Two days ago, on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, a tragedy struck my hometown. Two suicide bombers, members of the Al-Nusra Front, attacked two cafes in the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood of Tripoli, Lebanon. 9 people were killed, and over 35 were wounded. Those numbers would have been much higher if not for this man, Issa "Abu Ali" Khadour.
After the first attack, Abu Ali saw the second suicide bomber approaching the cafe saying "Allahu Akbar," and tackled him to the ground, pinning him down with his entire body. This prevented half of the explosives on the suicide vest from detonating. I can't source this, but accounts from my family members in Tripoli say that Abu Ali and the suicide bomber were the only casualties of the attempted second attack.
Good people died and were hurt on Saturday, and we lost a great man - Issa "Abu Ali" Khaddour, 60 years old, father of seven. I leave you with these words from two of his sons, Ali and Khodr: "My father sacrificed himself in order to save the lives of others in the cafe. He would have died anyway, but he didn't die in vain." “Do not give me condolences, congratulate me ... My father was a hero and a martyr."
Hundreds of mourners attended a funeral Sunday afternoon for those killed in Jabal Mohsen, with marchers chanting "let the hero's coffin through first," in reference to Khaddur.