Middleeast

Lebanon's #notamartyr campaign

Updated 11:08 AM ET, Wed January 22, 2014
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One minute Mohammad Chaar was posing for a selfie. Moments later he was bleeding on the pavement after a car bomb detonated. Twitter
Chaar died from his wounds, and it wasn't long before he was branded a "martyr." But many younger Lebanese, sick of the constant violence in their country, were outraged by the label. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
Lebanese began protesting the teenager's death through a unique online campaign called "Not a Martyr." Nabil Narch
The movement's Facebook page stated: "We can no longer desensitize ourselves to the constant horror of life in Lebanon. We refuse to become martyrs. We refuse to remain victims. We refuse to die a collateral death." Gino Raidy
"We're each from a different religion, but our union doesn't have a religion," say the Lebanese photographed. #notamartyr
"My family is stronger than the government - should I laugh or should I cry?" reads this sign. The concept of martyrdom is deeply ingrained in Lebanon's war-scarred psychology. Younger Lebanese are rejecting the term. #notamartyr
The sign of this #notamartyr supporter states: "In 2014, I want to express my opinion, I don't want to be silenced." #notamartyr
Dozens have posted pictures online since the December bombing, and the campaign has given voice to a generation seeking to improve life in Lebanon. Noor Tannir
The #notamartyr campaigners aren't the only ones using creativity to combat complacency. After the bombing that killed Chaar, Lebanese artist Rima Najdi put on a provocative performance in January by dressing up as a suicide bomber and wandering around Beirut. Rima Najdi
Najdi dressed up as a suicide bomber in protest against the normalization of bombings in Lebanon. While some were scared by her, most were simply amused. Several folks took pictures -- others even posed for selfies with her. Rima Najdi
A portrait of Mohammad al-Chaar is seen during a candlelight vigil at the site of the blast. The car bombs haven't stopped since his death. ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images