“I’m very afraid I will die tonight.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 2, 2016
“Stop killing us.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 6, 2016
“I just want to live without fear.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 12, 2016
When seven-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children.
Bana’s happy childhood was abruptly upended by civil war when she was only three years old. Over the next four years, she knew nothing but bombing, destruction, and fear. Her harrowing ordeal culminated in a brutal siege where she, her parents, and two younger brothers were trapped in Aleppo, with little access to food, water, medicine, or other necessities.
Facing death as bombs relentlessly fell around them—one of which completely destroyed their home—Bana and her family embarked on a perilous escape to Turkey.
In Bana’s own words, and featuring short, affecting chapters by her mother, Fatemah, Dear World is not just a gripping account of a family endangered by war; it offers a uniquely intimate, child’s perspective on one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. Bana has lost her best friend, her school, her home, and her homeland. But she has not lost her hope—for herself and for other children around the world who are victims and refugees of war and deserve better lives.
Dear World is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, the unconquerable courage of a child, and the abiding power of hope. It is a story that will leave you changed.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
|File size:||40 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
My mummy told me I was born with a smile on my face. She says that I was always happy, even though I never wanted to sleep because I didn’t want to miss anything.
I had many reasons to be happy when I was little. My baba always took me swimming at Alrabea Pool, which was my favorite thing to do. Going to the swings was my second favorite thing to do. I would also go to the market with my uncles to get Jell-O. (Always red, because that is the best flavor.) My family would go to eat at restaurants, and I would get to talk to many different people. Or we would eat dinner all together many nights at Grandma Alabed’s house, and there were always a lot of people there because I have so many aunts and uncles and four grandparents and two great-grandmothers. I had many books I loved to read, especially my favorite, Snow White. I love all stories about princesses.
And another big reason to be happy: my baby brother. I prayed that Mummy would have a girl, because I wanted a sister very badly. But my brother was tiny and cute, with thick black hair that was soft like a doll’s—so it wasn’t so bad that he was a boy. When Mummy was pregnant, I picked out a name for a sister: Warda, which means “flower,” because another thing I love is flowers. But you can’t call a boy Warda. Instead the name we gave him is Liath (which means “Lion”) Mohamed. We call him Mohamed.
I was only three when Mohamed was born, but I took care of him. I would bring Mummy nappies when she needed to change him, share my toys with him, and say “Shush, shush” when he was crying.
At night I got to hold Mohamed in my lap, and Mum would sit next to us on the sofa in the living room and read to us. Baba would come in and sit in his favorite chair and listen to Mummy read too. When she was done with the story, I would go over and climb into Baba’s lap while Mummy put Mohamed to bed. Mum would tell Baba that he should take me to bed too, but we both liked it better when I fell asleep on his chest. He would tell me stories from when he was little and some that he made up. My favorite was the one about a mummy sheep who leaves her babies at home and tells them not to open the door for anyone unless they know the secret word, and then a wolf comes and tricks the babies into thinking he is their mother. They open the door, and the wolf eats the sheep! I hate that part. But the mummy gets the sheep out of the wolf’s stomach and puts rocks in there instead.
I could feel Baba’s voice through his chest as he told me the stories, and it would make me feel warm inside. The best place to be was in Baba’s lap.
So, not many bad things happened to my family. Mummy would say that we are blessed. I thought my family would always be happy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“I’m very afraid I will die tonight.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 2, 2016 At the time that Yugoslavia collapsed, and Sarajevo was under siege, we were dependent on journalists to inform the world of the atrocities being carried out. These days, with Facebook, Twitter and the gamut of social media, we really have no excuse to claim that we are ignorant. It leaves me shamed and speechless to realise that it took a seven year old girl to alert the world to the recent situation in Aleppo. Bana Alabed has written a revealing account of life in Aleppo, starting before the siege and then detailing the awful situation her family found themselves in. Inserts from her mother (an English teacher), provide another view-point and some background to supplement Bana's narrative. Her family was reasonably well off, so they had the luxury of solar panels to power Ipads and telephones and Bana was able to send out Tweets, alerting her followers, of the building tensions and destruction surrounding her and her family. Eventually the authorities became wise to her activities and she, herself, became a target for the regime. In spite of defamatory trolls and on-line rebuttals, denying the source of the Tweets, it has been proven that she was in the places she claims and in a position to send out the messages. A seven year old was truly keeping the world informed.