Following the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured, the city’s inhabitants have found myriad ways to stand together and show the world that they won’t be divided by terrorism and fear.
The latest heart-warming example is this video courtesy of NBC Nightly News. A Muslim man stands blindfolded with open arms at the Place de la République (an area of Paris that has been used for vigils and memorials since the attack) asking for free hugs.
His sign reads:
“I’m a Muslim and I’m told I’m a terrorist. I trust you. Do you trust me? If yes, hug me.”
And one after another, Parisians line up to hug him. Other people, including a man who tells the crowd that he is a Syrian refugee, follow suit and embrace.
One young man, holding a sign that reads “I’m a Muslim, but I’m not a terrorist,” tells the reporter:
“I see the smiling faces, I see the happy faces — I see the people who really, really are with me. Even if they are not Muslims, they are with me. And they show me love.”
And below, a video shot from another angle that includes a speech from the man who had asked for the hugs. His words about terrorism and healing are full of hope and unity.
The attacks in Paris were an attempt to tear a city apart and instil fear within its habitants, but videos like this remind us that all is not lost, and the city of Paris — including its motto of liberty, equality, and fraternity — can be put back together again, one hug (or flower) at a time.
This post originally appeared here.