“I’m reading to forget the war”: seven-year-old girl live tweets life in war-torn Aleppo

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Sarah Biddlecombe

A seven-year-old girl living in the war-torn city of Aleppo, in Syria, has been live-tweeting her experiences, with the help of her mother.

Since first tweeting a single message, reading "I need peace", on 24 September, Bana al-Abed has gone on to document numerous horrific bomb attacks and shootings in the region, posting both images and video footage of herself and her family.

The account shows the seven-year-old attempting to maintain normalcy in the face of extreme violence, by reading books and colouring in.

Bana's mother Fatemah, who helps run the account, tweets her thoughts alongside her daughters.

This morning, she shared a video of Bana and her younger brother in bed, with the message, "Hello world we are still alive".

Fifteen hours earlier, as bombs erupted in the city, she had tweeted her fears that she and her children would be killed. 

"Bomb bomb bomb," she wrote. "We don't know if we will die tonight, please please pray for us."

Bana and her mother hope the account, which has so far garnered over 11,000 followers, will help raise awareness of the living conditions in Aleppo and, ultimately, put an end to the destruction surrounding them.

“Bana asked me why is the world not hearing us? Why is nobody helping us?" Fatemah told The Guardian when discussing her reasons for launching the account.

"We had a lot of dreams for ourselves and our children,” she added. “We want to protect them. We lived part of our lives, but our children haven’t.”

Aleppo is the biggest city in Syria, and its eastern region has been relentlessly bombed over the past 10 days by Russian and Syrian warplanes.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands left wounded. Last Wednesday, Unicef confirmed that nearly 100 children had been killed, with the number expected to have since risen.

“We are children. We love life. We want the world to hear us,” said Bana.

You can find out more about the crisis in Syria, and how to help, at Unicef's website here.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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