In many ways, Bana Alabed is like any other seven-year-old girl — but her hometown of Aleppo has become a warzone, and now, instead of dreaming of becoming a teacher, Bana just dreams of getting through each day alive.
With the help of her mother Fatemah, also a teacher, Bana has been tweeting about her day-to-day life in the Syrian city, and since the pair started tweeting on September 24, they have amassed almost 20,000 followers.
The first tweet simply read: “I need peace.”
Since then, Bana and her mother have tweeted about the steady stream of bombing, sent pleas to politicians to end the conflict, and shared short videos of Bana and her brothers drawing, playing and praying.
The pair have also tweeted about Bana’s love of reading and the fact she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher when she grows up — “but this war is killing my dream”.
One tweet shows a photo of ashen debris, with the caption: “This is my friend house [sic], she’s killed. I miss her so much #Aleppo.”
‘We lived part of our lives, but our children haven’t’.
The BBC reports Fatemah studied English for three years at a language institute and is also studying law at university, while Bana’s father is a lawyer.
Some Twitter users have accused the account of being fake or spreading false propaganda, but Fatemah, who signs off many of the tweets herself, told the BBC it was disappointing to be accused of lying.
“All the words come from the heart,” she said.
Fatemah told the Guardian that Bana’s life — and Bana herself — had changed since the war began, and that she was unable to go to school or play outside with her friends.
“We had a lot of dreams for ourselves and our children. We want to protect them. We lived part of our lives, but our children haven’t,” she said.
“They think those besieged are terrorists, and as you can see we are just normal people.”
The largest trauma hospital in besieged eastern Aleppo was hit again by several airstrikes on Monday, completely destroying the facility and killing three maintenance workers who were repairing it after an earlier attack.
That leaves only five operational hospitals in eastern Aleppo, and only 29 doctors remain to treat a population of nearly 300,000 civilians, including 85,000 children.
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