Bana al-Abed: Seven-year-old from Aleppo writes letter to Donald Trump begging for help for Syrian children

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 27 January 2017| 28 Rabi ul Aakir 1438

The al-Abed family reached safety after seeking asylum in Turkey, but ‘millions of Syrian children are not like me right now’, girl blogger says in letter

The seven-year-old who gained a worldwide following tweeting the horrors of the siege of Aleppo has written an open letter to the new US President asking him not to forget the other children caught up in the Syrian civil war.

“You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you,“ Bana al-Abed, who was evacuated with her family from the war-torn city in December, wrote to the newly inaugurated Donald Trump.

“I beg you, can you do something for the children of Syria? If you can, I will be your best friend,” she said on her Twitter account, alongside a photograph of the handwritten note.

The UN estimates that at least 15,000 children are among the more than 300,000 people who have been killed in Syria’s six-year-old civil war.

Bana’s mother Fatemeh, who teaches her daughter English and helped set up the famous Twitter account, said that Bana wrote the letter just before Mr Trump was inaugurated last week.

Some of her friends died in Aleppo, Bana wrote, which was the “city of death”.

“Right now in Turkey, I can go out and enjoy. I can go to school although I didn’t yet. That is why peace is important for everyone… However, millions of Syrian children are not like me right now and suffering… because of adult people.

“I know you will be the President of America, so can you please save the children and people of Syria? If you promise me you will do something for the children of Syria, I am already your new friend.”

Bana’s mother Fatemeh, who studied English at university, has been teaching Bana and her younger brothers the language, and helped Bana set up the famous account last September.

She used it to talk about her fear of Russian-backed regime bombing in east Aleppo, her wish to go to school, and her dreams of becoming a teacher one day.

The account attracted followers from over the world – as well as critics such as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who called her posts “terrorist propaganda”.

Turkish officials promised that Bana, her mother and father and her two younger brothers could resettle in Turkey if they managed to escape the besieged rebel enclave of east Aleppo.

Photos from her Twitter account now show her enjoying normal aspects of childhood such as playgrounds, sweet shops, and new books.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has supported Syria’s rebels in the conflict to date, as has the US, but President Trump is yet to make his position clear.

On the campaign trail he said that the US should focus on eliminating extremist groups such as Isis, suggesting that an alliance with the Syrian and Russian governments is his preferred way forward.

This week White House press secretary Sean Spicer reiterated that Mr Trump is “open to working with any country that shares our interest in defeating Isis.”

Mr Trump has also signed an executive order commanding the US’s Departments of State and Defence to come up with a plan for implementing “safe zones” in Syria to stem the flow of refugees from the country.

It is also expected that he will announce a temporary ban on asylum for people fleeing conflicts or persecution in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen

Source – independent.co.uk