— Book Bites

This 7-year-old Syrian refugee is sharing her story by writing a book

Levent Tok/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

You might have seen her social media accounts, but it’s been announced that 7-year-old Syrian refugee Bana al-Abed is to release a memoir sharing her experiences.

Bana al-Abed’s story came to public consciousness after J.K. Rowling shared a couple of her tweets. The 7-year-old (via her mother), who was living in Aleppo, messaged the author saying that she was a fan of Harry Potter. Rowling then sent Bana a copy of the book to read as her mother pointed out that it was difficult for them in Syria to buy it. The story quickly went viral, and it helped turn the world’s attention to what was occurring while Aleppo was under siege last year.

In fact, Bana continued to share her story on social media, and during the raids her and her mother shared some of the atrocities of war that they were experiencing, including air strikes, hunger, and even the possibility of death.

Bana al-Abed and her family eventually evacuated Aleppo, and are currently living in Turkey attempting to re-build their lives and spread awareness for the struggles of people living in Syria.

And now it’s been revealed that Bana is set to share her story in a book.

The memoir is titled Dear World, and will be published by Simon & Schuster.

“I am so happy to have this opportunity to tell my story and the story of what has happened in Aleppo to the world,” Bana said in a statement. “I hope my book will make the world do something for the children and people of Syria and bring peace to children all over the world who are living in war.”

Speaking about why Bana’s story is so important to tell, senior editor at Simon & Schuster, Christine Pride, said that it was important to remind people that behind the headlines there are real human beings.

“Like so many others, I was completely captivated by Bana’s tweets from Syria, which were harrowing and heartbreaking and put a human face to this terrible quagmire,” she said. “Recalling iconic young heroines such as Malala Yousafzai, Bana’s experiences and message transcend the headlines and pierce through the political noise and debates to remind us of the human cost of war and displacement.” 

The book is set to be published later this year, and there will be version available for younger reads published through Salaam Reads, a S&S imprint focused on young Muslim protagonists.

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