No, I am not uploading a profile picture with a special french flag filter. I am not transforming yesterday into a hashtag either.
Not because I do not care about the hundreds of dead and injured, but because Facebook never made such an option, say a Beirut or Baghdad-themed profile picture, or even a tribute to the hundreds of thousands Syrian refugees drowning every day on the coasts of the Mediterranean, right at my home country.
I am sure that every facebook user's intentions are the best -I do appreciate all kinds of symbolism and people's iniciatives to send a meaningful message to their social-media friends and followers. I, myself, do it all the time.
However, days go by and the social media stay silent about everyone killed before yesterday. The obvious conclusion is that, to the social media, to many politicians and States or to the newscasters, some lives are worth more than others -some deaths, too. Apparently, yestarday there was an attack against humanity, but the day before yesterday there wasn't one. No one said there was. Who's to say that only the West has the privilege to form part of "humanity"? Who's to decide that the romantic streets of Paris are better for the eye when used as a cover photo than a sad Baghdad street? It's history repeating itself once again, like the case of Charlie Hebdo -wildely broadcasted- and the school in Kenya -obviously surpassed by the french incident.
I am still in shock when viewing the images of France on TV. But I can't help but wonder why those are the only such images I saw this past week. Politics from all over the world, dressed in black or other suitable colours, wearing their saddest face to express their sorrow. The news, spending hours and hours of unscheduled broadcasting of all the details, expecting their ratings to go up. The public relations experts of facebook trying to find the wittiest way possible for the world to be absorbed by their power. Once again.
My thoughts are in France. But they're also in Baghdad, in Beirut and in an undefined location, in what seems the middle of nowhere, among the Mediterranean waves, following the Syrian refugees, every single day. My profile picture is too small to speak for all of them -but I will, whenever I can. No one has a monopoly on pain, or suffering, or grief. No human life is more valuable than another and it shouldn't be treated as such. No death matters more than another. All deaths matter and we should focus on the fact that those people were marked by the actions, choices and interests of several States eager to sacrifice them in the name of their own profit. That's what war is all about. And it needs to stop. Being discriminated against due to one's race, religion or something as absurd as their postal code, cannot be tolerated. My field of study, Human Rights, are supposed to be granted under the -seemingly obvious- condition of being human. It's high-time this was actually the case. Reality hasn't been supporting humanity lately. But we can. By changing this reality. Starting from ourselves.