Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, the 20-year-old Bangladeshi student who was given a chance to escape to safety by IS militants at a Dhaka cafe but chose to stand by his friends including Indian victim Tarishi Jain and was subsequently killed, has earned plaudits for his act of bravery across the Indian subcontinent.
While many flooded social media with rich tributes to the 20-year-old, Bangladeshi daily Dhaka Tribune called him an icon to all Bangladeshis as “his bravery and selflessness is an inspiration for generations to come”.
“As the nation wonders with horror how it could have given birth to the killers, who represent the very worst of humanity, and what it says about a society that did so, we can take comfort in the fact that Bangladesh also produced a young man like Faraaz,” the daily observed in its editorial titled “Hero for our times”.
While the paper underlines that nothing could ever take away the “sorrow” and “anguish” of his parents and other family members, the editorial calls upon them to “be proud of how he died and take comfort in the knowledge that they raised him to be a true man, with the spirit of a warrior and the heart of a lion”.
The daily praises Faraaz for showing the world “the best of Bangladesh and what it means to be a true Muslim”.
“We (Bangladeshis) should all take pride in the fact that one such as Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain lived among us, and in this moment of shame and shock for the nation was able to show the world the best of Bangladesh and what it means to be a true Muslim.”
Faraaz Hossain was buried at Banani graveyard in Dhaka on Monday evening.
He was among the 20 hostages who were killed during the 12-hour siege at Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan on July 1.
Hossain, who was studying at Emory University in Atlanta, US, had come to Bangladesh on his summer holidays and visited the Holey Artisan Bakery with two foreign friends — Abinta Kabir, a US citizen and also a student of Emory University, and Tarishi Jain, an Indian and a student of the University of California, Berkeley.
When the captors came to know about the women’s citizenship they refused to release them. They, however, allowed Hossain to flee, according to a freed hostage.
Hossain refused to leave his friends and was subsequently killed.
His courage has garnered him widespread praise on social media, with netizens hailing him as “hero”.
Rabiul Hasan Bhuiyan tweeted: “Faraz you are the Bangladesh. Proud of you Brother.”
Harsha Bhogle, famous Cricket commentator and expert, mourned his death on Twitter. He tweeted: “Very disturbed about the decision young Faraz Hossain had to take: seek safety or stick with friends and death. May no one have to choose!”
From across the border, Pakistani columnist and writer Mehr Tarar tweeted: “Dhaka 20-yr-old Muslim Faraz Hossain refused to leave his pals Tarishi &Abinta. Killed when he cld have saved himself.”
She also shared a tweet which said: “Salute to the man (Faraaz).”
On the indian side of the continent, media praised the “hero” in a similar vein.