The Young Girl of Aleppo Bana Arrives in the “Liberated” Area of Aleppo’s Countryside

The Young Girl of Aleppo Bana Arrives in the “Liberated” Area of Aleppo’s Countryside

Enab Baladi Enab Baladi
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Bana and the media activist Hadi al-Abdullah, 19 December 2016 (Hadi al-Abdullah Facebook page)

The young child from Aleppo, Bana al-Abed, arrived in the western countryside of Aleppo on Monday 19 December. According to Enab Baladi’s sources, the child, who gained international fame in recent weeks, arrived in Aleppo’s western countryside and intends to move with her parents to the rural outskirts of Idlib close to the border with Turkey.

The media activist, Hadi al-Abdullah, took this photo with al-Abed in Aleppo’s countryside and posted it on his Facebook page with the following caption, “Bana al-Abed, the amazing child from Aleppo who touched hearts around the world by transmitting events in Aleppo on Twitter, was forced to leave her city and arrived here after much suffering.”

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Image caption: “Bana al-Abed, the amazing child from Aleppo who touched hearts around the world by transmitting events in Aleppo via Twitter, was forced to leave her city and arrived here after much suffering.”

On Sunday, she tweeted at Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Dear Mevlut Cavusoglu and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, please please please make this ceasefire work and get us out. We are so tired – Fatemah #Aleppo.”

The first round of displaced persons from the city of Aleppo arrived in the western countryside on board 73 buses on Monday morning after being held up all Sunday evening. At the same time, ten buses carrying residents from the pro-regime Shiite town of al-Fu’ah reached the areas under regime control in Aleppo.

Bana received extensive attention from western journalists and media activists who responded to her tweets, asserting that they stand by her and are praying for her.

Seven year-old Bana has over 324,000 followers on Twitter and used to tweet pictures and video clips of the bombing witnessed in eastern Aleppo on a daily basis with the help of her mother Fatemah, and often called on politicians to end the war in Syria.

On 4 December, Bana tweeted, “We are sure that the army will capture us now, we hope we will meet each other one day”. Her account was shut down a few hours later, provoking fears among her thousands of followers. Bana had tweeted shortly before that last tweet, “We are now being bombed and we will not be alive for long”, but she appeared with her mother in good health a few days later.

Many commentators describe the child as an “Icon of Aleppo” after she gained widespread fame through video recordings where she and her mother spoke in English, calling on the international community to see what is happening in Aleppo.

The agreement between the Syrian regime and the opposition mandates the evacuation of the remaining residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo in return for the opposition allowing the evacuation of residents of the towns of Kafriya and al-Fu’ah. Evacuations from the towns of Madaya and al-Zabadani were included in the agreement after the militias involved in agreements in those towns repeatedly broke the ceasefire.

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