Over the past few days, I have been asked what was Holey Artisan Bakery, what kind of place it was. I don't know if anyone recalls the show Cheers that was centered around a bar that was the hub of their community. Holey was sort of like that. Most of the time, it was not a formal restaurant. It was a place people would take their children and chat with friends while eating delicious sandwiches, pizza, cheese cake and didn't worry while their kids played on the grass. Holey is located in an area of Dhaka, Bangladesh called Gulshan. Gulshan is part of the greater Diplomatic Enclave which includes Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara. Often this is referred to fondly as the "Tri-State Area'. Gulshan, Baridhara and Banani are the well-to-do areas of Dhaka. Most Expatriates and Diplomats also live in these areas as well. I live only a block and half away from Holey and that night was one of the scariest nights I have lived through since my family moved here.
This attack has left all of us reeling in shock. Mourning the deaths of friends of friends, friends and loved ones. Distrustful of every news. Analyzing every piece of information. Very much raped of our sense of security, our belief in the system and the belief that sending our children to good schools meant they would become good people.
I've begun a system of withdrawal. It's my coping mechanism. When information and social sharing become burdensome, I shut down. I look at the faces of these victims of terrorism and I cry. Friends tell me not to comment of statuses, not to talk about it. How can anyone keep silent at this heinous attack?
Friends whose statuses are usually jovially humorous quips and jokes have become sad. Those who are usually silent have become vocal. Politics sits at the crux of many statuses. I can't help but feel if we turn this attack of terror political we will all be losers. This is not the time to divide, but to unite by any means possible. If we can do that we might have a chance against whoever or whatever has begun this war of terror on our city and our country.
Bangladesh is my country. I may not have been born here, but it has been a part of my life for many years now. I live to see it succeed as do many friends who may not be from here, but have given birth to their children here, have witnessed Bangladesh emerge from a 3rd world country to an emerging middle income nation. Let us not allow these attacks and the people behind them to win. Let us all join together and defeat these groups who seek to topple us.