Malian Muslim, Lassane Bathily, 24, who become a hero by saving the hostages at the Jewish kosher shop where he worked narrated to BBC News how he managed to save the remaining hostages from annihilation at the hand of gunmen Amedy Coulibaly who killed 4 hostages in a terror attack connected to the Charlie Hebdo killings.
Bathily was working at the basement of the shop at the time of the assault when terrified shoppers began rushing down towards where he was in an attempt to escape from the gunman. He guided them into hiding positions and switched off the lights and refrigerator and told them to stay silent. Police later killed the gunman and Lassane further helped the police with the investigation by providing detailed description of the crime scene.
Though a Muslim from Mali and still holding an immigrant status, he had grown so close with working with the Jewish employees at the kosher shop that oftentimes, his Jewish colleagues had teased him to get a Jewish girlfriend, according to source from BBC as reported by Times.
Lassane who emigrated from Mali 9 years ago was honorably given a French citizenship in a fast-track process after 300,000 people signed an online petition to grant him one. When he returned to Mali later last month, he was given a hero’s welcome in his country of birth as an icon for tolerance and diversity in a globalized world we all live in today.