By Zahra Memon
On Tuesday, March 22, the city of Brussels was reduced to shambles. While the news about Belgium was being broadcast worldwide, every station was discussing the attacks. Every news anchor gave his or her reflections and prayers and the entire world was in a state shock and grief. No one was able to fathom what had just happened.
Within a few moments of the attacks, my phone was blowing up with CNN notifications of the constant reports of the number of injured, as these numbers were steadily increasing. A couple of hours later, ISIS took full responsibility for the suicide bombs they had plotted, according to a New York Times article from Tuesday, March 22. Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds were inundated with pictures of Belgium and hashtags such as #PrayforBrussels and #PrayforBelgium were trending all over the internet. Facebook even created a tool to set up a temporary profile picture to show solidarity with countries going through hardships — but did Facebook create one for Turkey? I did not see it.
Two days before the Brussels attack, ISIS took responsibility for a suicide bomb that went off in the streets of Istanbul. Prior to that, a Kurdish militant group detonated an car bomb on Sunday, March 13, in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, leaving 37 dead and approximately 100 civilians injured, according to a mic.com article from Tuesday, March 22.
Why didn’t the world show solidarity for Turkey? We changed our profile pictures for the people of Paris and we posted our prayers and condolences on social media to the people of Belgium. We all mourned the losses in both of these countries, but what about Turkey? The media did little to cover the attacks in Turkey and we just sat here and dismissed the news or we grieved for some time and moved on with our lives.
The media has a tendency to not cover events that we should know about. It is a shame to see that stories about Europe are easily accessible to read — every social media platform has a trending hashtag, but a country such as Syria gets zero attention, despite the fact that the nation faces tumultuous circumstances all the time. When the explosions occurred in Turkey, I did not see a trending hashtag. Every day, Syria and Iraq are combating their own battles. People’s lives are taken away on a daily basis in the Middle East, but how much have we actually heard about the struggles these brave individuals are trying to overcome on the homepage of Fox News or CNN?
We should all take a moment to pray — not only for Belgium, but for the world.