I know most blogs are flooded with Charlie Hebdo. I know that I am quite late with wishes and condolence but I think I have to do this. I was shocked.
The message of this cruelty reached me in school. my phone was ringing, laying on my table during lunchtime and a few friends told me- friends from Paris. I got three messages in a row, by three girls I got to know during a camp- they come from Munich, their father owns a few hotels all over Europe (they are quite down to earth even thought) and at the moment they are living in Paris until they go back to school next week.
Don’t worry, I’m fine”
“Oh my gosh- this is getting weird- they just had a shooting at charlie hebdo!”
“Don’t worry, I am fine. charlie is just a few blocks away from where I am now- I could hear the shots… Oh my gosh- i am not fine at all! What was that? Do you know, what clearly happened? I can’t reach the internet now…
I was shocked, The first message was like- okay, why should’t she be fine? What should have happened? The second was a bit stranger thought- I thought about the strange English of that girl, Imagining her with her outward appearance to be at a photo session, like visiting charlie and getting pictured in the meantime.
Then a guy came into the cafeteria and shouted
They are attacking charlie hebdo! Paris is under attack!
I turned, saw the face of that guy, he’s an honest one, his family comes from France, he was scared, his sister didn’t even make a glance at him. She said
stop screaming, it is no big deal…
I texted my friends back, thanked them for telling me, that they are fine, told them to stay away from all this fuss. I was shocked.
Even thought smartphones are normally forbidden at our school- the use is forbidden except in certain areas but no one cares at all, I looked things up. There was a timeline somewhere, the deputy director saw me, using that phone, looked away and said nothing. he took out his own, looked at it.
After a few minutes he came over, I thought he’d take that phone away but he just asked :
Are people you love in Paris?
I told him most of them said everything okay, he looked at me, looked at the phone I held out to him, believing he’d confiscate it.
I won’t take it for now, ask them what happened, search it up, if you know certain things, tell me, my internet is kinda mess in here.
I searched things up and told him, he was as socked as we all were. The guys at my table we’re looking suddenly pale. One of us just arrived back from Paris – she had celebrated NYE there, thinking about staying there until this weekend. She was palest of all.
In the afternoon class we had to research something for german. We did’t. Our teacher saw we are doing different things, asked what we were doing and was glad we answered honestly.
But what did change? A few teachers wore a black ribbon on their collar, one printed out that picture I have featured here, plugged it onto the board and said that this was going to stay until those guys are found and jailed.
The next teacher took it off, not caring about those who told him not to.
On the 11th of September 2011 we did a minute of silence. I have things right before my eyes- remembering our teacher to cry, telling us she lost somebody in that plane.
Today we did nothing. We didn’t talk about things in social science- our teacher brought along a newspaper, telling us something about the Euro crisis and that the Euro may be installed in different countries all over Europe, about the exit of Greece.
We asked what he though about Paris, he told this words:
This is all just THAT over the top. I don’t understand why people are making such a fuss.
We all fell silent. I was astonished about such words out of the mouth of a man I thought to be a man of honor, not one of those faceless guys telling us not to make such a fuss.
I am Charlie, because I will read the novel they were featuring yesterday. I am charlie because I think the freedom of press and speech is the highest good we have to deliver to following generations. I am charlie because I think that honor and pride can’t be restored or demonstrated by killing people. But after all- this isn’t about islam- this is about guys raging and needing a cause for their cruelty…
I am Charlie because this was an act of inhumanity, unnecessary cruelty, not of faith but one of the loss of a higher good. I am Charlie because this people need to get found, caught, jailed and made responsible. I am charlie because great men died, doing their jobs, telling their opinion of the things out there.
No one is safe. Nobody can say that things are not going to happen in their home country. Remember. London. Madrid. Moscow. No one is all safe but our faith in a greater good, our faith in us as nation, in the freedom of speech and press is worthy enough to fight for it.
I am charlie- and I will stay who i am, no matter what.
this post will stay a sticky one for a while now, see below for updates. I don’t know how long I’ll leave it but for now it feels right…