The mainstream response in fRance to the Paris attacks has been the emergence of a discourse not too dissimilar from post-9/11 Bush narratives about ‘our freedoms’. “They hate our freedoms, they hate our lifestyle, they hate our champagne”, the story goes. Hence the creation of hashtags such as #JeSuisTerrace, where the (white) french population is encouraged to keep calm and keep on consuming outside cafés and bars. Consumption combined with active ignoring of the context and causes of war/terrorism is revolutionary, yeah?
This means there is no need to talk about the war, about imperialism, about borders, foreign policy and about the fact that black and brown people in #racistfRance have been having a shit time in the République for decades.
In this beautiful essay, Franco-Lebanese-Iraqi filmmaker Fourate Chahal El-Rekaby sets the record straight and tells us how Daech kills in Western Asia too.
“You know, in Beirut, we go out too.”
She tells us:
“You know, here too, in the heart of the ‘Arab World’ capital cities, we go out. We have coffees and drinks outside, we dance and we go to concerts. We have friends, and we happily claim the streets in our cities, and celebrate our youthfulness. Sometimes we are more quiet, but we love our fathers, our mothers, our brothers and sisters, our friends, fiancés, secret lovers, cardamon coffees. And we hate them too, sometimes. Neither freedom, not fun, not the ‘good life’ are french monopolies. (…) No one has a monopoly over beautiful things, culture, love, flirting and vibrating hearts.”