The incomprehensible secret embodied in the experience of feeling death without dying.

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There is an incomprehensible secret embodied in the experience of feeling death without dying. It is a secret that I now share with the city of Paris, and every word I write feels like the spilling out of a sacred vow. In the attack on the Bataclan in November 2015, I lost a friend. He lived his life as if it were a song, and with their bullets, they stole his voice. In the days that followed, nothing of him echoed in the hollows and dells of the world’s memory. He was Muslim, yet people proclaimed that Islam was to blame. I couldn’t understand what kind of life was left for me to live under such hate.

I searched all my favourite bookstores, but no library held the volumes that could explain why my friend was gone, and why people were blaming him. So I created my own rationalizations. They came in the form of Margaux and Ali, creatures of my imagination. Both lose their fathers on November 13th and are forced to deal with their grief in contrasting manners, thus unmasking the cultural prejudice after the attacks. Out of the infinite planes in the universe, their lines are drawn on the same one. Perpendicular, they have so much in common, but only intersect once before tending in their own directions towards infinity.

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