Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rowling sends Harry Potter books to Aleppo

Have you heard of Bana al-Abed? She's seven years old, and lives in Aleppo, Syria, with her parents and two younger brothers. She and her siblings are home-schooled. Last September, helped by family and friends, she began tweeting about life among the bombs. Her tweets went viral. She has 195,000 followers. On Nov. 24 she tweeted, "Oh dear world. I am crying tonight. My friend was killed by a bomb. I can't stop crying." Later she tweeted a picture, saying it was not a photo of a cloud. It was smoke, where her house used to be. On Nov. 29 she tweeted, "My beloved dolls died in the bombing of our house. I am very sad but happy to be alive. We have no home now. I am hungry." She may have felt forgotten, as much of the world got busy shopping for Christmas, but one person remembered her.

Her mother, Fatemah, tweeted J.K. Rowling, saying Bana was hoping to read Harry Potter books to her brothers. Very quickly, a member of Rowling's team reached out to Twitter to ask if they could read an eBook. Two days later, Bana tweeted this photo of herself. Rowling tweeted back, "Love you to, Bana! Thinking of you, keep safe." Her mother told CNN they are reading the first book in the series "little by little," in between bombardments. "It's too early to choose a favorite character," she added. "Especially today, many bombs distracted Bana." Bana is one of thousands of boys and girls in Syria who need humanitarian assistance. Let's pray this Christmas for a way to help them survive.

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