Amid the condemnations for last week’s tragedy in Dhaka, a story of bravery is being hailed across the world: that of Faraz Hossain, a Bangladeshi who stood by his foreign friends even when he was allowed to go by the seven terrorists who had struck at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the upscale Gulshan area.
Praise has been showered on the 20-year-old on social media, netizens hailed him as a “hero”.
The friends Faraz decided to stay with were Indian student Tarishi Jain, and Bangladeshi American Abinta Kabir. All three were killed, along with 17 other hostages.
Faraz, who was studying at Emory University in Atlanta, US, had come to Bangladesh on his summer holidays. That day, he was meeting Ms Jain, a student of University of California, Berkeley, and fellow undergraduate from Emery University, Abinta Kabir.
After taking the patrons hostage, the terrorists had allowed the locals to leave.
On Friday morning, they released a group of women wearing hijabs and offered Faraz the opportunity to leave too, New York Times quoted his nephew, Hishaam Hossain, as saying.
But when they refused to release his two friends, he refused to leave, said Hishaam Hossain, who had heard an account from the hostages who were freed.
“My daughter-in-law told me that she heard a Bangladeshi youth refused to leave the restaurant when militants offered to free him… They wouldn’t let two of his friends go,” The Daily Star quoted businessman Rezaul Karim as saying. Mr Karim’s son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were taken hostage but later freed.
Netizens paid tributes for Faraz, saying he offered “hope” at a time when so-called Islamists tortured those who could not read out verses from the Quran.
Twenty hostages were killed in the 12-hour siege on the cafe on July 1. Most of them were tortured, shot and then mutilated with machetes, Bangladeshi officials have said.