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From North Texas, A Parisian Muslim Reflects On Friday's Deadly Attacks

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Bill Zeeble
/
KERA News
Sihem Bouhallouf was in Dallas, home-base of her employer, before heading home Saturday to her home and family in a Paris suburb. The attack was shocking, she said, her family is safe, and she welcomed the international condemnation of the terrorists.

Among those shocked by what happened Friday in Paris: SihemBouhallouf. She lives in the Paris suburbs and was visiting her Dallas-based employer when the attacks happened.

Over the weekend, she returned home to France.

“You know I don’t want to go through the whole panic thing, right?  Otherwise you don’t live," Bouhallouf said. “Of course there’s a concern. My family’s living there, I live there as well. But they’re all safe, I called them.”

Bouhallouf was at D/FW International Airport on Saturday, ready to catch a flight to Paris.

The Islamic State says it’s behind the attacks – and Bouhallouf welcomes the international condemnation of those responsible.

Bouhallouf is a Muslim – she says peace-loving Muslims have often been the first victims of terrorists. She says radicals believe everyone who doesn’t follow their own beliefs should die. She says that must be rejected.

“It can happen any place. And this is what terror is, actually. It can happen in a bar. With one person. In a group," she says. "All the refugees, that came, some people don’t accept the refugees because maybe some of the terrorism will be included in that. But then you see people that are suffering, with kids and stuff like that. So shall we put all the Muslims and all the refugees all in one place? And consider they’re all terrorists?  No I don’t think so.”

From North Texas, A Parisian Muslim Reflects On Friday's Deadly Attacks
Sihem Bouhallouf in her own words.

She says there are no easy answers.

For the most part, flights have been operating between the U.S. and Paris. American Airlines canceled a flight from D/FW International to Paris Friday night, as well as a Saturday flight from Paris to D/FW.