Lebanon is no stranger to violence. Bombings are frequent and perpetrators are never held accountable. On December 26 and January 2, two car-bomb attacks have left at least 13 people dead and many more injured. In addition, a dual bombing in November that left over 20 dead and ongoing violence in different areas around the country make it difficult to be optimistic about 2014. Yet, after each bombing, people just go back to their everyday lives and innocent victims are soon forgotten. Because this is wrong, the #NotAMartyr movement encourages people to take a stand:
A place for all those who believe that death is not a solution.
A place for all those who do not want to be called martyrs in vain.
A place to pay tribute for all those who died; are dying and will unfortunately keep dying in the future.
A place where we show the world that we care.
A place where we show everyone that we want change.
Lebanon needed a wake up call from the state of lunacy well described on Hummus for Thoughts:
We have become a nation of justified claustrophobia and justified paranoia; we have stopped hoping that this bomb would be the last because we know that another bomb will soon follow; we are living in the not-so-discreet shadow of our catastrophic civil war and are aimlessly waking up every morning not really understanding what the hell is going on; we are engulfed in our own sectarian lunacy exacerbated by our own (suffocating) corrupted religiopolitical class; and we have never failed to remind ourselves how we’re failing to do anything about it.
Many of us are cursed with persistent hope, and more and more of us are cursed with hopelessness. Whatever your current state of mind is, let us at least be clear: we are not martyrs. We’re not dying for a cause. We’re just dying.
After the December 26 bombing, the death of a bystander, one anonymous, innocent face amongst other, started a small wave: When 16 year old Mohamed Chaar died from his wounds right after the December 26 bombing, Lebanese netizens shared his picture and the last selfie he took, moments before the bomb exploded, to remind the world that the teenager is not a martyr, a word often used wrongly. Blogger The Lebanese Expatriate explains[ar] why it matters [ar]:
محمد الشعار ليس شهيداً، فهو لم يختار القتال إلى جانب طرف ضد آخر.
محمد الشعار ليس شهيداً، فهو لم يدعم العنف ولم يكن مستعداً لتضحية بحياته من أجل قضايا سياسية أو دينية.
محمد الشعار ليس شهيداً، محمد الشعار ضحية.
Mohamed Chaar is not a martyr, he did not chose to fight for one side against another
Mohamed Chaar is not a martyr, he did not support violence and was not ready to sacrifice his life for a political or religious cause
Mohammed Chaar is not a martyr, Mohammed Chaar is a victim.
The wave of solidarity with Mohamed Chaar turned into the hashtag #NotAMartyr or #مش_شهيد on all social media platforms, as an attempt to reclaim a country by stating what change must happen in Lebanon.
On Twitter, Mariam Akanan denounces Lebanon's sectarian politics:
@Akananmariam: بدي حجابي يمثل إماني و حبي للسلام مش انتمائي السياسي او الحزبي. #مش_شهيد #notamartyr
@Akananmariam: I want my hijab to represent my faith and my love of peace, not my political affiliation or party.
@LebaneseVoices refuses the constant violence:
@LebaneseVoices I'm tired of head counting my family every other week to check if they have survived explosions #notamartyr #انا_مش_شهيد #لبنان #Lebanon
Mashrou3 Leila frontman @hamedleila wants to hold his boyfriend's hand without being afraid of the police:
And many others:
#NotaMartyr has a Facebook page where you can see and read more statements by netizens.