The “I Am NOT a Martyr” Campaign (#notamartyr) has less than a day of existence and can already boast over 1,000 followers on its Facebook page. You can understand why: We Lebanese are pissed at innocent victims being called martyrs in someone else’s war.
Yes, someone else’s war. 16 year old Mohammad Chaar is neither a Martyr nor a Hero. He’s a victim. And so was Georgette Sarkissian. And so were all other civilians murdered in the past years. They are victims of someone’s war against someone else for something which only affected them, and affects us, in that it is making our daily lives harder and harder.
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.
This is what the “I am NOT a martyr” campaign had to say for itself:
On December 27th at 9:35AM, 9 people were murdered in Downtown Beirut. 9 people were added to the ever-growing list of people whose lives were thrown to waste. Where does it end?
We can no longer normalize the persistent violence.
We can no longer desensitize ourselves to the constant horror of life in lebanon.
We can no longer hide under the guise of resilience.
We are victims, not martyrs. We refuse to become martyrs.
What do you refuse to be? What do you refuse to see? What do you refuse to allow?
Post a selfie for 2014 including a written resolution for action that you think will help us reclaim our country. Include the hashtag #notamartyr.
These resolutions will serve as a public launching board to bring about debate and change in the coming years. Our goal is to collect a list of people’s visions for Lebanon, large enough to make it clear that, as Lebanese, we are more aware of what needs to be reformed in our country than our apathy indicates.
The following are a selection of posts published on the “I am NOT a martyr” page. You can view them all here.