thoughts and questions on terrorism in barcelona.

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love taza barcelona day3

while i’ve already shared an update from barcelona yesterday on my blog, i wanted to pop in again today and share how my heart is with those who lost loved ones in las ramblas on thursday. some have left early, but we have chosen to stay in this beautiful city as we originally planned and have been so touched by the love we have witnessed and received. i want to share with you the beauty of barcelona. i know sometimes after attacks like this it can be a scary thought to want to visit such a place, but the people and beauty in this city are gold. it is a safe city, an incredible city, and we have loved our time here so far.

i have different roles as Naomi Davis and each one seems to tug at me in a different way about how to react to this terrorist attack.

as a woman, i am scared and sad for the people who were killed and for their families.

as a mother, i wonder about how i can best teach my kids the facts about terrorism without terrorizing them. terrorizing their little spirits is what it feels like is the goal of these types of attacks sometimes. terrorists not only want to kill innocent people but also instill fear in everyone else. i refuse to let them. i want my children to know these acts are wrong and unacceptable, to know how to lend support and help and love in moments like this and especially to never allow these acts to dictate a life walked in fear, but to lead an unapologetic life of adventure where they seek good and give good everywhere they go.

as someone with people following along on social media, i wonder what to share and say that would best spark peace and hope in a group of people who have diverse perspectives on what is best and how to act and how to help. it’s hard to know!

these different roles make me ask…do we pack up our bags and head back home to new york? do we stay at the hotel each day and not leave? do we gather our children together, try to share with them in ways they can understand about what is happening here right now? do we take them out to explore and celebrate this incredible place that has so much to offer, even in a difficult time? do we go out with the kids and learn about barcelona or appreciate cultures different from ours? do we go out but not as tourists? do we have fun? do we mourn? can we do both?

while we all grieve and process things differently and our opinions may vary greatly in this scenario, i truly hope to show respect to those who have lost their lives on las ramblas and to their loved ones, and i hope my photos and stories from barcelona can be viewed as a celebration of this incredible place and what their people have to offer. it feels like shining a positive light on barcelona is how i can help the people here the most.

as we stood at a candlelight vigil last night with our children, we listened as many chanted around us “not afraid.” and i loved that. because i believe it’s times like this that we must go out, and continue to live and love as human beings.

  1. Katie Owston

    Thank you for sharing this, Naomi! My little sister is moving to Genoa, Italy in a few short days to teach first grade for two years. I just sent her this post, because I know she’d find comfort in knowing that as a mother, you chose to stay, explore the city, and teach your kiddos about the power of good and love. ❤️

  2. Joana Lopez

    Preciosas y ciertas palabras!! Gracias por quedarte y disfrutar de mi ciudad a pesar de las circunstancias. Sois una familia adorable.
    Beautiful and true words !! Thank you for staying and enjoying my city despite the circumstances. You are a lovely family.

  3. Ebene

    Your words are so beautiful.

  4. Emma

    Naomi, you are fantastic. Thank you for being open about your thought process. Even though we know it about ourselves, sometimes we forget that others don’t make quick decisions without considering all the options. How beautiful that you took your children to the vigil. I look forward to the rest of your posts in Barca!

  5. Jordan

    Beautiful, well said!

  6. I wrote a similar post on my blog Friday in regards to the attacks both in Charlottesville, and Spain where my heritage is from, and how horrific it is. I am glad you are fearless, and strong to continue your trip, and make the best of it regardless of what’s happened. There is a reason why y’all are there when this sad event happened. To teach your children at a young age why, and how the world can be. Our children are the future of this country and they have a choice to make it beautiful all around.

    Noah is almost eight, and being that he is my youngest am continuing to teach him to accept and love everyone no matter who they are. To be fearless, and brave, but at the same time let him know that it’s okay to be sad, and cry. I love his feminist ways, and having three older sisters to guide, and teach him helps him too!

    You’re doing a wonderful job not sheltering your kids from the world, and engaging them in current events of what’s happening in different countries. As long as we are doing what is right, I know that the Lord will bless us, and keep us safe!

    Take care mama, and have fun on the rest of your trip!


  7. Elaine

    Naomi, this is beautiful… We are glad and relieved that you are able to explore this beautiful place with your beautiful children. Thank you for all you and Josh believe, stand for and share with others. We pray the rest of your trip will be filled with even more love.

  8. lisanne groeneveld


  9. Patricia

    Beautiful Naomi. Enjoy Barcelona and her people. Spain is strong.We are happy if you and your family enjoy. Sorry for my english. It is very bad

  10. Carles Ortiz

    Those were nice and true words, Naomi. As a Barcelona citizen, me and my family (two kids, the third is underway) appreciate them very much. Thank you.
    I strongly recommend you guys going to La Festa Major de Gràcia, in the Gràcia neibourhood. Streets decorated full of colours that the kids will love and enjoy. A must these days in the city.

