Young girl takes to Twitter to depict life in Aleppo
Bana Alabed, 7, puts poignant human face on daily life in besieged Syrian city
Her hair tied into pigtails by matching pink ribbons, seven-year-old Bana Alabed inspects the rubble in her home town of Aleppo, before walking to face the camera.
"I am sad. It's so bad," she tells her audience in English in a clip posted on Twitter. She is later seen holding a banner reading: "Stand with Aleppo. Please stop the bombing and end the siege."
The video, posted on Tuesday and accompanied by the text "checking in the morning after a night of bombing" is the latest the young girl has shared with her nearly 94,000 Twitter followers depicting life in the war-torn Syrian city.
checking in the morning after a night of bombing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Aleppo?src=hash">#Aleppo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandWithAleppo?src=hash">#StandWithAleppo</a> <a href="https://t.co/vcbJ3vbD91">pic.twitter.com/vcbJ3vbD91</a>—@AlabedBana
Her account gives a poignant human face to a nearly six-year conflict pitting President Bashar al-Assad against rebels seeking to oust him, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions forced from their homes.
Renewed airstrikes, after a pause that lasted several weeks, have worsened conditions in Aleppo's rebel-held east, where residents are short of food, medicine and fuel.
On her Twitter account, which is managed by her mother, Alabed shares pictures of the city's bombed buildings and of herself at home.
"Good afternoon from #Aleppo I'm reading to forget the war," she said in one post showing Alabed with a book and a doll. A picture posted on Thursday of smoke in the sky had the caption "Good morning from #Aleppo. We are still alive. - Bana."
Next to our house, I thought the bombs hit me. I don't know if there are people inside this house. - Bana <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Aleppo?src=hash">#Aleppo</a> <a href="https://t.co/8kF5x6cHeJ">pic.twitter.com/8kF5x6cHeJ</a>—@AlabedBana
Asked about what they hoped to achieve, Alabed's mother Fatemah, told Reuters via Twitter in English: "Effort to show people our [lives] so they can act. We only tweet what we think of. The video is near our home, our neighbourhood [is] in ruin."
The seven-year-old's tweets have gained attention from at least one prominent user of the micro-blogging site.
When Fatemah tweeted Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling about her daughter wanting to read one of her stories, the writer and her agent quickly responded.
Fatemah said Alabed had since received Harry Potter ebooks and would start reading them.
Alabed tweeted her thanks with a picture to which the author replied: "Love you too, Bana! Thinking of you, keep safe #Aleppo."
My friends this is not the moon, this is bomb falling now. Please pray for us tonight. I am afraid. - Bana <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Aleppo?src=hash">#Aleppo</a> <a href="https://t.co/1jpy87rSrn">pic.twitter.com/1jpy87rSrn</a>—@AlabedBana