The very braveAdel Termos

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On Thursday (November 12, the evening before the terrorist attacks in Paris), Termos, an auto mechanic, was walking in an open-air market with his daughter in Beirut, Lebanon — formerly called by many the “Paris of the East”. Terrorists struck in a coordinated attack: two suicide bombers had mingled in with the crowd, ready to strike. Termos heard the first bomb go off, resulting in dozens of deaths. As Termos surveyed the panic, he saw the second bomber, who was trying to get inside a mosque to kill worshipers inside. Termos made a quick decision: he ran after the man and threw himself on top of the bomber to shield others in the crowd. His 6-year-old daughter was uninjured. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, in both Beirut and Paris. Only 45 were killed in Beirut; it’s likely many more would have died if Termos hadn’t acted. “There are many, many families, hundreds probably, who owe their completeness to his sacrifice,” said Elie Fares, a Beirut doctor. “To make that kind of decision in a split second, to decide that you’d rather save hundreds than to go back home to your family, to decide that the collective lives of those around you are more important than your own is something that I think no one will ever understand.” But in the shadow of the Paris attacks, few heard of the attacks in Beirut, let alone Termos’s part of the story. “He made us proud, put our heads up high, what more do I need?” asks his wife, Bassima Termos. “He gave me dignity, pride, and respect.” Termos was 32.

From This is True for 15 November 2015