Home | About | Donate

From Beirut, This Is Paris: In A World That Doesn’t Care About Arab Lives


From Beirut, This Is Paris: In A World That Doesn’t Care About Arab Lives

Elie Fares

When a friend told me past midnight to check the news about Paris, I had no idea that I would be looking at a map of a city I love, delineating locations undergoing terrorist attacks simultaneously. I zoomed in on that map closer; one of the locations was right to where I had stayed when I was there in 2013, down that same boulevard.


" There were no statements expressing sympathy with the Lebanese people. There was no global outrage ...What happened instead was an American senator wannabe proclaiming how happy he was that my people died, that my country’s capital was being shattered, that innocents were losing their lives and that the casualties included people of all kinds of kinds.": All too tragically true and this reminds me of the USA domestic version of racism against black and indigenous lives.

"I’ve come to terms with being one of those whose lives don’t matter.": Only to racists your life has no meaning but to life you have all the meaning of life. Stay human and noble as in "Arab".

" Even among my people, there is a sense that we are not as important, that our lives are not as worthy and that, even as little as it may be, we do not deserve to have our dead collectively mourned and prayed for.": This is the all too true psychology of the oppressed in too many cases and it is going to take much to raise the awareness and conscience of these self depreciating Arabs as it will here in the USA for Black Lives to start organizing and showing care to people of color in their own communities. Then see if racists don't start noticing.


This article is bang on. Yes the events in Paris tragic but more so then that of those innocents killed in Yemen to a Saudi airstrike, or to the wedding parties killed by US Bombs? What of the Russians killed on that airliner?

Here in North America sports franchises all had "moments of silence" for the peoples murdered in Paris. Why did they not have the same for those in Yemen and Afghanistan or for those Russians killed? There can only be one reason that I can see and that these events and memorials to those murdered are by design to entrench hatred and division. They are not acts of sympathy for the dead but political acts used to ensure this cycle of killing goes on and on.


My exact sentiments. I also thought of the MSM how it milks the sick preoccupation with such acts--something akin to the Gladiator "sport" of another era-- when it is done to westerners and how it dismisses such horrific acts when they occur in non white nations.



Doctor Fares speaks an unfortunate truth but fails to add that while Arab lives don't matter (to use his words) in the west, the fact remains that they don't matter to Arabs either.

That is the difference he failed to elucidate. The west does not send suicide bombers to blow up their own people nor anyone else. It is a sad fact that suicide bombings have become a death cult in the Middle East. A modern version of ancient pagan human sacrifice which the terrorists claim earns them paradise because the death of innocents is pleasing to God.

That is the other difference in how much western lives matter as opposed to Arab lives. Those who do the purposeful murder of innocents and claim it is for God. The west does not do that.

Yes the west uses drones and missiles, fighter jets and tanks etc. Yes the west kills innocents as they propagate the endless war. However the west doesn't blow up people randomly at a stadium. The west doesn't attack its own people with acts of terror either.

In Beirut, Middle Easteners killed Middle Easteners. In France... the French did not kill the French (or so it is being perceived that way as yet).

Doctor, the sad fact is that Arab lives do not matter to Arabs in the Middle East. The west may kill far more people with war but the terrorism is done by Arabs blowing up or otherwise murdering other Arabs.

The west thinks nothing of killing millions (think of what happened in WW2), so no we are not guiltless in causing deaths. But we do not disvalue western lives with acts of terrorism and Arabs do that to Arabs. That is why it seems like Arab lives don't matter... it is because it looks like they don't matter ...to Arabs.

In the west we search out and destroy our mass murderers ... Arab countries should do the same.

Edit added...

Actually the doctor say the same thing at the end of his piece as I do. There is this sense in the west that suicide bombing is an Arab thing. It goes against sanity that commanders plan the suicide of followers. Several people seem also to have missed the point about Arab lives not mattering... to the suicide bombers. That attitude has been transmitted to the west which is my point as well as the Doctor's.


I agree and feel the same way, though I'd say regarding your last conclusion that it may be true, particularly of governments eager for war; but with individuals, I think the acts of sympathy for a massively, intricately publicized act of mass violence in a city so beautiful as Paris, it that it is easy to feel sympathy. There are no conflicting emotions to deal with for most, no suppressed fears or resentment such as of Russians or Middle Eastern nations, no fighting within oneself. For most individuals I imagine the sympathy is real, but easy, requiring no self-searching.


This is an important insight:

"If only Europe knew, though, that the night of November 13 in Paris has been every single night of the life of those refugees for the past two years. But sleepless nights only matter when your country can get the whole world to light up in its flag color."

Unfortunately, Mr. Fares is identifying with the European-dominant culture in making these statements:

"But the truth of the matter is, we are a people that doesn’t care about itself to begin. We call it habituation, but it’s really not. We call it the new normal, but if this normality then let it go to hell.

"In the world that doesn’t care about Arab lives, Arabs lead the front lines."

Mr. Fares may be a physician but he's pretty clueless about Psychology, and mass psychology in particular.

How many children forced to turn their backs on their own cultures while attending European-style public schools (in the U.S.) began to distance themselves from their own roots?

The nature of the dominant culture and its narratives is to make others ashamed to be "other."

That reflex may be what Mr. Fares observes. His conclusion--an indictment--also indicates an amazing lack of compassion (and empathy), albeit projected through a stance that's thoroughly favored by mass media outlets: the art of blaming the victims.

If that's your goal, Mr. Fares, you've succeeded.


You are clueless.

