‘Tonight we have no house. It’s bombed and I got in rubble. I saw deaths and nearly died.’
December 9, 2016: A 7-year-old Syrian girl, Bana Alabed tweets live from Aleppo regularly with the help of her mother, Fatemah who is an English teacher. Millions of people each day follow her tweets about airstrikes, death, fear, hunger, and their repeated calls for peace. Her account reads,
“Hi I’m Bana I’m 7 years old girl. I and my mom are tweeting live from East Aleppo. Account managed by mom.”
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Bana writes to her escalating number of followers, ‘I want to live, I don’t want to die.’
“I think my childhood is stolen by the war but I fight for my childhood again under the bombings.”
Bana’s account is almost a daily chronicle of her life, her mother and two younger brothers in Aleppo’s al-Shaar district. She is often seen reading or writing in her pictures. According to her, “I’m reading to forget the war.”
Recently, her mother tweeted the author J.K. Rowling, “Hi @jk_rowling I watched Harry Potter movie, Bana would like to read the book.- Fatemah #Aleppo”
Rowling sent them the Harry Potter books in e-book form, and Bana responded it by posting a picture of her holding up a thank-you sign which is hand-drawn.
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) November 17, 2016
Her account punctures the world’s conscience as if it has grown accustomed to the nearly six-year-old conflict and violence attached to it.
From 2012, Aleppo had been divided between the regime-held west and the rebel-held east. In the east, stocks of food and medicines are running out, and almost all the hospitals had been destroyed by bombing.
Bana’s message which she spreads through her account is simple, stop bombing the civilians and bring peace. Bana Alabed has become a voice of Syria. She represents the civilians whose voice has travels beyond the country’s borders.
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Bana, somehow reminds us of ‘Anne Frank’. At that point of time no one knew about Frank. She kept writing in secret but the world knows about Bana, and no one really wants her to be the 21st century Anne Frank.
– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi