Twin suicide attacks in Borj al Brajne claimed the lives of 44 people and injured more than 200, but in the aftermath of the tragedy one man has been credited with helping to save the lives of hundreds after he lost his own life tackling one of the bombers who was preparing to blow themselves up in the crowd. As crowds began to gather outside the mosque targeted by a suicide bomber, Adel Termos, a 32-year-old car mechanic and father of two, spotted a second bomber approaching and threw himself at him. The intervention forced the bomber to detonate his suicide vest and thus saving hundreds of lives. Termos, however, died in the blast.
The narrow, winding alleys of Borj al-Barajneh are enveloped in sadness today with the grief echoed in the cloudy skies above. There lived an ordinary man, who showed extraordinary courage when atrocity struck, a real hero, a real human being. When faced with terrorism, it is natural to take a dark view of humanity and for fear and suspicion to dominate our thoughts. The story, though of Adel, reminds us altruism and heroism can become our second nature too, an instinct that cannot be quenched even in the direst circumstances. This is how one man was able to turn a tragic event into an event where we celebrate heroism, love, and mercy.
So when the flag waves in the wind today, if but for a moment, remember him, for he has paid the final cost so his people won’t be lost. Today we will remember that his sacrifice should never fade and we should always be thankful. Because on that day is where fear turned to bravery, where kindness is given among a deadly explosion, where the victor is one that saves and not the one who saws fear.
Life is real. Life is earnest and the grave is not its goal, I once read. But to act in a way that each tomorrow finds us farther than today. Trust no future, however pleasant. We should act, act in the moment. Lives of great men like Adel Termos, remind us we can make our lives sublime. Their departure leaves behind them footprints on the sands of time. Let us, then, act, with a heart for any fate, still achieving, still pursuing.
To one real hero and a real human being, and to all those people who died in the second suicide bombing in Borj el Brajne, like Khodr Alaa Deen and Shawki Droubi, trying to help their fellow men:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (Tennyson)
Because of real human beings like Adel Termos, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton
The title of this post was inspired by a song I love called a real hero by College: