Thursday 19 January 2017

In Paris I saw that these terrorists will never stop the music and dancing

Having reported on terrorism around the world for years, I know that while these attackers can terrify millions, people keep going and overcome the odds

Fergal Keane

Published 29/11/2015 | 02:30

Not forgotten: Mourners set emotional tributes in front of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris last week
Not forgotten: Mourners set emotional tributes in front of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris last week

I was just in the door from the long flight home from Burma. Jetlag had reduced my brain to a more than usually turbulent mess of images and voices. I was still in the place I had left where people were joyous and celebrating the power of democracy. It would take me days to feel I had arrived at home. I fell asleep in front of the television every few minutes only to be repeatedly woken by my daughter. "If you sleep now you won't sleep tonight."

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And then Paris. There was a phone call: can you go? It is very rarely that I feel so exhausted that I plead to be left rest for a few days. And there was the significant matter of my son reading poetry at an event in Oxford. My presence mattered. It is always so hard to say no but there are times when you instinctively know it really matters.

For the next two days I watched the unfolding horror in Paris with a sense of weariness that was more than physical.

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