Thoughts on the Sydney Siege

Members of the muslim community put flowers at Martin Place. Photo: Ben Rushton, SMH

Members of the muslim community put flowers at Martin Place. Photo: Ben Rushton, SMH

You know that feeling when you’re on holiday, when the regular beat of life has started to melt away and suddenly all the days melt into one?

Two weeks since flying away, I’ve hit that feeling. Yet this trip will be one I will never forget for so many reasons. It’s my first ‘return home’ to Australia since moving to Greenland. It’s my first time coming back with a husband. It’s his first time hanging out with my family on a road-trip (eek).

Everyone else will remember it as the time of the Sydney siege. 

‘There’s a gunman at the Lindt Cafe at Martin Place’, my friend Amber told us while we were on our way to the beach. It sounded like a sick joke. As facts started to formalise, it turned into a 16-hour long nightmare. Everyone started to check if their friends and family were safe. A sister who worked at the building next door was evacuated, and other friends got sent home.

Luckily, we were on a mini-vacation at Forster and Newcastle, a few hours north of Sydney. Otherwise, it could have been us ordering chocolate from the Lindt cafe – heck I just ordered an ice chocolate from the cafe on George Street just the week before. We all got a few emails asking if my family and I were alright. A pal even wrote,

‘This is one of the many reasons I’d love to live in Greenland. It’s probably one of the last places on earth that you’d be truly safe from all this. I can’t see any terrorists going up there to intimidate the Inuits.’

Sometimes in the Arctic, you do feel far removed from the reality of the rest of the world. However, even when you’re lying at a beach a few hours from Sydney trying to get the latest news on painfully slow 3G mobile data, one can feel a little detached. I don’t think one can ever really run away forever though. And for friends and family of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, it will never really be over.

Today we are going into the city, where I think we have no choice but to go and pay tribute at Martin Place for all lives lost due to acts of terror. Comparatively few lives were lost in this tragic event, but already since then Pakistan has suffered from horrifying violence.

So where ever you are today, stay safe and cherish the time you have with your loved ones. I will try to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Sydney Siege

  1. The problem is with this kind of things that it doesn’t have to be real terrorists and that it can happen all over the world. Just take a look at finland, there are so few people (okay, many compared to Greenland) but in the past years there have been two school massacres, one mall bombing and a couple of mall hostage taking, shooting and killing. And these thing were all done without religious background, just people who felt abandoned and whatnot. I of the malls I was even a couple of hours beforehand buying some food!
    It is a tragedy what happened now in Australia but I think from these kind of things no one is truly safe unless they really do live isolated from the rest of human kind.

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