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Bana Alabed: Daily Chronicles of 7-year-old from the war torn region Aleppo which punctures the world conscience

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Bana Alabed. Twitter

‘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.

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

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Syria Uses Familiar Tactic in Rebel Idlib: Bombing Civilians

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians

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Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE - Destruction is seen around the Udai hospital following airstrikes on the town of Saraqeb in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Jan. 29, 2018. VOA

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria, warning the warring parties their actions might amount to war crimes.

U.N. agencies say an intense military escalation by Russian-backed Syrian forces and armed rebels in northwest Syria is having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population. Agencies confirm at least 160 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in fighting over recent weeks.

They say 3 million people in Idlib need protection and 300,000 civilians who have fled their homes in the past two months are in imminent danger.

 

Spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Jens Laerke says civilians and civilian infrastructure are coming under daily attack by airstrikes, artillery shelling and barrel bombs.

Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE – Damage is seen at a hospital after an airstrike in Deir al-Sharqi village in Idlib province, Syria, April 27 2017. VOA

“Since the 28th of April, there have been 25 confirmed attacks on health care in the northwest, including on 24 health facilities and one ambulance,” he said. “Two of the attacked health facilities were hit more than once, and at least six health workers have been killed.”

Laerke says health care facilities are fully protected under international humanitarian law, and it is illegal to target them. Few health facilities remain intact to care for the sick and wounded, he told VOA.

“Already before the recent months of escalation, the status of health care in Syria at large, and in particular in Idlib, was already appalling,” he said. “Even though those facilities have not been hit, they fear that they may be hit. So, the doctors, the health care personnel are leaving, the patients are not going to those hospitals. Understandably.”

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Laerke says aid agencies are providing food and health services through mobile clinics to people who are newly displaced in northwest Syria. In addition, many schools in the region have been attacked, he says, so catch-up classes are being provided for thousands of children who have been out of school since May. (VOA)