Bana Alabed is a seven-year-old Syrian girl from East Aleppo. This past September Bana, along with her mother, Fatemah, began tweeting from Bana’s Twitter account (@alabedbana) to bring awareness to how East Aleppo has been affected by Syria’s civil war. Through her tweets, the war is seen first hand through the eyes of a child who is, “Reading to forget the war.” Bana also has two younger brothers who she occasionally tweets about as well.
Bana’s Twitter account made headlines last week after J.K. Rowling sent digital copies of all seven Harry Potter novels to Bana. On November 21 Fatemah tweeted J.K. Rowling soon after Bana watched the first movie, saying how Bana would like to read the book it was based on. By November 23 J.K. Rowling had sent all seven e-books to Bana, and Bana tweeted her thanks to J.K. Rowling. Ever since then, J.K. Rowling has continued to show her support for Bana and the rest of East Aleppo.
Despite the ray of sunshine in receiving the Harry Potter books, Bana’s world soon darkened again. Days followed with pictures and videos of bombs close to Bana and her family. Then, on Sunday, November 27, Fatemah tweeted, “The army got in, this could be our last days sincerely talking. No internet. Please please please pray for us. -Fatemah.” That tweet was soon followed by, “Last message – under heavy bombardments now, can’t be alive anymore. When we die, keep talking for 200,000 still inside. BYE.- Fatemah.”
It wasn’t until six hours later that another tweet came from Bana’s account. The tweet read, “Tonight we have no house, it’s bombed & I got in rubble. I saw deaths and I almost died. – Bana #Aleppo.”
Over the past few days, Bana and Fatemah have been tweeting pictures of where their house once stood and how they are trying to stay alive. They have also tweeted to President Obama, pleading for him to help take them away from the battlefield that was once their home. Throughout all this, they have been asking for anyone to help them and the rest of the families of East Aleppo by providing aid and bringing awareness.
As of right now Bana and her family are alive but have lost almost everything and experienced things that no one, especially children, should ever have to go through. Many people can’t imagine having a war rage on outside their window, but it is a tragic reality for the people in East Aleppo. Please follow Bana’s story and try to bring awareness to her and others in East Aleppo so they can get the help they need.