From the heart of war-torn Syria, the voice of a little girl is giving the world a glimpse of life under siege in Aleppo.
Seven-year-old Bana Alabed, along with her mother Fatemah, is tweeting horror stories from the war that has turned their city into a hellscape. Alabed, whose words are unsettlingly reminiscent of Anne Frank’s heart-wrenching war-time accounts in the 1940s, calls her hometown “a very big daily slaughterhouse.” She recounts stories of her brother crying because of falling bombs, drawing with her siblings “before the planes come,” and seeing buildings get bombed and collapsing around her.
Airstrikes have killed 96 children in five days in rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Most of the public schools in the region have been destroyed in the warfare. “Stop the bombing now so I can go to school now,” Alabed, who aspires to be a teacher one day, tweeted.
Alabed’s family hunker down at the sound of planes and sight of bombs. Around them, the wounded struggle to get help after two major hospitals were crushed by the attacks, and rescue workers and their operations are targeted for bombing. The UN estimates that there are only 30 or so doctors left in the area—and they have barely any access to medical equipment or emergency medication.
“The children of Aleppo are trapped in a living nightmare,” UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said in a statement on Sept. 28. “The suffering—and the shock among children—is definitely the worst we have seen.”
“Assad Putin Obama do you want to finish us?” Alabed asks in one of many posts detailing the destruction. But the young crusader’s resilience shines through:
Just today, at 9:25 pm local time (2:25 pm US Eastern time) her mother Fatemah posted a chilling update: