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The Man Behind The #IAmStillAlive Hashtag Was Just Killed In Syria

"Living here between death, siege or bombardment. I invite the whole world to stand by us."

Posted on March 14, 2018, at 1:57 p.m. ET

This is Ahmad Hamdan. The 26-year-old activist and filmmaker lived in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.

Earlier this month, Hamdan used the hashtag #IAmStillAlive on Facebook, hoping to draw attention to the situation in his home.

"We're still alive, living here between death, siege or bombardment. I invite the whole world to stand by us. We launch our campaign today #IAmStillAlive," he wrote on Facebook. "Invite the world to stand with us."Rebel-held Eastern Ghouta has been under government bombardment for the past five years. Thousands of civilians are still trapped in the area, just east of the capital Damascus, caught between the pro-government and rebel forces.
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"We're still alive, living here between death, siege or bombardment. I invite the whole world to stand by us. We launch our campaign today #IAmStillAlive," he wrote on Facebook. "Invite the world to stand with us."

Rebel-held Eastern Ghouta has been under government bombardment for the past five years. Thousands of civilians are still trapped in the area, just east of the capital Damascus, caught between the pro-government and rebel forces.

After reading Hamdan's post, Syrians inside the besieged area quickly jumped on the hashtag, using it to post their images from the ground.

The humanitarian situation in the eastern Ghouta needs direct intervention from the international community @un @NRC_Egeland ... enough silence ... daily massacres, death and terror everywhere #EasternGhouta #IAMSTILLALIVE https://t.co/oiQsGFF3jM

الكوادر الطبية في الداخل مستمرون رغم الجراح ولنا الحق بالامل والحرية والامان ك باقي العالم #أناعايش IstillAlive#

The hashtag was used regularly as a way to highlight the plight of children living in Eastern Ghouta.

"For 400,000 trapped people living in underground basements and cellars, If you want to stand with us, please take a photo of yourself, like I have and post it saying:"I stand with you, #Iamstillalive" #SaveGhouta #Ghouta #Syria https://t.co/LzDKew8LkJ

In the first two months of 2018, more than 1,000 children were killed in Syria, according to the United Nations.

Ben hala hayattayım..! diyebilmenin mutluluğu Rabbim korusun sizleri #Iamstillalive #Guta

The Arabic hashtag, #انا_عايش, was also widely shared.

And it attracted international attention.

#Iamstillalive From Ireland Solidarity with the brave people of Ghouta in the horror being perpetrated against them" #IStandWithYou #SaveGhouta by @Syria_Irl @Noor_and_Alaa @amer_almohibany https://t.co/7o2eIkxWo1

From #Turkey to #Eastern_Ghouta I STAND WITH YOU #IamstillALive #أناعايش Since 18/02/18, more than 900 air strikes, more than 600 civilians were killed and more than 2000 were injured. 2000 homes were destroyed 400000 people are still besieged and living in basements in #Ghouta https://t.co/oBoQ4bB3qA

On March 14, Hamdan was killed by an airstrike on Hamouria, activists close to him confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Ahmad recently wrote to a friend: "I dug my grave yesterday 😊😊😊 So that I don't have to bother myself with displacement. Here is my grave" This attitude is quite common among activists & fighters in Ghouta (but not civilians). https://t.co/Cpw1BVGgGU

The messages above were sent to a close friend of Hamdan's only days before his death.

"I dug my grave yesterday," he joked. "So that I don't have to bother myself with displacement."

Qusay Nour, an activist in Eastern Ghouta, told BuzzFeed News that Hamdan had a great sense of humor and had recently been working on a black comedy series filmed in Eastern Ghouta. Nour said Hamdan is leaving behind his wife of two years, and their daughter, Naseem, who is just 8 months old.

“He is a courageous man. He offered scenes that reflected the reality of al-Ghouta in a simple way," Nour said. "He is my friend."

News of Hamdan's death made ripples across social media.

Ahmad Hamdan was the activist who launched the socual media campaign #IamStillAlive from his shelter, now he is not alive any more. #RIP Ahmad

Ahmad Hamdan the #Syrian journalists who launched the campaign of #IamStillAlive / #Istillalive 12 days ago he just died by one of the #Assad strikes on #EasternGhouta .. He’s not alive anymore 😞 https://t.co/kJv5ftcH5v

Hamdan is one of an estimated 1,400 people killed in the region in the past few weeks, according to local health authorities.

People from all over the world joint Ahmad's campaign and shared their solidarity photos with Ahmad and the people of #Ghouta, using same Hashtag. Today Ahmad was killed by Assad regime bombing on #Hamoriah town. Goodbye Ahmad. R.I.P Hero. #IamStillAlive #SaveGhouta https://t.co/tjlelVhuCV

Remember this hero?10 days ago Ahmad Hamdan launched #IamStillAlive from his home in besieged #EasternGhouta | everyone started RT and tweeting back. A whole https://t.co/I3ZwDEwMzw campaign followed. Today, Ahmad died in #Ghouta https://t.co/YD0pU726xN

Over 800 deaths in the area are thought to have occurred after the UN adopted a ceasefire agreement.

@ZainaErhaim Rest in peace Ahmad Hamdan. This is so very sad. #SaveGhouta

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, stated last week they estimated that 4,829 people had been injured in the sustained bombardment over the past few weeks.

The news of his death even inspired some to start using a new hashtag, #NoLongerAlive.

10 days ago, Ahmad Hamdan, launched a socual media campaign #IamStillAlive from his shelter n sieged #Ghouta he was smiling & paused 4 it with his cat. 2dy the constant bombing on #Assad killed him. #NoLongerAlive we all r. #SaveGhouta https://t.co/tBfIZ8l7Si

#NoLongerAlive #Heartbreaking speechless https://t.co/B1xjBhUAUv

On February 12, Ahmad Hamdan launched a #IamStillAlive social media campaign in #Ghouta, he was smiling and posing with his cat, the constant bombing of the Syrian regime and the Russian killed him. #NoLongerAlive all of us. #SaveGhouta https://t.co/udSzwsUn0r

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