While across the globe, solidarity with France was displayed over the more than 100 people killed in Paris on Friday, the victims of Beirut’s similar tragedy seemed to fall below the radar. Suicide bombers struck in the Lebanese city Thursday, leaving 43 dead and over 200 injured, but the Western media’s ignoring of the attack prompted some to declare that to many in the West, “Arab lives don’t matter.”

From The New York Times:

Around the crime scenes in south Beirut and central Paris alike, a sense of shock and sadness lingered into the weekend, with cafes and markets quieter than usual. The consecutive rampages, both claimed by the Islamic State, inspired feelings of shared, even global vulnerability — especially in Lebanon, where many expressed shock that such chaos had reached France, a country they regarded as far safer than their own.

But for some in Beirut, that solidarity was mixed with anguish over the fact that just one of the stricken cities — Paris — received a global outpouring of sympathy akin to the one lavished on the United States after the 9/11 attacks.

Monuments around the world lit up in the colors of the French flag; presidential speeches touted the need to defend “shared values;” Facebook offered users a one-click option to overlay their profile pictures with the French tricolor, a service not offered for the Lebanese flag. On Friday the social media giant even activated Safety Check, a feature usually reserved for natural disasters that lets people alert loved ones that they are unhurt; they had not activated it the day before for Beirut. … The implication, numerous Lebanese commentators complained, was that Arab lives mattered less. Either that, or that their country — relatively calm despite the war next door — was perceived a place where carnage is the norm, an undifferentiated corner of a basket-case region.

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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