Here's a clip. See if you CAN learn something before just spouting opinion founded on nothing but your own hot air:

And this one (which goes deeper into the dynamics):


You are endlessly rude so go off on a rambling diatribe but spare me the crude simplicity. There are fundamentalist conservatives everywhere but I was speaking about people like suicide bombers. It is no surprise that nuances escape you but do go on...and on... and on... as you frequently do ...even if off topic.


Did you miss this ?: "The more horrifying part of the reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks, however, is that some Arabs and Lebanese were more saddened by what was taking place there than what took place yesterday or the day before in their own backyards. Even among my people, there is a sense that we are not as important, that our lives are not as worthy and that, even as little as it may be, we do not deserve to have our dead collectively mourned and prayed for."

The USA may not send suicide bombers to murder its own people but they have a police force quite capable of wanton murder not to mention its exploding inequality. These too cause much harm and misery.


Thanks for the posts, they make your point beautifully.


Dr. Fares is sadly correct. The different treatment in the press for Beirut and Paris is stunning. The massive bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia where Arab lives don't seem to matter to the US, are war crimes.

But for some of us Americans, the oil brats and missionary brats that grew up in the Middle East, we cry inside for Beirut. We have seen the wars there, we have visited twice to see the rebuilding and our hearts do break when we hear of the bombs and trouble. In this family we pray that beautiful and peaceful Beirut will persevere and keep its place as one of the world's great cities. Your lives matter to some of us!


This article totally hits the nail on the head. I was bothered slightly by the reaction to this in social media and the press and couldn't understand what it was that was getting under my skin. I realized it's totally the fact that some people (brown people and to a lesser extent russians) are expendable but frenchmen merit a greater deal of sympathy, even from people of color, even from the sons and daughters of those colonized by France. It's a reminder that white supremacy still exists in this day and age, and white western supremacy at that, that the whole world grieves for france, but few care equally about Lebanese or Russian, Indian, or African.


Of course that grief is real and I do not suggest otherwise nor would I suggest it not be exhibited. I am stating that this grief is being manipulated and directed by the media and those in power to achieve a desired outcome and those that grieve must be cognizant of that.

Otherwise there will be yet more killed.


Bleh. You sound like a flaky lawyer/politician.

A guy in Katy, Texas was arrested recently for domestic terrorism after killing a police officer, detonating an explosive, and opening gunfire at a mosque. So how does that reaffirm your unfounded claim of the "west" (assuming governments and citizens) doesn't attack it's own people with acts of terror?


I think you are a soldier boy and your training is so intense that you can't even see the idiocy and hypocrisy of your own position and the comment that relays it.

Did you watch the videos? CAN you learn anything that goes outside of your tiny bubble world?


The decision to use drone bombs on the hospital in Afghanistan is a new low even for U.S. "exceptional nation" militarists.

Wereflea only sees violence from "the other team." If that's not proof of military training and jingoistic allegiance, what is?


You are so dishonest SR. You just are. You accuse people unjustly with no proof or even reason except that you believe that if they criticize you then they must be soldiers or right wingers.

You can see for yourself what I posted about the hospital bombing but either your short term memory is going or more likely you are just used to being deceitful, vain, irrational and petty.

Maybe you should lecture people about justice while you accuse people and libel them without proof?

You are losing it SR and it shows in this dominating intolerance that you display towards any rebelliousness to your self appointed throne.

To you and others who need the simplistic and jingoistic but never look in the mirror. Two wrongs do not make a right. The bombing in the hospital is a war crime and I have already said so previously but the author expressed a point of view with that broad brush. I agree with him about the west's taking for granted the deaths in the Middle East (especially that of Palestinians btw).

However I was voicing my opinion as to why that is. It is because for years now... YEARS ... suicide bombers have operated against their own people in the Middle East. That is why the west has come to accept the carnage caused by suicide bombings there. It is because it has gone on and on for years now.

It is an unfortunate fact but it is reality. When the west would hear of a suicide bombing in the Middle East, it happened so often that one almost had to ask - "How many bombings is that this week?"

Killing innocents should be condemned whoever is responsible on either and any side.

So spare me your dreary irrationality and simplistic ramblings and for the last time would you just stop accusing other people of things in public that are simply false? It is a very creepy thing to do.


I do not equate insane mass murderers who shoot up theaters, mosques, black churches or schools with suicide bombers who belong to an organized group (a death cult) that conditions them and trains them to commit a suicide bombing.

I find it abhorrent that many people seem to be justifying or at least rationalizing these deaths in Paris as if it could be even tangentially excusable in any way.

I condemned the hospital bombing. I condemn these terrible mass murders as well. I condemn 007 license to kill (without a trial) murder by drone. I condemn beheadings and stoning.

I believe in justice and condemn injustice...

no matter who does it. The death of innocents is murder including collateral damage and collective punishment. Including Paris. Including Beirut.

NONE of it can be justified. NONE of it is excusable.

NONE of it.


The rant therefore I am leftist crowd? It does seem to be easier than reasoned disciplined thought.

I just finished reading a tome's worth of rambling diatribe (repetitious diatribe no less - all regulars will recognize it as having been said over and over again by this one person) that went on and on. I was fascinated by the mentality.

The person made no attempt to stay on topic. It was pure self indulgent egotism but it was the same things as had been said so many times already... What does that tell you?

Thanks anyway but CD'ers better set the ranters and ramblers straight because what will happen will be that serious thinkers and better educated people will leave the forum (and CD) after being 'flamed' by the conspiracy theorists and single issue agenda crowd.

They don't want challenges... they want uniformity of opinion and only that which agrees with them.

A bad sign in and of itself but nothing new just the same.