Remona Aly
Tuesday 23 May 2017 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

Resilience, Humanity & Hope

Solidarity following the Manchester attacks
Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2, Chris Evans Breakfast Show


I was going to talk about something light-hearted this morning, Chris, but a dark and heavy cloud has been cast over all our hearts since the tragic horrors of last night.

My emotions are surging, full of rage against the perpetrators of this heartless murder of innocents.

I don’t see those who died as strangers – but as my own sisters, brothers, father, mother, children, friends.

My heart is with the bereaved, with the families who are left shaken and devastated by the loss of their loved ones.

I am filled with gratitude and awe for the bravery shown by the tireless men and women of our emergency services, I am overwhelmed with admiration for the everyday people who became our heroes last night.

I give thanks for the love and the unity that has been pouring forth and bringing everyone together in our time of grief. The messages sent by listeners into the programme this morning have been inspiring.

I am moved by all the kindness and compassion shown by the people of Manchester, who have been opening their homes for those who can’t reach their own.

Manchester is a great, beautiful and resilient city. It has survived horrors before. It is surviving them again now.

While the wounds are healing, and the lost are being honoured, there must always be hope. It is what guides us and glues us together, giving us strength in our shared humanity.

This morning I’m thinking of the words of the Persian poet Shams Tabrizi who said, “The universe is a complete unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.”

I feel the pain of last night, and I also feel the hope of human solidarity. Our hearts are bound together, and we will carry each other through.