As many were left wounded and 39 dead - including three Lebanese - during the horrific New Year's Eve attack in Istanbul, one Lebanese man walked out alive ... thanks to his passport. 

Francois Al-Asmar was shot in his arm, somewhere near his shoulder, during the attack at the Reina night club. 

The bullet was close to touching his heart, but incredibly, it was blocked by his Lebanese passport sitting in his shirt pocket. 

"It saved my life because I was carrying it near my heart," he said, according to the BBC.

Asmar was shot only once, and he played dead so the gunman wouldn't fire a bullet at him again. Luckily for him, it worked. 

Yes, his Lebanese passport saved his life, literally. 

Despite Asmar's miraculous story, the Lebanese community lost three of its own during the tragic attack on Saturday evening.

Elias Wardini, Rita Shami and Haykal Moussallem fell victims to an act of terror. Their names and faces will forever be remembered. 

Their bodies have been returned to Lebanon, along with five of the six injured Lebanese nationals. 

But while Lebanon mourned, some have also criticized how the media sensationalized the grief of affected families.

"Fewer things are as tragic as this: to fall victim to acts of terror, to have your death be analyzed a hundred thousand times fold, to be called a 'martyr' in an attempt to normalize the horror to which Elias, Rita and Haykal were victims," Elie Fares, the blogger behind A Separate State of Mind, wrote.

Others pinpointed the problems with the live coverage that took place following the attack.

"Lebanese media rushed to broadcast live from the homes of the victims and interview the parents and siblings," Najib, the blogger behind Blog Baladi, wrote

"It’s about time the Lebanese media learns how to handle such unfortunate incidents and respect the families of the victims’ privacy and integrity."

Many family members, friends and other Lebanese have posted to social media with broken and heavy hearts

"No place is safe anymore, in the past years, we witnessed too many atrocities on daily basis, that victims became just a number to us, forgetting the pain that the loss of each individual brings to their families," Bashir Wardini, Elias Wardini's cousin, wrote on Facebook.

"Today I learned that death tolls are not just numbers"

May their souls rest in peace