Isis want to be the caliphate - the crusading home for Muslims fleeing the injustice of the West. Instead the opposite is happening. Europe is providing safe haven to Muslims persecuted by Isis brutality... This is a battle against totalitarianism, a battle for our values, and a battle for hearts and minds. Isis seeks to cow us and to divide us. Each time extremists have tried before to spread fear and hatred in Europe, they have failed and our continent has stood firm. We need to stand firm once again - that means supporting security, solidarity and sanctuary too.
My student years in Paris defined who I am today. The streets harboured my surreptitious kisses, those terraces hosted my tears after failed exams and my laughter with my friends who teased me about my Russian accent in French. I wasted my student stipend on Pierre Hermé macaroons consumed between lectures on a random bench at St Germain. It was with a view of the Tour Eiffel that I started my first ever internship at Radio France.
The question is do we really need to feel a sense of fear or discomfort to become truly engaged in politics? Do we want to be numb to what's truly going on and get distracted by reports in mainstream tabloid media putting the blame on the overused and now farcical phrase and sentiment of: "its the immigrants coming over here and nicking our jobs?"
Yesterday in the centre of Beirut the army blocked off roads after a suspicious vehicle was found. It apparently contained some explosives and was thought to be a booby trap. At around the same time, Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun, currently in Sochi competing in Alpine skiing, was the talk of social media when images and video footage of her posing without much on, emerged.
"I want the world to feel us, to have compassion, to listen to these stories of our lives and our suffering. To know that no-one wants to leave their home. We were living a normal life - we had houses, jobs, shops, warehouses. Now we have lost everything, we have nothing. I just want the people outside to know that we were just like you."
As you drive down the main road that leads to Hamra, a district of West Beirut, you will notice, if you're observant enough, beyond the shrub covered walls of the Armenian institute, Haigazian University, that a white needle nosed rocket points towards the sky, or the stars, dependant on how romantic you wish to be.