Twitter user Mustafa al-Najafi is valiantly taking on the gargantuan task of tweeting personal anecdotes about the 250 victims killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad, Iraq this week, a suicide bombing that injured 200 more.
His goal, he says, is to make each of the victims human, not statistics.
If you didn't hear about the Baghdad attack, it might be because it's receiving less of the western world's attention and presumably, by extension, less of our sympathy. Following attacks in Orlando, Paris and Brussels, support poured in for victims across social media. But in Iraq, which has suffered several of ISIS' most deadly attacks, support from the global community hasn't seemed to come as easily.
That's why al-Najafi, an Iraqi filmmaker living in London, created the hashtag #NotJustANumber. Throughout the last few days, al-Najafi has tweeted the names, pictures and stories of several of the 250 victims of the attack, which occurred on Saturday. Although A Plus is not able to verify each of the photos and stories, ABC News reports that each was cross-referenced for confirmation by al-Najafi.
The victims' stories are at once compelling and heartbreakingly ordinary.
"I wanted to show people that these victims were normal people like in Paris and Brussels," al-Najafi told ABC News. "If you look at pictures of the victims, they're all beautiful people, but the way the media portrayed them, they are just statistics."
Though ISIS has yet to claim responsibility for the attack, many believe the recent increase in suicide bombings is a reaction to the extremist group losing control of large and important territories throughout the Middle East.
Interestingly, the western world seems to forget that Muslims are the most common victims of these suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. If there was any doubt of their primary target, ISIS' string of attacks throughout predominantly Muslim countries as the holy month of Ramadan came to an end was an affirmation.
As New York Daily News reporter Shaun King put it, in the wake of attacks like this, it's important to remember that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and potentially 35,000 members of ISIS. We must be able to see the plight of these Muslims with nuance and understand that more often than not, they are the victims of extremist terrorism and not the perpetrators of it.
But, perhaps most importantly, we must do our best to remember and honor the victims of these horrible attacks.
"Behind every death is a unique human being. A beautiful person that is loved and now missed," al-Najafi wrote.
His tweets prove it to be true.