TUSCALOOSA – A University of Alabama faculty member who was born and raised in France revealed how the terror attacks on Paris are affecting her.

Isabelle Drewelow is an assistant professor of French and Applied Linguistics at the University. She was born, raised, and lived in France for 24 years. She’s lived in Alabama for the past five years, but she still has friends and family in France.

After hearing about the terror attacks, Isabelle said her first thoughts were for her aunt and uncle spending the weekend in Paris. Fortunately, Isabelle’s relatives were not near central Paris where the attacks took place. But, it’s been difficult for her to watch news about Paris. It’s hard for her to see places she remembers fondly crowded with police, debris and smoke.

Isabelle said, “I know the concert hall. I have been there. So, I could envision as well. So, now I have this vision superimposing itself of what I know and the images I see on TV. So, it’s very strange”.

Mere hours after news of the terror attacks spread white, blue and red became the colors of choice for profile pictures on Facebook. Massive lights bathed One World Trade Center and other landmarks across the United States and around the world in France’s national colors. According to Isabelle, the gesture reached far beyond France.

Isabelle explained, “It’s like we’re all in this together. It’s just sort of directly… I know it goes straight to the heart of the French people wherever they are. It’s not because you’re out of the country you stop being a part of that country”.

Isabelle revealed it’s difficult for her to talk about the terror attacks in English. But, whenever she tries to talk about them in French she cries.


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