And here comes part 3 of the series on deadly events that have transpired around us in the first month of 2019.
A TERROR ATTACK!
It sounds surreal even writing about it, like, did it really happen, or did we imagine it?
But, it’s true. It happened. It was not a dream, and 21 people died, just like that.
On the 15th of January 2019, 21 innocent people walked/drove/were driven into the Dusit D2 Complex on 14 Riverside Drive, and never came out (alive, that is).
Their families are devastated, their destinies having been forever altered by the actions of a few deranged, brainwashed, mentally unstable, backward individuals who have not yet realized that they are being used as pawns by powerful people, who by the way, place no value in their lives.
700 people were rescued, which we are grateful for, but, we might never fully comprehend the emotional scars they carry with them as a direct result of this terror attack.
They will morph into completely different people as a result of their experiences on this day. For many, the change will not be for the better.
In cases like this, there is also the trauma faced by the rescuers and first aiders, plus the individuals who live and work around the area where the terror attack has occurred.
It is literally a 15 minute walk between our city home, and the complex that was attacked. I pass this area everytime I am going and coming from home. Ever since the attack, all I keep thinking whenever I pass here is that it could have been me.
Or it could have been my parents.
Or one of the guys I watch soccer with at our local every weekend. Or one of their loved ones.
Or one of my friends from Church. Or their parents. Or their siblings.
It could have been any of us because of our proximity to the place, and we would have never known that our end was coming.
Sadly, the end came for those 21 souls. People who had plans for their days and for the rest of their lives.
People who had nothing to do with the war in Somalia. People who had done nothing to deserve the ire of Al-Shabaab.
They were just normal people, leading their daily lives, exercising their full human rights.
Words cannot even describe how senseless this attack was, how senseless every terror attack (including the ones orchestrated by the West) is.
We created this problem ourselves; all of us as a collective.
There are those of us who participated directly in fueling the flames of religious extremism (mainly for economic gain political dominance), and, there are those of us who stood idly by, pretending that we could not see the monster being created, pretending that we had no power to stop it.
WE ARE ALL TO BLAME! Each and every one of us, irrespective of religion, or nationality.
I personally feel like I am responsible. Like there is something I should do or should have done to help fight terrorism authentically without all of the political nuances and intonations.
Like there is a better way to handle this catastrophe, and it’s my fault for not working hard enough to figure it out. For always putting it at the back of my head because it does not affect me directly in the past.
But now it has affected me directly. And, it has been a wake-up call for me, and I hope for everyone else affected by this terror attack to put our individual efforts in solving this problem.
Whether it’s paying more attention to our surroundings, alerting the authorities of any suspicious activities around us, refraining ourselves from engaging in exclusionary practices based solely on religion, intervening before a loved one is inculcated into an extremist group, or choosing political leaders that promote rather than reject diversity, we all have a part to play.
There is something you can do today that can stop a terrorist attack tomorrow.
We owe it to these 21 Dusit D2 fallen souls plus the millions of innocent victims of terrorism all over the world.
You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones.