If Friday night’s events in Paris made you feel helpless, you’re not alone. I spent much of the evening in a panic, as I tried to reach my friend who lives down the street from Bataclan, the venue where 80 people attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert were murdered (luckily, he was on vacation at the time). As I reached out for details on Facebook, I was told that some friends had been trapped in nearby cafes and another had been shot in the leg at the concert. To say this attack was too close to home is an understatement.
Over the weekend, the Internet reacted. Most responded with supportive messages. Others criticized the messages, feeling that the responses were either superficial or disproportionate given the similar attack that had taken place in Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday. In my opinion, sharing positivity at such a time is a good thing. But for those who’d like to do more than change their profile picture on Facebook, here’s a list of helpful ways to contribute:
The French Red Cross has been on the ground since Friday, mobilizing 300 volunteers to provide first aid alongside first responders. You can donate here.
Secours Populaire Français is a French charity that fights poverty and has been providing emergency help for the victims. You can donate here.
One of the most increasingly frustrating parts of grappling with the attacks in Paris is the fact that ISIS is still a relative mystery to most of us. For those seeking education beyond the headlines, here are two revealing accounts:
What ISIS Really Wants, The Atlantic
The Islamic State, Vice.com
With so much uncertainty surrounding terrorist organizations, it’s important to remember that most Muslims do not support their actions. As such, the news that a Peterborough, Ontario mosque was set on fire over the weekend is disheartening. You can donate to help rebuild here.
Help the stranded
With the French borders closed after the attacks, many visiting Paris are stranded. Airbnb is waiving all fees in the area until tomorrow and those with an open home are sharing with #PorteOuverte. To help Parisians stranded in Canada, offer your help by using #StrandedinCanada.