Hijack The Streets: How do you feel about the Paris attacks?

November 18, 2015
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Over the last week, Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and Mount Hebron on the West Bank have been hit by acts of terrorism, and Islamic State has claimed responsibility for three of the four attacks. Hijacked asked four students how they felt about these shocking events.

Jade McCauley, 20, Bachelor of Media at Macquarie University

What was your initial reaction to the attacks?

Arriving home after work, I had only heard that there had been an attack on Paris from family. From the way it was explained I assumed it was something more minor. After checking social media, I then realised it was a whole lot bigger. It felt surreal, like I was watching scenes from a movie set in a warzone. When something like this occurs, especially after occurrences like the Sydney siege, it feels closer to home. It is then [that] you can feel fear and loss radiating from the other side of the world and into everyone’s hearts.

Tim Seguna, 20, Bachelor of Arts: Government and International Relations at Sydney University

What do you think about Paris’ reaction to the attacks?

The closure of their borders, the tightening of national security and recent airstrikes in Syria are to be expected by a nation that has been so brutally terrorised. It often seems that when any great tragedy occurs it is a common response to find who is at fault and ensure they are brought to justice, [with] high emotions often calling for an eye-for-an-eye response, which is evident with the airstrikes. I think seeing such a response from the French government, when so many feel so powerless after the attacks, can be quite comforting - almost as if part of the grieving process for the French people and those around the world. Whether it is the best or most effective response is something else.

Gabrielle Durney, 24, Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University

Why do you think the media focused mainly on Paris?

I think the main reason is that Paris is a pinnacle of western tourism. I've visited Paris as a tourist, but even those who haven't gone know the city immediately as soon as they hear it and can imagine the famous landmarks. That anyone could imagine themselves there brings the attacks home, especially coupled with the attackers being home-grown. The danger felt local instead of foreign.

Christie Williamson, 20, Bachelor of Communications at Western Sydney University

What are your thoughts about the attacks of terrorism?

I'm worried about the world. I'm worried about a young girl out there - same age as me, same hobbies, same dreams - who is being persecuted because she follows a religion the world holds responsible for terrorist attacks [and that] she had nothing to do with. I'm worried for innocent children being told they're not welcome in safe places because they just so happened to have drawn the short straw with where they were born. I'm worried that people with too little education are being allowed to speak too loudly, and people who desperately want education are refused. I'm worried about everything.

Caitlan Charles

Caitlan studies Journalism at the University of Western Sydney and lives for political turmoil and crappy movies.