Seven-year-old ‘Syrian Twitter girl’ Bana relates experiences in Turkey
Zeynep Bilgehan - ISTANBULBana Alabed, the 7-year-old “Syrian Twitter girl” who attracted the world’s attention while tweeting from war-torn Aleppo, has told Turkish media she loves peace, confidence and the snow in the country.
“I am happy in here. The bombardment in Syria never stopped. There was smoke everywhere. I thank you for supporting children in Syria. Children deserve to live. I love painting and reading books with my siblings. I especially love Harry Potter… But I miss my friends in Aleppo,” Alabed said.
The girl’s mother, Fatemah, said Bana was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to them.
“I was a law student at university. My husband was a lawyer and we had a good income. Aleppo was a magnificent city. We took trips. We had a house and we were happy,” Fatemah Alabed said.
She said everything started in Syria with peaceful demonstrations in 2011. “Peaceful demonstrations were held in Aleppo, with people saying, ‘We do not want Bashar al-Assad.’ Al-Assad spread fear with his warplanes as if these [demonstrations] were a big crime. Some people were leaving the country. But we were thinking that we would rebuild our country like Egypt,” she said.
After the woman gave birth to her second child, Mohammad, they ceased leaving their house due to attacks.
“Electricity started being cut. Our relatives and friends were disappearing. We were beginning to know the meaning of war,” she said.
Fatemah Alabed said she did not want to leave Aleppo, adding that she believed the war would be over after she heard the United States and France were coming.
“We could not leave the house, while we learned what kind of bomb would fall based on its sound. Walking among the rubble and blood became normal,” she said.
The woman also said they decided to open a Twitter account when she recognized that nobody would come to save them.
“I showed the videos and photos that I shot to Bana, and I posted what she felt after she saw them. The world does not know what is happening there. The Syrian regime was attacking only the Islamic State Iraq and Levant (ISIL), according to the news. But we were civilians. The world learned that a girl was struggling to live in the midst of a war. But they bombed our house after they detected its location which they found by the photos I posted. We had no food and water. We were in hell,” she said.