My Beautiful City Istanbul!

(This was published on my old blog which I deleted, but this post meant a lot to me so I am reposting it)

What is terrorism? Honestly, I don’t have a great answer. But, I think we need to be careful about the word ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ to explain the actions of deranged individuals.

Yesterday, Tuesday 28th June 2016 Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport was attacked in a series of bomb explosions and gun shootings. Deaths have now risen to 41 (may they rest in perfect paradise) and a total of 239 people were injured. I sit here in England miles away with tears in my eyes mourning the lives lost where my heart lies.

This is the seventh major attack in Turkey since January, and the fourth attack in Istanbul. It comes just at the end of this holy and most blessed month of Ramadhan this shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values. As with all acts of war, Muslims are repeatedly forced to explain that Islam has nothing to do with terror attacks, that religion is not to be blamed but rather extremist groups.

My heart, thoughts, prayers and love goes out to everyone in Istanbul. I have many relatives and friends who live and are currently visiting this beautiful city (Please be safe).

I have a friend (Akin) who is currently on an Erasmus year abroad study in Istanbul, a few words he said this morning that really touched me and I would like to share with you guys (I hope you don’t mind Akin).

“This is the fourth suicidal bombing since January in this city”

“By checking in safe on Facebook doesn’t mean I’m safe, this happens often nowadays and it’s kinda worrying”

“People have to carry on with their normal and daily lives and shouldn’t be afraid of all this stuff”

“If I was scared I wouldn’t leave my house I’d sit in my house all day everyday people really shouldn’t be scared”

And he is right we shouldn’t be scared to travel, I know many travellers who have questioned their plans. I completely understand the reason to feel concerned but I don’t believe it should warrant enough fear to stop us from seeing the world!

Travelling allows us to gain knowledge and explore different cultures around the word. Part of me believes that the choice to travel is in some way standing up to extremists by saying ‘we are not afraid; this is our world too’. Istanbul is a beautiful city and I think everyone should visit once in their lives (anyways Akin please be safe! Whenever something happens in Turkey you are the first person I snap and I don’t even know why!)

I want to end by saying everyone please keep Istanbul in your prayers! Prayers and thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

Love Mariam

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