8-yr-old, writer from Aleppo spotlights the suffering of Syrian children

Beirut: A Syrian girl has written a harrowing memoir of life under siege. Her tweets from war-torn Aleppo have captured a worldwide audience. Recalling her terror of daily bombardments and her sorrow at being kept out of class, eight-year-old Bana Alabed, narrated the harrowing tales of sufferings of Syrian children.

Recounting her friend, Yasmin’s death, who was killed when a bomb fell near her house, Bana writes in her book, “Then one of the men lifted a body out of the rocks, and there was more screaming from Yasmin’s mum. It was Yasmin. She was floppy like she was asleep, and had a lot of blood and dust on her.”

“I couldn’t move or breathe because I was so scared seeing my friend like that,” she added.

Since joined Twitter in September 2016 with the name @AlabedBana, she drew around 360,000 followers. Through her tweets and pictures she is documenting life in her embattled city. Her account is managed by her mother Fatemah.
Famous Tweeters, including “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, are among her followers.

But her tweets also sparked controversy after some critics questioned the legitimacy of the account and accused Fatemah of using her daughter for propaganda.
Bana and her family were evacuated from eastern Aleppo to Turkey during a ceasefire last December. The family was greeted by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at his palace.

Reuters has quoted her as saying “I am sad because the children in Syria they don’t have school, they aren’t learning anything. They (stay) in their house and are dying every day.”

According to UNICEF, 1.7 million children in Syria out of school, due to more than six years of conflict.
Bana wishes to return to Syria and dreams to become a teacher and doctor so she can both educate and treat children.