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Teen's death sparks Lebanese selfie protest: #NotAMartyr

Graphic warning: This post contains images depicting bloodshed that some readers may find unsettling.

Mohammad Chaar looked like a typical teenager. Dressed in a bright red hoodie, he looked straight at the camera as he posed with his friends for a “selfie” on Dec. 27.

In the picture, a golden Honda SUV stood parked in the background, just a few feet from the teenagers.

It seemed harmless -- except Chaar, 16, happened to be in Beirut.


Seconds after the selfie was snapped, the SUV exploded. The next picture of Chaar showed him lying on the sidewalk severely injured. He died the next day.

Chaar or his friends were not the target of the Dec. 27 attack -- the blast, which killed Chaar and eight other people, was staged to assassinate a politician trying to bridge the many political schisms that blight Lebanon.    

Chaar's untimely death sparked a new movement among the Lebanese: the  #NotAMartyr selfie protest.

Thousands of people have taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to express their outrage over the teen’s death and their opposition toward some politicians labeling Chaar a “martyr.”

The hashtag is also being used to express outrage at the lack of security in the country -- particularly in the wake of another attack that killed five on Jan. 2 and a series of bombings that have rocked Beirut in the past couple of weeks, killing dozens and injuring many more.

The anger is also targeted at rampant corruption and social and political ills that blight the country.

The protest has gone viral, popping up on Twitter and Facebook feeds throughout Lebanon and countries with a large Lebanese diaspora. 

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