A girl at war in Syria for peace

A girl at war in Syria for peace

"Stop killing us."
“Good morning from Aleppo. We are still alive.”
"Please stop the war. We are tired."

Bana Alabed is a seven-year-old girl who has become internationally known for her Twitter videos and posts. Living in the warzone of Aleppo, Syria, Alabed has been sending out brief videos or messages about the dire situation her family lives within.

“Good morning from Aleppo. We are still alive,” was the simple yet chilling content of one of her latest videos. Alabed’s Twitter account has been set up by her mum Fatemah and international media has widely reported on her pint-sized attack upon war.

Alabed’s profile has gone so far that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad accused of her not being a credible source. In response, the little spokesperson for war-torn Syria tweeted: “Sir Assad, I’m not a terrorist, I just want to live and no bombing please.”

 

Numbed by war

The war in Syria makes my head hurt. I don’t really understand why it is happening, who is fighting who, and what the purpose is.

Seeing footage of devastated Syria everyday — online and on TV — hasn’t helped me make sense of the ongoing conflict. It’s just helped me to feel overwhelmed, numbed and used to it. Like it’s something that’s always going to be going on, in the background of my sheltered Australian life.

But the personal cries of a seven-year-old girl, among the rubble of her terrorised city, blasted me out of my Syria slumber.

“Good morning from Aleppo. We are still alive.” Wow. Being thankful you weren’t bombed in your sleep? That’s something I don’t want anybody to be waking up to — let alone a little girl who should be thinking about her day at school or what games she will play with her friends at a sleep-over.

 

Only one thing to do

Bana Alabed has inspired me to respond more to the Syrian crisis, on a human level. For me, she’s personalised the war. Made it hit home, as I sadly see her home hit by the daily threat of war carnage.

I’m going to pray for the safety of Bana Alabed, her family, her city and her country. But I’ll be starting with Alabed and her family, as they have helped me to remember the human cost of a televised war.

You might think that offering up some prayers isn’t much help. I don’t disagree; it does sound lame or useless. Apart from the bit about how God calls people like me and you (and everyone one else) to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

I can’t offer any help or hope to Bana Alabed, her family or nation, except what God Himself offers through knowledge of the truth. A message of salvation in Jesus, that even cuts through a neverending war being attacked by a seven-year-old girl.

 

Ben McEachen 

 

 

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