Bana Alabed, 7 years old, tweets horrors of Syria's airstrikes

Every night, she tweets about bombings in Syria keeping her awake, and every morning, the terrible aftermath.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
3 min read
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Bana Alabed has been tweeting about the airstrikes in Aleppo.

Screenshot by Alfred Ng/CNET

Do you want to know what it's like to experience the horrors of the Syrian civil war? Just tune into 7-year-old Bana Alabed's Twitter account.

Alabed has offered a horrific glimpse into the terror she experiences every day living in Aleppo, a war-torn city in Syria that suffers airstrikes as a daily routine.

Nearly every night, she's tweeted about bombings that have kept her awake, with updates the next morning, telling her followers she's alive and safe. In between, Alabed tweets about how she fears for her life, how her dreams of being a teacher are fading away and how the city's death toll keeps rising.

The @AlabedBana account was created on September 24, with a simple first message that echoed across the world on social media: "I need peace."

Since then, Alabed has accumulated more than 12,000 followers. The account features photos and videos from her terrifying life, including where her friends have been killed. It has steadily gained interest and on Monday was highlighted in Twitter's Moments section.

Alabed's account offers an intimate view into the civil war in Syria, which has spilled out into a much broader humanitarian crisis. The conflict rages between the country's government regime and rebel forces, with civilians caught in the crossfire. Russian airstrikes -- which Alabed lives in fear of -- have killed more than 9,000 people in Syria, according to activist groups.

"People are dying like flies here I don't know what is next. The bombs are just like falling rain," said one tweet from the 7-year-old. In another tweet, she said, "I want to live like a child but instead I am stressed now."

The account is run by Alabed and her mother, Fatemah, who protests the bombing and pleads for peace to anyone who'll listen.

In eastern Aleppo, 275,000 Syrians are cut off from aid as they endure the bombings. At least 11 million Syrian citizens have fled the country since the conflict erupted, seeking asylum in other nations.

Amid that exodus, CNET's Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted" has taken an up-close look at how technology has been helping refugees who've journeyed to places like Greece, Germany and Australia. Phones have become a lifeline for refugees, and internet access, though often spotty, helps them find jobs and homes and keep in touch with their loved ones.

Alabed has been using her phone to show the world the horrors of the Syrians who couldn't leave.

Images of violence and death from the Syrian crisis have struck a nerve across social media, including heartbreaking photos of children like Omran Daquneesh, who was wounded in an airstrike. A gripping photo of Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned while trying to escape to Greece, showed the world the struggles migrants face even when they leave their war-torn homes.

By Monday morning, Alabed's account had tweeted again, written by her mother, giving a routine check-in to the world.

"Good morning from Aleppo. We are still alive," Alabed said under a blanket with two other children.