Thursday marked the end of Ramadan, a celebration called Eid et-Fitr. It’s a day of rejoicing and celebrating; however, recent terror attacks have made the holiday a little dimmer. ISIS has fulfilled their promise of a gruesome Ramadan. Whether it is Orlando or Baghdad, Istanbul or Bangladesh, people are hurting and mourning. It saddens me to see a holiday that means so much to so many people demeaned by people who only wish to harm. Casa, our home here in Bangalore, is blocks away from a mosque and in a predominantly Muslim area. I’ve noticed the extreme kindness and giving nature of the neighborhood and the people in it. I am lucky to see first-hand how amazing the people living in Bangalore are, especially around Johnson Market.
After the Bangladesh attack, I got multiple texts from my family members wondering what the climate of India was. No, not the monsoon climate but the emotional climate. I suspect that my family members were worried about me being in such close proximity to these attacks. The truth is, those texts were the first times I’d heard about the attacks. I rarely looked at International news and that day I realized just how important it is to do so. I’ve been consumed with America: news, celebrities, scandals. I never looked at what was happening around the world. If it wasn’t at my front door, it didn’t seem to be that bad. I’d hear about certain attacks; but, it would be a distant memory as the days passed. Believe me, that has completely changed now. I’m sorry I didn’t deem your news, your feelings, or your tragedies important enough. I can only promise to do better and change my ways.
I think about the wonderful people I’ve met here: the inquisitive students, the wonderful teachers, the beautiful markets, and the rich culture that surround Casa. While I’ve been here for a short period of time, the people in Bangalore have made a tremendous impact on my life. Preconceived ideas I didn’t even know I had are melting away. I look forward to hearing the children’s questions, the bartering for auto’s, the call to prayer just outside my window. I am unbelievable blessed to be able to come to this beautiful country and meet so many amazing people. It pains me to see so many politicians, citizens, and even some friends in the US villainize an entire group of people who want nothing more than peace.
My heart aches as a small group makes a holy time so incredibly bloody and violent. Twelve countries have been directly affected by these attacks. Twelve. My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes are and continue to be with the people in Orlando, Medina, Baghdad, Bangladesh, Medina, Mukalla, and the countless cities and countries affected by these attacks.
With a heavy heart,