UCC student becomes world-wide hit with 'Love Letter to Beirut, Paris and Beyond'
A YOUNG Sri Lankan student at an Irish university saw her invocation of Harry Potter in an emotional peace appeal after the Paris and Beirut terror attacks go viral.
Sarah Jameel, a second year dentistry student at University College Cork (UCC), wrote an emotional ‘love letter to Paris and Beirut’ and posted it on her online blog.
Over 2,000 people read the blog within the first hour – and it subsequently went viral worldwide with her article being picked up by ‘The Huffington Post’ in the US.
“My Facebook and Twitter (accounts) haven’t stopped ringing with messages from people across the world,” Sarah said.
She opened her blog with a quote from Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Sarah also urged people to remember that we are all human beings.
“We don’t choose which part of the world we are born into. It’s not a decision we get to make until we are years out of utero,” she wrote.
“And sometimes this decision may be already made for us; if you end up becoming a refugee and have to take an unsafe boat and be in the mercy of the hands of smugglers, because no one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark, you only run from the border, when you see the whole city running as well.”
“You have to understand that no one puts their children on a boat, unless the water is safer than the land.”
Sarah said her native country is no stranger to violence.
“(Colonialism) led to a 30 year old civil war which only ended when I turned 18.”
“So I was part of a generation that was born and raised during a war and although I may not have lived on the frontline, the effects of this mass atrocity of three decades will forever be part of my childhood.”
Sarah witnessed at first hand in Sri Lanka the effects of suicide bombings – and she wrote to assure the US, France and Lebanon that others know the pain they are now enduring.
“There comes a day when these types of conflicts see their natural demise or an intervention that does the same job and until then you need to be hopeful but never hateful,” she urged.
“Choose love. In war, choose love. In despair, choose love. When the good and bad become relative concepts and appear to be grey, choose love. When you don’t know whom to blame about the magnitude of atrocities around you, choose love.”
“This is my love letter to you, and I hope it will open your heart to transcend borders and reinvigorate what humanity is all about.”
“So if you’re a peacemaker, never give up on that role because the world needs more of you.”