letter by Rick Steves to he says it so well.  

Tomorrow I'll be back with some great quilt photos :)

After Friday's horrifying events in Paris, as we keep the victims and their families in our prayers and marvel at how violent hatred can express itself, it’s natural for those of us with travels coming up to wonder what is the correct response. Let me share my thoughts:

I have two fundamental concerns: what is safe, and what is the appropriate response to terrorism.
About safety, I believe this is an isolated incident. Tomorrow Paris will be no more dangerous than it was the day before that terrible Friday the 13th. I also believe that security in Paris and throughout Europe will be heightened in response to this attack. Remember: There's an important difference between fear and risk.
About the right response to terrorism, I believe we owe it to the victims of this act not to let the terrorist win by being terrorized. That’s exactly the response they are hoping for. Sure, it’s natural for our emotions to get the best of us. But, especially given the impact of sensational media coverage, we need to respond intelligently and rationally.
In 2004, Madrid suffered a terrorist bombing in its Metro, which killed 191 and injured 1,800. In 2005, London suffered a similar terrorist bombing in its Tube system, killing 52 and injuring 700. These societies tightened their security, got the bad guys, and carried on. Paris will, too.
I'm sure that many Americans will cancel their trips to Paris (a city of 2 million people) or the rest of Europe (a continent of 500 million people), because of an event that killed about 150. As a result, ironically, they’ll be staying home in a country of 320 million people that loses over 30,000 people a year (close to 100 people a day) to gun violence.
Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Paris, the victims, and their loved ones. And it remains my firmly held belief that the best way for Americans to fight terrorism is to keep on traveling.

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