"Many children do not go to school because of wars and hunger," says Bana Alabed, 8
Bana and her family fled war-torn Syria to Turkey where she now lives and goes to school
Famed Syrian refugee Bana Alabed, 8, says she wishes every boy and girl had the opportunity to go to school.
“I am very sad. Education is very important but many children do not go to school because of wars and hunger,” she said in a new video message.
“My mother and teachers taught me to read and write. This was very important for me during the war in Aleppo,” she added. “We could read together to help us forget the war and I also kept a diary.”
Bana was speaking exclusively to CNN to mark International day of the Girl, a day that highlights challenges girls face while promoting their empowerment.
She became a global sensation and one of the most prominent voices of the Syrian civil war after she began tweeting about her wartime experiences during last year’s siege of eastern Aleppo. The increasingly urgent tweets, written with the help of her mother, Fatemah, an English teacher, provided an intimate look at a family struggling to survive the horrors of war.
Bana, her mother, father and two younger brothers fled Aleppo and made it to safety in Turkey. She was granted Turkish citizenship in May.
Now living in Istanbul, where she attends school, Bana recently published “Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace,” a collection of messages she sent out to the world while under siege.
“I published my book so that I could tell people what it is like to be a child in war. All girls must go to school so they too can learn to read and write to tell their stories,” she said.
“We must help every child to have an education for a better tomorrow.”