Bana al-Abed is a 7-year old girl with over 200,000 Twitter followers, and she is fighting for her life. Most children Bana’s age are reading Harry Potter, focusing on school and looking forward to the holidays. J.K Rowling, the world-famous writer of the Harry Potter collection, is one of those Twitter followers Bana shares her tragic story with everyday. Touched by Bana’s story, Rowling sent her all of the Harry Potter ebooks, hoping to normalize this little girl’s life. Unfortunately, Bana and her mother, Fatemah, who set up Bana’s Twitter account, have very little leisure time.
The Syrian Civil War was sparked by violence in March of 2011, and has since forced the displacement of millions of Syrians, and according to a CNN report, an estimated death toll of 400,000. The same report details the 200 airstrikes that hit Aleppo from Sept. 23-25, destroying the city in ways Aleppo civilians couldn’t imagine, all in a weekend.
Groups such as ISIS, Kurdish fighters, Jaish al Fateh, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been fighting for five years, destroying cities like Aleppo along the way, and altering Syrian civilization forever. Rebel fighters, some even supported by the United States, have attempted to protect Aleppo. However, after endless bombings, the rebel forces have been slowly deteriorating.
With rebel forces struggling, President Assad’s army is expected to take Aleppo over, however, with all the attention shifting to Aleppo, ISIS fighters have taken the historic and beautiful city of Palmyra in Syria. It’s evident that the fighting will not end soon, leaving children like Bana, to experience their childhood in a brutal warzone.
This loss of innocence for the children of Aleppo is the tragic reality for their parents, Syrian civilians and the rest of the world. Bana and other children from Aleppo have known nothing other than continuous fighting and bombings, and hopefully, with the help of reporters and social media, their stories can make it out of the debris, and into the hearts of millions across the globe.
Bana’s reading place
Bana’s heartbreaking reality