When eight-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were enduring in war-torn Syria, her heart-rending messages gave traction to the suffering of millions of innocent children.
She was only three years old when her happy and safe childhood was destroyed by the brutal civil war. For the next four years she knew nothing but bombing, devastation and utter fear and helplessness. Her harrowing ordeal is grippingly told as one reads with horror and despair about a world gone mad where atrocities are still a daily occurrence.
The brutal siege of Aleppo led to her parents and two younger brothers being trapped with almost no access to food and water. Her home was destroyed and she and her family managed to escape in a perilous journey to Turkey.
Since then, Alabed has become an ambassador for those who were not so lucky and are still suffering the same plight she once was in.
Some people have taken to Twitter to discredit her daily tweets and even the book, saying it was all orchestrated – hard to believe when one reads this emotional, intimate account of one of the world’s and the 21st century’s most tragic humanitarian crises.
This is a must-read – whatever detractors may say – and a testimony to belief and human resilience and bravery in the face of the cruelty and insanity of war. It stays with one for a long time.