‘I’m not a terrorist,’ 7-year-old tweets at Syria’s Assad

ALEPPO, Syria,  A 7-year-old girl in Syria is tweeting what she sees and thinks about the Syrian civil war and is beginning to get international attention for doing so, even as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attempts to discredit her.

Seven-year-old Bana Alabed has gained international attention for tweeting her observations of the war in Syria from her home in Aleppo, which continues to see some of the worst of the ongoing conflict in there. Photo courtesy of @AlabedBana

Bana Alabed has been tweeting from her home in Aleppo as she watches bombs fall on nearby houses and reads books to “forget the war” on her front doorstep, the BBC reported.

Bana’s family is one of thousands stuck in the city as Syrian armed forces, rebel opposition forces, the Islamic State, Russia and other international armed forces continue to clash.

Her mother, Fatemah, says her daughter is lucky, but has been tweeting what she thinks about the ongoing war around them because of the awful world she is experiencing.

I would like to thank the falling bombs for being the best alarm to wake up with in the morning. – Fatemah

“She saw everything here,” Fatemah said. “She saw her friend killed, and our house bombed. She saw her school bombed. So that affected her.”

The often jarring tweets have included fears about dying from bombs dropped during the night and that if military actions don’t stop, Bana and her friends won’t survive to become adults.

“Please stop killing us we need peace. I need peace to become a teacher,” she tweeted. Fatemah said she has been helping her daughter use Twitter to show others what watching a war has done to her young daughter, who has not been to school in more than year and watched her friends’ homes get blown up.

In an interview with Danish TV2, Assad cast doubts about the legitimacy of Bana’s tweeting, suggesting the tweets are being crafted and promoted by “terrorists or their supporters.”

The statement drew a response from Bana: “Sir Assad, I’m not a terrorist, I just want to live and no bombing please.”

By Stephen Feller