Israel-Gaza War, Hamas, Hostages

Rescued Israeli hostage struggles to adjust to newfound freedom

Almog Meir Jan faces challenges including sudden fame after surviving 8 months captivity by Hamas.

Released hostages Andrey Kozlov and Almog Meir arrive at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Ten days after his dramatic rescue from Gaza, Almog Meir Jan, one of four Israeli hostages freed by security forces, is gradually readjusting to life outside captivity. The 21-year-old, held for eight months after being taken from the Supernova desert rave on October 7, is now navigating a new reality marked by medical checkups, family reunions, and unexpected public attention.

"Physically, he feels good," said Aviram Meir, Almog's uncle, in an interview with The Times of Israel. The family is prioritizing Almog's well-being, allowing him space while remaining attentive to his needs. "We're asking him questions and making sure to give him control over what's happening to him," Meir explained.

Meir Jan's days are filled with medical examinations, from assessing the effects of Gaza's salty water on his system to evaluating his eyesight and hearing. He spends time with fellow rescued hostages Shlomi Ziv and Andrey Kolzov, watches movies he planned to see while in captivity, and meets with friends in small groups, as reported by the Times of Israel.

The family faces new challenges, including managing Meir Jan's unexpected public profile. "He doesn't quite understand his notoriety," Meir said, noting that his nephew is recognized in public spaces and often embraced by strangers. This newfound attention is proving difficult for the young man, who was preparing to start a job in the tech industry before his abduction.

Meir Jan's family are fielding offers of assistance from various organizations but struggle to navigate the available resources. "We need help, and that can range from how to choose a therapist to getting him a cup of water after five media interviews," Meir stated.

While the family rejoices in Meir Jan's return, they remain committed to the broader cause of bringing home the remaining hostages. Aviram Meir, who has been active in the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, says that "[although] a miracle fell upon us.. we're part of that system, and I won't leave it until they're all home."

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