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October 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Exclusive: Victim of Burgas Attack Celebrates 25th Birthday, Looks to Future (PHOTOS)

avatar by Zach Pontz

Daniel before the terror attack.

“After I saved money, I decided to go on vacation to Burgas, Bulgaria,” Daniel Fahima said. “We planned the first vacation after the military service and we really wanted to enjoy ourselves as much as we could.”

The Algemeiner spoke with Daniel on his 25th birthday, an event hosted by the One Heart One Hope Foundation. An especially sweet occasion considering that only a few months earlier he was nearly killed by a terrorist attack on his tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed seven others.

“We took a flight on July 18 , 2012  with a lot of happiness in our hearts, but we didn’t know it will all be destroyed by a terrorist who decided to target Jewish people who couldn’t defend themselves,” he says.

Daniel made it out alive, though he suffered severe burns to his body.

He was fortunate. Sitting on either side of him were his friends Elior Preiss and Maor Harush, both of whom perished in the attack.

Daniel was evacuated to Israel’s Tel Hashomer Hospital. “For 2 months I was in a coma , 56% of my body was burned and I had dozens of holes all over my body … unfortunately I lost my right eye. My body looks like a strainer,” he says.

Daniel while in hospital.

Daniel was fortunate in that his parents were by his side the whole time, supporting him. “How can you describe parents that left their job and their life so they could be next to my bed all day? They give me so much love, so I can say that I love them so much.”

An aspiring DJ, Daniel hopes to one day return to his true passion, even make a career of it. Though he knows the road will be long and difficult, he maintains a certain optimism—one could even call it confidence. “In 10 or 15 years, I see myself on the stage as a DJ, making people happy at their weddings; or on a stage somewhere around the world in front of thousands of people with my brother to say yes, we [beat] terrorism!”

“I lost my 2 best friends. There is no moment without being in trauma after what I saw at the attack. I have no day or night. All I see is those horrible memories of parts of bodies around me,” says Daniel.

“The terrorists—they are cowards. Everything they have in their hearts is hate.”

Daniel has had much time to reflect on the events of this past summer. “Today it is me, tomorrow it could be you,” he says. ”

Daniel is greeted by friends at his birthday party. Photo: Moran Mordo.

“There is God and God is stronger than terrorism. They have no God, no respect and we can’t let them grow.”

And all Daniel asks from those who oppose terrorism is to never forget the victims, and to remain supportive of the victim’s families. “People who murder leave many circles of people that get destroyed, but the world forgets them,  and the victims don’t get enough help and support.”

But in the end vanquishing those that try to destroy you is a personal battle, one that Daniel seems ready for. “The recovery will be very long but I will go back to life and I wont surrender to terrorism.”

Daniel's birthday party.

Daniel DJ's at his birthday party. Photo: Moran Mordo.

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