- Syrian children learn English to tell the world their harrowing stories Play!
- Seven-year-old girl tweets from Aleppo Play!
- The seven-year-old girl tweeting the horrors of war in her Aleppo neighbourhood
- I want Syria to be ok,” the seven-year-old says. “
- “We’re now more likely to see children being pulled from the rubble or treated on the floor of a hospital than sat at a school desk,” said Nick Finney, Save the Children’s north west Syria country director.
Good afternoon from Aleppo,”
@red__square: And of course they’ve already been churning out the supplementary psyops material in the mass media
Good afternoon from Aleppo,” tweets seven-year-old Bana al-Abed. “I am reading to forget the war.”
The accompanying picture shows Bana reading her favourite English book from her home in besieged east Aleppo.
With her mother Fatemah’s help, she is documenting her experience of the Syrian conflict, tweeting as she watches the city she loves being destroyed around her.
Every day she gives her account of the horrors inflicted on her neighbours, friends and family.
Since the ceasefire failed, Russian and Syrian government air strikes have been pounding opposition-held areas of Aleppo, where more than 250,000 civilians are trapped without food or clean water.
While the al-Abed family have become accustomed to the strikes in the four years since rebel fighters seized control of her neighbourhood, never have they been so indiscriminate and so merciless.
Bana has not been to school since it was destroyed in one of the bombings, joining seven million other Syrian children out of education. Fatemah, an English teacher, is tutoring her daughter using the few books they have at home.
Bana wants to become a teacher like her mother, but is worried she will not live long enough to see it happen.
“Please stop killing us,” she tweets, “I need peace to become a teacher. This war is killing my dream.”
She says she is constantly afraid, but tries to be brave for her younger brothers Noor, five, and Mohamed, three.
“Every second of the day I feel that the plane will take our souls,” she told the Telegraph. “I cry all the time. I can’t sleep because of the bombing, I can’t go out. My garden was destroyed by a strike and the house is now the only safe place.”
Bana and her brothers sleep in their parents’ bedroom, which Fatemah explains is so that at least they will not die alone should their house be hit.
Only three years old when the war came to her city in 2012, she has very few memories of her life before. “I remember when my parents took me to restaurants and we had lunch and went to parks and to the zoo,” she says. But she does not like to think too much about that time any more.
“I haven’t got any new toys, but I love the ones I have. My dolls are my favourite,” she says as she picks up the “prettiest one” in a pale pink dress.
Fatemah, 26, says they are surviving on the pasta and rice they had stored up from before the government-imposed siege in early August, but they are soon to run out. They have not had fruit or vegetables in more than four months and she does not remember the last time the children had treats.
“For all they have experienced, my children are still the lucky ones,” she said.
This week alone, nearly 100 children have been killed in air strikes, making up more than a quarter of the victims. More than 200 other were injured or maimed.
“We’re now more likely to see children being pulled from the rubble or treated on the floor of a hospital than sat at a school desk,” said Nick Finney, Save the Children’s north west Syria country director.
On Tuesday, a Russian “bunker-buster” bomb dropped on the house opposite the al-Abed’s in the al-Shaar neighbourhood. All five floors of the building came crashing down on the families inside. Among them was Bana’s friend.
“I’m thinking of my friend tonight,” Bana tweeted. “She went to her grandfather’s house and now I don’t know if her, her brother and father are still alive. They are under the rubble of the bombed building.”
Bana and her mother do not like to talk about the politics of the conflict, saying they just want peace. “I want Syria to be ok,” the seven-year-old says. “I love Syria and I just want to live here forever.”