100 Holomoana St
My name is Ferry Zandvliet from The Netherlands.
In 2015 I survived a terrorist attack in Paris. I was inside the Batalcan theatre where during a rock concert 89 people were killed and over 300 were shot. I managed to survive and escape the venue. I tried to hide under dead bodies and finally escaped the attack crawling to the exit while there were 3 terrorist shooting at me.
A horrible night off course but it changed me for the better. I had a lot of anger inside me after what had happened but I decided to put my anger into action!
Since a few years I am a motivational speaker and I am sharing my story to the most diverse crowds. In the end my story is about how I dealt with this setback. And don’t we all have setbacks?
I gave several presentation for the Rotary in my home country The Netherlands. Amazing people who do amazing work all over the world!
MY STORY IS ALL ABOUT HOW THE MOST TERRIFYING ORDEAL MADE ME A MUCH HAPPIER PERSON THAN I WAS BEFORE. THAT IT ENRICHED MY LIFE IN A WAY THAT I WOULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED. BUT SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD CAN RELATE TO BECAUSE MY STORY IS ‘JUST’ ABOUT A SETBACK.
AND DON’T WE ALL HAVE SETBACKS?
On Friday, 13 November 2015, I attended a concert by the The Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan theatre in Paris. That evening 89 people were shot dead and 300 wounded. There were another two attacks in Paris that night. In total 129 people were killed. It was a night that changed my whole life. Chronic insomnia, hyper-alertness, anxiety and serious PTSS problems dominated my life since that night from hell.
I noticed that while my immediate environment became harder and angrier, I personally felt the opposite. The social hardening around me forced me to speak up; I refused to be angry with the perpetrators, nor did I let people scare me. A week later, I again attended a concert, and I formed an intense friendship with the father of one of the terrorists who blew himself up in Le Bataclan.
By letting go of my anger and not giving in to my fear, my life has been enhanced. It is almost a spiritual journey and an enrichment of my life. People in my country, the Netherlands, supported us following a life television broadcast with Humberto Tan. I will never forget the support from the entire country. You can watch the broadcast on: http://www.geenstijl.nl/.
I have now started a support group for victims of terrorism in the Netherlands; have taken steps to improve the treatment of victims (something that was not there for us at the time), and am sharing my story. This has grown naturally. Talking about what happened gave me much support in terms of processing my emotions in the beginning. I hope that people realize that it is senseless to give in to fear and anger through my story; you end up limiting yourself… I should know! Come and listen sometime soon.