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  • What Leila Did

Saône and Sunset

I was living in Lyon when the Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked and was sat at home as the events started unfolding.

I cannot pretend that my account will be as eloquent and insightful as the many articles and editorials written about it, but I will say it shocked and affected me deeply, and when the Je Suis Charlie manifestation happened in Lyon I felt morally obliged to attend.

The best words I have to describe what I felt, I wrote straight after the march:

Today, more than 300 000 Lyonnais and more than 3 million people throughout France united in the streets for freedom of speech, in defiance of terrorism. That people of every political, religious, cultural and social background walked side by side, in peace, for peace, is testament to the achievements of freedom of speech, and why we should continue fighting for it, for without it, we risk losing all our other hard won freedoms.

Nature also seemed to have been profoundly influenced by the shared emotion of a city and nation, and I saw the most beautiful sunset of my 5 months there.

View South towards Bellecour, along the Saone river

View South towards Bellecour, along the Saône river

Looking North towards Croix Rousse, along the Saone river.

Looking North towards Croix Rousse, along the Saône river.

Looking West onto Fourvière and the Basilica.

Last moments of light, looking West onto Fourvière and the Basilica.