Disclaimer: nothing in this post is intended to come across as though I believe that those suffering in Brussels do not deserve our attention, support, or love. It brings me great joy when I see the world standing together to lift up those affected by terrible tragedy.
As I was falling asleep last night, in that in-between world, I got a text from Facebook. It said “according to local police, an explosion occurred in Gulshan-i-iqbal Park of Iqbal Town in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday evening. It looks like you are in the affected area. Are you in the affected area? Let your friends know you are safe.”
A few minutes later I received a text from a friend with a screenshot of the same notification. With the picture she wrote “props to Facebook for bringing light to bombings that aren’t just in Europe.”
Now this might sound a little harsh to someone who doesn’t know my friend and me. This is just how we talk to each other, many times jokingly. We have both traveled around the world and recognize that many times, less popular, and less rich countries often aren’t as recognized when tragedy occurs.
Remember when Boko Haram captured 200 schoolgirls from their village in Nigeria on April 14th of 2014? Remember #bringourgirlshome? What happened to that? They’re still out there. Parents still long for them, beds still lay empty, and much of the Western world won’t have an outstanding memory of that until it’s brought up.
So last night, as I was falling asleep, I was sad. I was sad for those in Brussels who lost body parts, memories, or family and friends. I was also hurting for the 2 Nigerian woman who bombed a mosque in Maiduguri, Nigeria, and the 22 men, women, children, and families whom were torn apart in body and mind.
I was praying for those in Gulshan-i-iqbal Park, and the 65 who were killed by suicide bomber. I was praying for the beds left empty in homes. And for those who have to look at them.
I was heartbroken for the 10 people killed in Istanbul, Turkey in January, who will never go home to their families and whose last moments were those of fear. It is so sad how many bombings have recently been in Istanbul.
I was devastated about Syria. It is so upsetting for me to know what is happening there, and know that people are still considering those whom are running for their lives, dangerous. There are bombings every few days in Syria.
I was horrified for those in South Sudan who will grow up in the rubble of civil war, possibly without parents. Those who are permanently scarred, physically and mentally.
I’m not saying that the people in the airport and metro station in Brussels didn’t endure an unthinkable tragedy. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t focus on them. On their futures, on their families that are left, and on what is happening in their minds right now.
The point I’m trying to get across is that while these people deserve our thoughts and #prayers, so do those who are in countries and cities that aren’t in the “Western world”. I learned about the bombing in Nigeria through Facebook, on the side bar which filters through world news. I see South Sudan pass through my Newsfeed every once in a while.
These pieces of news are seen, but they aren’t heard. They aren’t hashtagged. The flag doesn’t go down to half mast for them. It saddens me.
Let’s #PrayforBrussels. Let’s #PrayforMaiduguri. Let’s #PrayforLahore.
Let’s #PrayforIstanbul. Let’s #PrayforSyria. Let’s #PrayforSouthSudan.
And let’s #pray for those who suffer terrible tragedies around the world, and whom don’t receive a hashtag.