Hailed as this era’s Anne Frank, eight-year-old Bana al-Abed has documented her family’s struggle to survive in war-torn Aleppo via social media. With the help of her mother, Fatemah, Bana’s tweets last year documented the nightly bombardments and destruction of their neighborhood. According to the Washington Post, Bana “quickly became the newest symbol for the horrors unfolding in Syria” and has moved a number of famous followers including author J.K. Rowling.
Bana and her family were fortunately evacuated to Turkey last last year, and are thankfully now safe. Not only are they safe but Bana and her mother have just written a new book entitled Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace. According to Glamour, the story is “told from a child’s perspective, stripped down to its simplest elements, throwing the tragedy of the thing into sharp relief.”
Glamour recently interviewed Bana on her past life in Syria and current life as a young refugee:
— When we had to leave Syria as refugees, we couldn’t bring much with us when we escaped. But now I have a new doll and books and we can play outside again… Now I can go to school and be happy, because it’s safe. In Syria it was dangerous because of the bombs. Sometimes my little brother could not speak because he was so afraid of the bombs. He is now learning English like me.
–I am a good writer because I practice a lot, but I still needed some help writing my book! My mum and my editor, who published this book, helped me to tell my story in English. I also got to draw pictures for the book—drawing is one of my favorite things. I want other children and people around the world to know what happened to us in Aleppo.
— I want people to know what is happening to Syrian children. We feel scared every day. When the bombs came, we had to hide in the basement. One day my school was bombed, my dad was afraid I was there when the war planes came. But me and my mum were hiding somewhere else. When I lost my school, I missed drawing and doing math. I just started school again and I love my new uniform and I can have school friends again. I am so happy.