CHILDERS' Alyce Brierley is flying back to her second home in Paris today. The daughter of Tony and Sue of Brierley Wines has lived in France for the past five years and shares her thoughts and fears about the attacks on Paris.
"I'M devastated by the attacks in Paris. They were a direct assault on my friends, family and second home. What's more, I'm saddened by the words of hate against Muslims and the blame people are assigning to the refugees.
They are trying to escape this madness and only want to live in peace. It is a basic human right that we all deserve.
What happened was a shameful act that was orchestrated by barbarians who claim to be fighting in the name of God, but only know violence and destruction.
These terrorists snuck in with the refugees like wolves in sheeps' clothing, but they are not one and the same.
The reality of the dangerous times we live in is now evident in our daily lives.
No longer is this violence limited to the Middle East, it has now arrived at our door.
We can no longer feel safe and live without fear but we must not let it overcome us. If we bow down to fear and let terror overcome us, then we let the terrorists win.
I refuse to let myself be beaten. Despite desperate pleas from my family and friends, I am still returning to Paris today.
I will be living there for a further six months while I perfect my already fluent French and to follow my dreams of studying oenology and marketing.
This won't detract at all from my capacity to act as the business development manager of Brierley Wines and I will continue to manage Brierley Wines' and the other family businesses' social media accounts and online presence.
I won't lie. Yes, I am scared.
I will be flying over the Middle East with Emirates and won't be able to stop thinking about Flight 7K926 that went down in Egypt.
I will be taking the Paris metro, and walking the Parisian streets every day with millions of other people who now have to live in constant fear, but we will stand strong and not let fear overcome us.
I have many Muslim friends in France and Australia, and they are beautiful, kind-hearted people who have gently explained to me their religion and welcomed me into their circles.
They respected my choice of religious beliefs and have continued to offer me their friendship of which I am extremely humbled.
There is a lot of ignorance about Islam and I think people need to stop mindlessly believing everything they read on the internet and take the responsibility to educate themselves about people and cultures that they don't understand.
There is a lot of hate-mongering going around, which is exactly what these terrorists want.
To ISIS, the refugees fleeing war-torn countries have abandoned their cause and are regarded as enemies, just as you and I are.
We are all in this together now, whether we like it or not. We all need to stand strong together against this madness, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
We can't let an event like this stop us from living our lives like we deserve. And we mustn't allow propaganda to instill fear and hate in our hearts instead of love and compassion.
Not only should we pray for Paris, but pray for the world. Remember Beirut and pray for all of the other victims of terror."
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