'When we die, keep talking for 200,000 still inside' Aleppo mother tweets
With over 167K followers on Twitter, Bana Alabed and her Syrian family living in rebel-held eastern Aleppo have captured the hearts of the world by tweeting about their experiences. Written mostly by seven-year-old Bana, and managed by her mother Fatemah, the pair have been offering insight into the current situation away from the headlines.
Bana and her mother have been sharing photos of Bana attempting to live as normal a childhood as possible around the ruined city that surrounds her. They gained even more global recognition when Bana tweeted about her love for Harry Potter, saying that she likes to read to ‘forget the war’ around her, and within an hour, author JK Rowling had replied.
After Bana watched one of the Harry Potter films, Fatemah asked how she could get hold of a book for her daughter and JK Rowling and her exchanged tweets until they were eventually able to send over an e-book for Bana and her brothers to enjoy.
For four years, the north Syrian city of Aleppo has been a battleground between President Bashar al-Assad and Western-backed rebels attempting to overthrow him. Aleppo was formerly Syria’s largest city, once a Unesco World Heritage site famous for its beautiful panoramic views, souks, citadels and mosques. As the former industrial and financial centre of the country, it was once populated by 2.3 million inhabitants but having been hit with food and fuel shortages, as well as air strikes, thousands have died, and this month has seen all hospitals in eastern Aleppo out of action.
And late on Sunday night, Bana’s house in the Syrian war zone was bombed and she shared a message that broke our hearts and took over our news feeds.
The world will all be keeping an eye on her Twitter account, hoping her family makes it through, while also keeping all the other families and victims of this civil war in our thoughts and prayers.