  11. Kelly

    I think what you’re doing is the right thing as long as it feels right. Obviously, be alert and aware, because this is just the beginning of these types of terrible events. But at the same time, appreciate the beauty and the culture and realize that the people who live in Barcelona can’t just pack up and leave, so they must continue to go on with life. Maybe seeing tourists like you and your family (and others, I’m sure) brings them some comfort, like things are going to get better and that if you’re willing to stay, then it’s all going to be ok. God bless.

  12. Jas

    The way I see it is perfectly summed up by John 10:10

  13. Jamie

    Thank you for this – just beautiful and inspiring.

  14. Stacy

    Very well said my dear.

  15. Kelly

    One of the most beautifully written posts – thank you for sharing and I am glad you are safe! #prayforbarcelona

  16. Imogen

    What a beautiful post Naomi. My partner and I are moving to Europe in a few months, and I can’t help but be a little worried and anxious about our next steps. I’ve been stuck between excitement and concern, and this has helped infinitely. We can’t put our lives on hold, nor would we want to. I hope we can live with the same bravery and spirit of adventure that you and your family epitomise.

  17. brittany

    this is really beautifully said! i know it had to really shake you guys up, but i admire your family so much for not letting fear run you. you are sharing such gorgeous photos and experiences despite what happened and i think that is such a great way to support barcelona!! i hope the rest of your travels bring peace! [and more pretty photos!!] xoxoxo

  18. Olga

    Thank you for your words. I’m from Barcelona and I have 3 kids and it’s so sad to have to explain them what happened last thursday in Las Ramblas, in the place I walk averyday to go to work. This terrorism atrack ii’s again my city but at the same time aginst all the represent: freedom, hospitality, respect for the diferent cultures, “No tinc por” I’m not afraid, because we are more than them, and I belive that love always win in front hate. Thank

  19. Kelly

    Your words are beautiful and inspiring. I am a long time reader and although I love your photographs, I return for your kind spirit and grace. It is so important to speak out and against hate and not allow fear to consume us. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, empathy and love. Sending it back your way (and to all the other readers)

  20. Kathy

    Developmentally, little children are not a
    able to understand big concepts ; they need to feel safe, period.
    Katherine Lipkin, MA

  21. nanette

    This post totally resonates with me. I live in Turkey with my husband and two little girls and it’s so hard to explain why these these happen without, like you said, instilling that fear. Which is what they want. They want us to be fearful, but we cannot be. This country has endured so many attacks yet it keeps going, like so many other countries. You’re such an inspiration to me and your heart just comes through in every post. Thanks for your beautiful thoughts.

  22. Kathy

    Thank you for this post- sharing your gifts is the best thing you can do right now. It’s the best we all can do. Your gifts will spread peace and tolerance. I’m grateful to you and this space you’ve created! “Take your broken heart and turn it into art”

  23. Ruth

    Beautifully articulated!

  24. Laura

    Hi Family,

    I live in Barcelona, if you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact me, I also have three children, so I feel very close to your experience,

  25. Beautiful words. We live in London and still go and out and about with our two, now 3, little ones, despite privately wondering if something might happen, and being extra alert when with our children. We can’t let the terrorists win, and I refuse not enjoy one of the best cities in the world! Enjoy the rest of your trip x

  26. Cátia Oliveira

    Hello Naomi. Beautiful words and I really relate to them. Hope you enjoy Barcelona. It’s an amazing city and all Spain its gorgeous, really. I’m a neighbor of Spain, I’m Portuguese. We (portugueses) are feeling more than ever, not only because it is something that is impossible to remain indifferent, but because we are close and we lose fellowship from our country. These events are always bizarre and worse remain inside us in a frightening way, for longer than they should. I am with you, more than being afraid to live, we have to find even more strength to live after this, to live more and better for us and those who left. I think it is the best way to honor the victims and the cities that are used for these atrocities. Best Regards….Cátia Oliveira (anxious to be in New York in 2018…finally :P )

  27. Erin

    Having lived in London through the tube bombings, and then in Heidelberg, Germany this past winter when someone drove their car into a crowd – I can honestly say it’s hard to process the feelings right away. And while it’s scary at some moments, and when you’re in the middle of it it can seem like more of these things are happening, there are actually fewer of these violent incidents than when I was a kid in the 80s. Attending these vigils are so important, you get to see all the other people who are also trying to figure out how to feel about it all. I remember standing shoulder to shoulder with people on the streets of London after the tube bombings, it was so powerful. Keep the love in your heart and your mind open. x

  28. Lauren

    This was beautiful Naomi thank you for sharing. This gave me a lot of hope and comfort.

  29. Great perspective. Sometimes fear shapes our reactions too much. It must have been a wonderful teaching moment for your kids to
    Realize you Can stand together with courage.

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