Bana Alabed Goes From Ruins of Aleppo to Presidential Palace

7-year-old Twitter star thanks Erdogan for 'supporting the children of Aleppo'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2016 4:00 PM CST
Aleppo's Bana Alabed Meets With Turkish President
Seven-year-old Twitter star Bana Alabed of Aleppo poses for photos with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday in Ankara.   (Twitter)

From the war-torn ruins of eastern Aleppo to the presidential palace in Turkey. CNN reports 7-year-old Bana Alabed—whose Twitter account has gained more than 350,000 followers since September—posed for photos and video with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday in Ankara. "Thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and help us to get out from war," Bana says in English in a video posted to a Turkish cabinet chief's Twitter account. "I love you." Meanwhile, Erdogan's Twitter account posted photos of the meeting with the caption, "Turkey will always stand with the people of Syria," according to the New York Times.

Bana's Twitter account was started by her mother Fatemah to show "how much kids are suffering," the BBC reports. Tweets showed Bana attempting to live a normal life amid chaos and violence of the siege of the Syrian city. The girl also befriended JK Rowling on Twitter and received digital copies of the Harry Potter series. The Alabed family home was destroyed during bombing Nov. 27 and the family went into hiding before escaping Aleppo on Dec. 19. Erdogan, who had previously tweeted words of encouragement to Bana, quickly sent a helicopter to pick her family up and bring them to Turkey. Experts have warned that Bana may be being used for propaganda, and some skeptics have even suggested she's been in Turkey the entire time. (More Bana Alabed stories.)

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