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Monday, December 19, 2016

Bana Alabed has been evacuated from Aleppo

Bana Alabed, the seven-year-old girl who has been tweeting from eastern Aleppo, has been safely evacuated. She was among the first groups out after evacuations resumed from Aleppo late on Sunday.
BBC News is reporting:
Bana Alabed, Aleppo's tweeting girl, safely evacuated

19 December 2016

Bana and her family - mother Fatemah, father and two younger brothers - were airlifted to Turkey on Monday afternoon, the BBC has been told.

The little girl joined Twitter in September, tweeting about her life in the besieged part of the city. It captured everything from the death of her friends to her attempts to live a normal life.

Along the way, she has picked up more than 325,000 followers, including JK Rowling, who sent her an electronic copy of Harry Potter to read.

'Thank you'

However, as pro-government forces began to close in on rebel-held east Aleppo, the family began to fear for their safety.

In recent days, the Twitter account had appealed for rescue.

The last tweet signed by Bana read simply: "Please save us now." More...

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's statement on Aleppo:
Today I feel as though I’m watching the worst of our past repeat itself.

When I look at Syria, I see the Rwandan genocide. When I read the desperate words of Bana Alabed in Aleppo, I see Anne Frank in Amsterdam.

History shows us the same children suffering, the ones we always say we surely would have helped, if only we had been there. But history does not fall from the sky, it is us who make it.

To the children under siege in Aleppo, I pray that you will get out safely. I pray that you will grow up strong, go to school and see peace in your country some day.

But prayers are not enough. We must act. The international community must do everything they can to end to this inhumane war. The Syrian regime must give safe passage to people who want to leave and allow aid workers into Aleppo to save as many lives as they can.

May God be with the children of Aleppo, even if our world leaders are not.

BBC News did an extensive piece about her in October before her life was completely destroyed:
Meet the seven-year-old girl tweeting from Aleppo

2 October 2016
By David Molloy

Seven-year-old Bana Alabed tweeted a photo a week ago, sitting at a desk with a book, her doll in the background. "Good afternoon from Aleppo," the caption read. "I'm reading to forget the war."

Aleppo, Syria's second city, has been split in two during the country's long conflict. Daily life has become a struggle for those still living there, caught in the fight between rebel and government forces.

Bana's tweets in English - helped by her mother, a teacher - are bringing fresh attention to the struggles they face in rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

In one, Bana appears with her brothers - five-year-old Mohamed, and Noor, three - with the message "drawing with the brothers before the planes come. We need peace to draw."

A short video shows the three together in a bedroom. "We will live forever together," Bana says, before laughing and hugging her brothers. More...

Bellingcat has a good piece debunking the vicious pro-Assad campaign against Bana:
Finding Bana – Proving the Existence of a 7-Year-Old Girl in Eastern Aleppo

14 December 2016
By Nick Waters
This article was written collaboratively with Bellingcat contributor Timmi Allen.

Bana Alabed is a 7 year-old girl who lives in East Aleppo. Through her broken English and simple messages alternating between fear and hope, she has become a representation of the suffering that children face every day within Syria. She is also a star on Twitter. In the three months Bana Alabed’s account has been active it has amassed 284,000 followers, including J. K. Rowling, multiple news reports and over 580 tweets. She also posted multiple videos on Periscope which show her daily life, as well as the bombing that E. Aleppo has endured. Her rapid rise to prominence has resulted in questions from some about the veracity of Bana Alabed, her account and the subject matter she covers. This report will examine the media she has posted, the context in which it is posted, and its probable veracity. Due to the possibility of Bana’s account being deleted, all the tweets we have linked to are screenshots from cached pages. More...
Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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