The pictures of photographer Maher Attar “Freedom” and “Independence” were not coincidental, but a bitter reality that the photographer experienced during the civil war, as the Lebanese lived and suffered from it so far. Here are pictures of Maher Attar predicting Beirut revolution 2019 and embodied a professional photographic work presented in a cinematic style. Attar embodied Beirut in a beautiful female figure inspired by the French Marianne, the young beautiful Lea Mehanna to be the Lebanese Marianne, wearing a white dress symbol of peace and purity signed by the International designer Ziad Nakad with the striking makeup of Aya Zaher. Two photos of the work were published in view of the current situation. This work was supposed to come to light in “Beit Beirut” next June, and the rest of the photos will be released later.
Lebanese Marianne leads Beirut revolution 2019
“Marianne Lebanon” was inspired by French Marianne, the national emblem of the French Republic, a great republican symbol, and a symbol of freedom and democracy against all forms of dictatorship. He wanted to achieve this dream and chose the locations of war in Beirut.
Maher took two photos with his lens: The first was taken on 5th of October 2019 under the title “Freedom” showing the beautiful young Lea Mehanna (Beirut) on one of the steadfast rocks, carrying with pride, aggression and determination the Lebanese flag torn to reach the limits of the sky. No one is capable of defeating her despite her suffering.
The second picture entitled “Independence” was taken days before the outbreak of the revolution, showing Lea Mehanna (Beirut) on one of the rocks holding more resistance surrounded by a group of young men in military uniforms, and one of them in civilian clothes, is a conflict on Beirut by several internal groups, parties, politicians, and greedy as well as external groups. The sky in the picture shows a revolution with Beirut and the anger of the people.
Beirut symbol of authenticity and coexistence
The pictures of Maher Attar about Beirut came after he was famously known with Samar Baltaji and her daughter. For nearly 33 years, Samar Baltaji was the one-legged mother in the photo, holding the hand of her maimed daughter, Nisrine, as they walked through a landscape of Beirut at war. In a simple skirt and blouse and with a transistor radio on her hip, she stared straight into the camera of a young photographer, Maher Attar, who was covering clashes near the Sabra Shatila Palestinian refugee camp. His photo made the cover of the New York Times, capturing Lebanon’s disintegration like few other images in the 15-year conflict and launched his career.
Maher left to France in the nineties to work in SYGMA, one of the most important global photography agencies, after suffering and being shot in the head brought him into a coma that lasted for 12 days and then resisted and woke up again, he was also hit a second bullet in his leg. The photographer Maher Attar returned to Beirut three years ago and did not lose hope, because Beirut does not give up under the rubble, like the flower of almonds in April, the revolution is born from the womb of sorrows … Beirut is always up for human dignity…
Inspired by the pictures of Maher Attar, the youth revolution is rising to make Beirut a symbol of dignity, authenticity and coexistence.