Tragic Selfie Inspires Widespread Antiviolence Movement

Ralphie Aversa

A group of Lebanese teenagers are using their cameras to turn an act of terrorism into a plea for peace after a car bombing took the life of one of their peers.

Mohammed al-Chaar, a 16 year-old from Beirut, Lebanon, is wearing a red hoodie in this "selfie," taken on Dec. 27. Minutes after the photo was snapped, a bomb exploded in the city plaza, killing al-Chaar.

The "I am NOT a martyr" Facebook page launched three days after the attack that killed nine. In its first post, the page states that those killed by these bombings are not martyrs, as characterized by the media, but victims.

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"What do you refuse to be?" the writer of the post asks. "What do you refuse to see? What do you refuse to allow?"

The movement lives on Facebook and Twitter and solicits those in Lebanon to "post a selfie for 2014 including a written resolution for action that you think will help us reclaim our country. Include the hashtag #notamartyr."

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Since the start, thousands of people have posted their selfies with messages like "I'm art" and "Stop drowning us in your wars!" Perhaps one message, posted on Facebook, expresses the idea that every photo submitted suggests.

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