October 4, 2003, was a beautiful sunny day in Israel. Ten-year-old Oran Almog and his family had just sat down to enjoy lunch at a seaside restaurant in Haifa. Oran’s grandparents were there; his grandfather had helped found the Israeli Navy in the 1950s. Oran’s beloved parents were there, too; his father had also served in Israel’s navy. But as the family began to enjoy their meal, a terrorist walked into the restaurant and detonated a bomb, killing 21 innocent people, including four children, and injuring 60 more.
Among the dead were five members of Oran’s family, including his father, both of his grandparents, his brother, and his cousin. Oran’s mother, sister, and aunt were wounded.
But most seriously hurt was Oran himself. The blast disfigured the young boy and blinded him. Oran was hospitalized for a year and his rehabilitation lasted much, much longer. But Oran did not let the attack embitter him. Once he reached adulthood, Oran joined the IDF, saying, “It is true that I suffer from blindness and have scars, but I decided that I’m still like everyone and so I enlisted.”
And The Fellowship has had a hand in this inspiring young man’s life, as well, as Oran has taken part in the Fellowship-supported Etgarim program that provides therapy for soldiers and terror victims. The sailing that the young man learned became a hobby, and found him winning the Bronze at the 2007 world championships for the blind.
While Oran can never get back all that he lost on that day 16 years ago, he truly has shown himself to be an Israeli we all should know and can find inspiration in.Tags: IDF Israel Israelis You Should Know Oran Almog Terrorism