Queens community responds to Paris attack

Professor Eric Lien, who teaches upper level French, walked around in a fog all weekend. Taylor Nelson, ’16 prayed. Per-Erik Soler, ’16 checked on his grandmother and uncle in Paris.

As news of the deadly attacks in Paris reached the Queens University campus this past weekend, students and faculty struggled to find a way to respond.

Eric Lien, professor of French

Professor Lien said that while he didn’t know anyone who had been injured in the attacks, he felt disturbed all weekend.

“I spent the weekend in a fog,” Lien said. “Went to the school play and a Stevie Wonder concert, but it was always in the back of my mind.’’

Lien said he expected to talk about the attacks in his upper level French class and possibly his intermediate class, as they have talked about Paris and politics before.

Alexandre Mimault, ’18 from near Paris, France

“I was not personally affected by the attacks as my family and friends are all safe,’’ he said. “I come from a south suburb of Paris, which is quite far away (from the site of the attacks). Some friends of mine have lost someone they knew in the attacks and an alumnus from my business school was killed at the concert. I feel just shocked and overwhelmed because it could have happened to me too. I think the jihadists wanted to attack French society’s values and blame the intervention of French army in Syria.’’

Per-Erik Soler, ’16 from France

Soler, who plays on the Queens men’s tennis team, lives in Nice, which is in southeastern France near the Italian border. But both his grandmother and uncle live in Paris. The attacks, he said, left him in a state of “disbelief.’’

“This is terrible,” he said, “because it happened again,” referring to the deadly attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris this past January that left 12 dead and 11 injured.

“I reached out to them through my parents,” said Soler, “and they told me they spoke to them.” He added that he was more concerned about his uncle, as his grandmother goes to bed early.

“He could’ve been there because he likes to be outside of his apartment,” he said.

Luckily his grandmother and uncle live far from the sites of the attacks. Yet he said how his mother, as well as people throughout France, were trying to stay indoors as much as possible.

“People are relatively scared,” he said, “but they’re trying not to show it.” Doing so, he added, “could encourage another attack.’’

Caroline Henry, ’17 from Concord, N.C.

“It bothered me how a lot of people made it seem normal and sad,’’ Henry said of Queens students’ responses. “But it didn’t affect their hearts as much as it should.’’ If the attacks had happened in the U.S. or in North Carolina, she noted, “the situation would have been seen in a different light. That made me mad.’’

Reported by Ava Alvarez, Charlotte Bian-Lingle, Donterika Brown, Delaney Dabagian, Jamie Doolittle, Thibault Grouhel, Sarah Horton, Annaliese LeMieux-Kaplan, Ian Shackley, Ashley Olive, Rebekah Rivette, and Isaac Walker, and written by Austin Huddy

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.