The messages she shares via Twitter gives a firsthand, human account to conflict many of us see only on the news.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget distant conflicts are very human experiences. But every so often, something comes along that serves as a harrowing reminder that just because something isn’t close to us doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a profound human affect.
Recently many westerners were reminded of this fact with the picture of a Syrian boy covered in rubble and dust. But as news cycles change and attention shifts, another child works to remind us that the struggle in Syria continues. Her name is Bana Alabed, and she’s giving a very human experience of the Syrian conflict firsthand. Along with her mother, Fatemah, Rana has been active on Twitter, sharing her daily experiences and the experiences of others as the conflict rages on.
The account balances uplifting messages from Bana with the stark reality of life in a city that’s constantly torn apart by destruction to the point that rebuilding remains secondary to survival.
Here are a selection of her tweets that show life in the war-torn city of Aleppo from the vantage point of a family trying to survive:
Good afternoon from #Aleppo I'm reading to forget the war. https://t.co/Uwsdn0lNGm— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1474889220.0
#SaveAleppo— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475588469.0
This is our bombed garden. I use to play on it, now nowhere to play. - Bana #Aleppo https://t.co/drWnwflSOE— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475578454.0
sleeping as you can hear the bombs fall, I will tweet tomorrow if we are alive". - Fatemah #Aleppo https://t.co/HfFvig9cct— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475533082.0
She shares her pleas with the world:
Stop the bombing now, I want to sleep. I'm tired. - Bana #Aleppo— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475528315.0
Oh my god this is how thermite bombs rain on Idlib tonight. Please pray for Syria. - Fatemah #Aleppo https://t.co/K57H0AION2— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475352366.0
Please let me be happy and stop the war - Bana #Aleppo— Bana Alabed (@Bana Alabed)1475240457.0
It’s clear there is an agenda behind the tweets, but it’s hardly a divisive one. Bana’s hope is to create awareness of how this conflict, little more than a segment on the nightly for most of us, becomes a real issue for those distant from it.
According to a BBC interview, one of her close friends was killed in a nearby bombing, and that she’s faced criticism from many that the account has been faked as a tool in spreading wartime propaganda. There’s little to support those claims as Bana continues to tweet from her account when she has access to telephone and internet connections, which are intermittent as the conflict continues.