My parisian life

Life in Paris: News of Aleppo, what to do?

As I entered my cafe yesterday, I was standing at the glass window looking out at the street – Rue Etienne Marcel. In the direction where I had 5 minutes ago dropped my 9-year-old son off for ecole. I gave him the regular double kiss on the cheeks – the bisous – and told him to have a good day and?faire des b?tises! (give some trouble!) ?A light note that preceded the heaviness I felt 5 minutes later I was about to sip on my very bad Cafe Richard coffee.

I’ve grown so found of my baristas and them of me that we delight each morning in talking about the daily papers – dans le journal. So as I stood at the window, and I turned around to Francois, todays barista and my coffee, we started to talk about Aleppo. It’s been on my mind.

Last night I was following the news (mostly via Facebook) and last videos from social media where people where literally waiting to die. I wept like a baby.

And on this morning, I couldn’t find the words to tell him how I felt. All the mommy’s who are loosing their kids, and all the kids losing their parents.


Francois said “impuissante“. I mumbled, oui. I do feel “powerless”. He said he felt the same then told me about his sister-in-law that is actually in Syria right now. But on the “normal” side.

Curious I asked “how does she feel?” how can someone deal with that and so close by?

He said she’s stressed out, but that for them life “goes on”. They know that behind the wall there are people suffering but they too feel “impuissant”. ?Our conversation dangled over a few topics such as the daily habits of his sister-in-law – they have an electricity cut twice per day, and that can hear the rumblings but apart from that they have regular comforts.

Later in the day I went past the Mairie – city hall- of the 2nd arrondissement and say the sign that loosely translates to “We stand with the people of Aleppo”. I was like yes yes, me too!

So I grabbed the hand of my son so hard his backpack swoung to the side of his back as I pulled him to cross the street and ran in to the city hall with enthusiasm. ?After passing the security officer – they have them in all municipal buildings now in France – I went to the information counter, asking in French ” where to do I go to sign up or help the people of Aleppo, how are you guys doing it?….the questions where coming out faster than the poor “functionaire” ?lady could respond.

She too was however excited that there was something being done and as she pointed to the canvas banner that was done by 6-year-old kids at the school next door in support of the kids in Aleppo, and to a box of clothes and such for the refugees my excitement died down.


But really – what can we do?! Again I was feeling “impuissant”.

Today I saw this article though that gives some tips on small things to do. It’s a start right?

You can also read updates here.

How are you guys coping or feeling about the situation in Aleppo?




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