I am sitting and reading an article about the massacre on the beach in Tunisia and my heart is aching. I am trying to figure it out, but I am getting lost between the lines. I can only see words. Beach, attack, holiday, gunman, shots, victims and I feel chills in my bones. The article describes the event as “one of the deadliest in recent history”, right next to the attack in a museum in March, where more than 20 victims fell dead and hostages were taken.
I keep repeating the words “in recent history”. History has seen war, fear, death and cruelty, but has anyone ever thought that one day people will have to fight for their lives not on the battlefield, but on the beach, in the theme park or in the culture centre? Completely innocent people will have to pray for their lives, run away from the gunshots, play dead and choose whether to save themselves or their loved ones, on the beach, while on a holiday? No, the war and violence will never be explained or forgiven. There is never right time or place.
I keep reading, but I am overwhelmed. I can’t breath, tears are blurring my vision. And at this exact moment I see the story of a woman, who was saved by her fiance. The man had protected her with his body, taking three shots. And I can’t carry on. Feelings of utter sadness are taking over me, of devastation. I can’t think how is this possible. At the very same moment two completely opposite human qualities, the worst and the best in humankind surfaces. And I can’t decide whether we are lost as people or whether there is still hope in the face of goodness and sacrifice?
However, the shadow is not disappearing from my face. I realize that for few minutes people have lost mothers, fathers, grandparents, partners and friends. A couple who was celebrating their retirement, a blogger, 3 members of one family…. The list goes on. All of these people were excited to go on a holiday and spend some time together. The same ones who would hurry home to tell their loved ones what an amazing time they had abroad. This won’t happen anymore.
I don’t need to share the same nationality to feel pain for all of the victims. At this particular moment after years of living abroad, I feel part of this culture like never before, for a simple fact-we are all humans. The faces of all of the innocent who have fallen victims of wars and inhumanity in every corner of the world, should be on the front covers worldwide. Their memory should serve as a reminder, that as human beings, we carry both the best and the worst of our nature. Which side we are going to choose? It depends on us...