Seven-year-old ‘Syrian Twitter girl’ Bana writes open letter to Trump
ISTANBULSeven-year-old Syrian girl Bana al-Abed, who came to international attention with her tweets giving a tragic account of the war in Aleppo, has written an open letter to the new U.S. President Donald Trump.
In her letter Bana, who was evacuated from the besieged city to Turkey in December, appealed to Trump to help the children of Syria on Jan. 24.
“I am part of the Syrian children who suffered from the Syrian war,” she wrote, according to a transcript of the letter her mother sent to the BBC.
She told Trump that her school in Aleppo was destroyed by the bombing and some of her friends had died.
“Right now in Turkey, I can go out and enjoy. I can go to school although I didn’t yet. That is why peace is important for everyone including you. However, millions of Syrian children are not like me right now and suffering in different parts of Syria,” she wrote.
“You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you,” she added.
The letter comes as Reuters reported that Trump is planning to place a “temporary ban” on most refugees and suspend visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries.
Meanwhile, Bana has told Turkish media that she loves the “peace, confidence and snow” in the country.
“I am happy 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,” she 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 out. 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.’ But al-Assad spread fear with his warplanes as if these [demonstrations] were a big crime. Some people started 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 and believed the war would be over after she heard the United States and France would intervene.
“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 of Iraq and the 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.