Emory student in Paris 'These were the scariest moments of my life'

Just 20 minutes before terror unfolded in Paris on Friday Nov. 13, Emory University Student Tori Kargman was sharing crêpes with friends in front of the Eiffel Tower.
The junior from Livingston, New Jersey, was safe and sound back in her dorm room in Paris, France as the attacks were carried out that night. Kargman details her personal experiences the night of and in the days after the Paris attacks in a personal essay she wrote for Emory’s student newspaper ‘The Emory Wheel.’

"Ten minutes later, my phone was flooded with texts asking if I was safe/okay," Kargman told the AJC. "I was able to text my mom and a few friends back but my phone immediately died and I was left in the dark." 

The 20-year-old double major in political science and media studies has been living and studying abroad at Sciences Po in Paris for the past three months.
“In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, I am living with the fear that there are people who want to destroy those parts of us that allow feelings of love, life and happiness,” Kargman writes.

In her essay, Kargman also addresses other terrors that have taken place outside of Paris in the past week.
On her Facebook page, Kargman updated her profile picture to blue, white and red and shared her essay with the following message to her friends: “Reading about attacks like those in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad is heartbreaking, but feeling and seeing it in the streets of your home elevates it to a level I've never experienced before. I hope I can share part of the experience with you.”
On Sunday night, Kargman attended a vigil at the Palace de la Republique in Paris with a friend.
“The scene a Place de la Republique was extremely emotional and touching. Nearly everyone was holding candles or flowers and many were crying or on their knees praying,” Kargman said.
But the peaceful scene turned to panic as a false alarm sent mourners running from the vigil and sent Kargman running to seek shelter from the stampede.
“I just kept running I had no idea where I was going. As we ran, we heard blasts (which most now speculate were firecrackers) and glass shattering. I was literally running for my life. We ran into a nearby apartment lobby that was opening its door for people who were fleeing the scene,” Kargman said. “These were the scariest moments of my life.” 

Since the attacks, Kargman and her parents have been in contact with Emory's Center for International Programs Abroad she said in a message to the AJC.

“Communication with Atlanta has been amazing,” she said.

Adding that she’s received emails from my CIPA staffers and other concerned professors, some whom she’s never even met. Emory continues to send her information throughout the weekend about resources to get updates and how to stay safe.

“I have felt the desire to come home and just to feel like I am in a safe place again, but simultaneously I want to stand by Paris and stand against attacks like this," Kargman said. "The best way to do it is to stay in Paris."