In the wake of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris Friday evening that left 127 people confirmed dead and at least 200 more injured, a cartoonist for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo urged those who #PrayForParis to shift their focus towards celebrating life.
"Friends from the whole world," Joann Sfar posted in a cartoon on Instagram. "Thank you for #PrayForParis, but we don't need more religion! Our faith goes to music! Kisses! Life! Champagne and Joy!” he wrote, capping off the message with a call for joie de vivre in the form of #ParisIsAboutLife.
Few know the impact of such horrifying terrorism as was seen in Paris last night like those at Charlie Hebdo. The controversial magazine dominated headlines this past January after gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked the publication's Parisian office, leaving 12 people dead, including police officers, staff editors, and cartoonists. Following those attacks, hundreds of thousands of people rallied together in solidarity with Paris. In the days that followed, heartbreaking and inspiring stories of courage emerged and many took to social media using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie to express their sorrow and solidarity. And the provocative magazine returned, selling out its subsequent issues mere hours after they hit stands.
A similar outpouring is taking place as we speak as the world tries to process the harrowing events of last night. And in that spirit, we choose to follow the lead of this clever cartoonist and say: Cheers to Paris! Cheers to life!