I grew up in the city of Karmiel in northern Israel with my father David, Mother Niza, brother Avi and sister Reut. We are a proud Arab-Israeli family. After high school, I served my country in an elite unit of the Golani Brigade. And after finishing my service, I went to study law and business management in Netanya. I joined the college debate team and often attended the campus Chabad’s Shabbat dinners with my Jewish friends.
I am a huge basketball fan and the Hapoel Jerusalem team is my favorite. But I also spend my time volunteering at a food pantry for Holocaust survivors. My friends say I am “idealistic to a fault” and “deeply committed to helping everyone.” And I’m always trying to get my friends to be more involved! My brother says I am, “a man of values,” and who makes people happy and inspires them to act. My dad calls me a “giver” with a “good attitude,” a bright future and a deep love of the Israeli people and our state. Just three months ago I moved to Tel Aviv to start an internship at a big city law firm! But to make ends meet, I work at the manager of the Simta Pub on Dizengoff Street in the heart of the city. It’s a popular place for people of all ages and background to meet-up and hang out.
On the afternoon of January 1, 2016, as we celebrated the first day of a new year, Nashat Milhelm - a 29 year old Palestinian terrorist from a village in northern Israel - walked down the busy street and opened fire with a submachine gun. I was standing by the door at the time, enjoying the bright sunny day and festive crowds, when I heard the gunshots ring out. Myself and another young man were killed where we stood. Eight more people were injured. The Palestinian terrorist, on the run for a week aided by his family, left everyone in the city fearful.
My name is Alon Bakal. I am 26 years old. And I am one of The Fallen Faces.
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