If This Little Syrian Girl Doesn’t Make You Care About Aleppo, Nothing Will

“Last message – under heavy bombardments now, can’t be alive anymore. When we die, keep talking for 200,000 still inside. BYE.”

Fatemah al-Abed tweeted this message on Sunday night from the account she runs for her seven-year-old daughter, Bana, in East Aleppo. After several months of documenting the siege in Aleppo through Bana’s perspective, Fatemah thought this would be their last tweet.

Government forces reclaimed parts of rebel-held eastern Aleppo over the weekend through a series of bombardments which the al-Abed family thought would surely kill them.

As their more than 175,000 followers held their breath waiting for word that the family had survived, the al-Abed’s barely made it out of the siege alive.

Finally, Bana tweeted a message, along with a photo of herself surrounded by dust. They were still alive, but their house had been destroyed.

Bana and her mother continued tweeting updates about their situation, saying they were still under heavy bombardment and unsure if they’d survive.

Bana’s tweeting began in September with a simple, powerful message: “I need peace.”

Since then, she’s shared stories of countless bombings, air strikes, phosphorous bombs, death and destruction. She’s lost friends, neighbors and now her home and lived in fear that every day could be her last. When bombs start falling “like rain” near her home, her tweets become desperate, begging for someone to save her and her family.

When asked directly about Bana’s tweets by a Danish reporter, President Assad called them “propaganda.”

“It’s a game now,” said Assad, “a game of propaganda, a game of media. The terrorists use civilians as a human shield and we have to do our job to liberate them.”

It’s not a game to Bana and her two small brothers. And that liberation? It looks a lot like more bombs.

In order to forget the war, Bana loves to draw with her brothers and, although she can no longer attend school, to study and learn. She loves reading her digital copies of the Harry Potter series, which she got directly from J.K. Rowling herself. Before this weekend, she also liked to play with her dolls. But now, like the rest of her home, they’re lost.

She wants to be a teacher and an author if she grows up. Most importantly, she wants peace.

“I want to talk to the world about our life here,” said Fatemah in a post, “and draw attention to the plight of Aleppo.”

Fatemah told The Guardian she started the Twitter account to document their daily life because she wants her children to live normally and is devastated that they can’t.

“We had a lot of dreams for ourselves and our children,” she said. “We want to protect them. We lived part of our lives, but our children haven’t.”

According to UNICEF, there are about 500,000 children, just like Bana and her brothers, living under siege in Syria.

Photo Credit: @AlabedBana

87 comments

Marie W
Marie W8 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer8 months ago

I have no words - just tears and prayers

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Miss D
Miss D8 months ago

*their homes.

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Miss D
Miss D8 months ago

‘extremely adult sounding comments purporting to come from a seven year old girl.’ Hi Sian R, her mother looks after her Twitter account. And you can’t tell me that children aren’t being bombed in her homes by Assad. The man has no shame.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tony Camilleri
Tony Camilleri9 months ago

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2835663/Syrian-hero-boy-FAKE-Footage-youngster-dodging-sniper-fire-rescue-girl-actually-shot-Gladiator-film-set-Norwegian-director-using-professional-actors.html
'Syrian hero boy' is a FAKE: Norwegian director admits that footage of youngster dodging sniper fire to rescue girl was actually shot on Gladiator film set using professional actors

https://saboteur365.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/whoops-standing-man-ruins-drowning-refugees-photo-op/
Whoops! Standing Man Ruins “drowning refugees” Photo Op

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Dorothy P.
Dorothy P9 months ago

Looks like Syria has had conflict way before Aleppo. Whatever happens who is paying to fix the mess?

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Sian R.
Sian R9 months ago

Cont .... I asked question, I used my eyes. I have friends still in Syria and friends who have left since this conflict began. The news we receive is biased in the extreme. Like these extremely adult sounding comments purporting to come from a seven year old girl.

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Sian R.
Sian R9 months ago

I'm afraid al-Assad is right - it's propaganda. And the war for Aleppo will continue until the rebels (who are mostly NOT Syrians) have been defeated. Assad doesn't want his people dead. Buses are sent in daily to bring people out and some tens of thousands have used them, while a few hundred have goner to territory still held by (US-supported) rebels.

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Julia S.
Julia S9 months ago

Agree with Leanne K. People are too self-centered

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