#PorteOuverte: Parisians Open Their Doors And Hearts For Strangers

Amna Shoaib
In the most devastating of tragedies, Parisians use compassion to not lose their faith in humanity.

As Parisians made the most of an unusually pleasant Friday night before winter arrived, the most terrible form of horror struck.

It was like a wildfire, ignited in six places but making its way throughout the heart of Europe, until the entire city was plunged into chaos. Bullets may only have reverberated in six places, but their resounding thunder was heard all across Paris. The City of Lights darkened.

And perhaps, it is in the most desperate of times that we see the most courageous of compassion. In the midst of explosions and shootings, Parisians opened their doors for strangers who were out there alone and scared.

With the hashtag #PorteOuverte, French for "Open Doors," Parisians invited strangers inside.

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Kindness, much like terror, is quick to make its home in people's hearts. The Sikh community extended the same kindness, proclaiming that their gurdwaras (places of worship) in Paris, were open to anyone seeking shelter.

Taxi drivers all over the city offered free or discounted rides to people stuck in stranded cafes, bars and restaurants.

As the lights in Eiffel Towers were turned off, these kind human beings lit up rays of hopes all over Paris.

The journey to recovery will be an arduous one. For weeks to come, Parisians will awake with a sinking feeling, these ghastly memories being the first things to come to their mind. The scars might fade, but the wound will remain.

Maybe, a little more understanding, some more compassion, could quicken the healing.