Wednesday, March 18, 2015

No One Feels Safe In Tunisia After Terror Attack On The National Bardo Museum

By Yasmine Nsiri
Junior Reporter
TUNIS, Tunisia – When I was a little kid, my parents used to watch the news and I thought it was boring.
The part that bored me most was when they talked about wars and the victims. They showed all the pictures and I didn't even bother looking at them.

I was just a kid and I knew that all of that was far away from my home, far away from my Tunisia. It looked like a movie, something out of reality.
Today, I'm no longer a little kid, and the movie I used to ignore on our TV is now live, in my own home.
To me, Tunisia is my safe place and always has been. I find it hard to believe that terrorism has actually reached our land.
On Wednesday, terrorists attacked tourists who were visiting The National Bardo Museum in Tunis, where I live.
According to The New York Times, two Tunisians and 17 foreign tourists were killed and many more injured. The attackers apparently took some tourists hostage inside the museum for a few hours until security forces got inside.
To me, this is as bad as it can get, the beginning of the worst.
I don't even want to think about other possibilities, but reality imposes itself, and the fact that everything is possible cannot be denied.
Now we Tunisians can no longer be sure of our safety, even in our own homes.
The museum's building was originally a 19th-century presidential palace in the suburbs of Tunis.
It's well known. If you live in Tunis, you have probably visited it at least once. It contains a major collection of Roman mosaics and other antiquities of interest from ancient Greece, Tunisia, and the Islamic period.
I was there with my math teacher and my classmates two years ago. We wanted to study the symmetry that composed the mosaics.
This national museum is a part of our Tunisian history and a part of our cultural heritage. It is most of all an appreciated place.
Even people who aren’t especially interested in mosaic art bring visitors to The National Bardo Museum because it tells so much about Tunisian history. It is like a part of us, and now it feels we’ve lost it.
If terrorism made it to the Bardo museum, that means it made it to our homes.
Tunisia grieves for the victims of this shameful act. After what happened today, people are probably growing fearful of our country.
Even though Tunisia is a well-known tourist destination, today’s attack will probably make a lot of people reconsider their choices. The ones who are here now are probably already packing.
I thought Tunisia was finally starting to settle down, after our elections went well. But obviously, someone out there is willing to stand in the way.
If today's attack happened to be in The National Bardo Musuem, then it can easily be repeated in the theater, at the cinema or even in the street.
I'm getting mixed feelings of fear and worry. We are not used to this, and it's hard to believe. But it's here and it's happening.
I hope the Tunisian government manages to stop this terrible situation, because there's one thing I'm sure of: Tunisians won't stop attending theaters and cultural events. They won't lock the doors and stay at home, either. We're just not that kind of people.
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