1. Bombings in Beirut killed dozens and injured hundreds.
2. An earthquake in Japan triggered a small tsunami.
3. A suicide bomber in Baghdad killed at least twenty-six.
4. A bombing in Thailand killed at least four.
5. A mile separated my brother and cousins from the Paris terror attacks.
6. Refugees in Syria and across the Middle East face the reality of terrorism, every day.
It took terror to reach my family for me to understand how easily we overlook the horrors that so many face, every day. Why don’t we hear about the victims in Thailand in the news? Why aren’t hashtags trending about the victims in Baghdad? Why do we finally place a spotlight on terror, only when it reaches the West?
I am reminded of the words of Martin Niemöller.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
If we do not stand up against violence and terror when it happens to others, there will be no one left to stand up for us. So what can we do about it? Armed with our voices and social media, we we can demand coverage of forgotten victims. Our hashtags can portray morals; we can place a spotlight on silent victims. “Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” – Le Petit Prince.