A seven-year-old girl who has been called “the Voice of Aleppo” for tweeting about the destruction of her city has scored a major book deal. According to CBS News, Bana Alabed tweeted that she was working on a memoir to be titled “Dear World” which is to be published by Simon & Schuster in the fall. A young reader’s edition and audio book are also planned.
The young humanitarian activist became a Syrian household name for using twitter to document the atrocities of the four-year long siege of Aleppo, battled between the army of Bashar al-Assad and the forces of the opposition, a conflict that resulted in over 30,000 casualties, massive famine and the outbreak of disease, and the near leveling of the historic city. Alabed’s twitter following has ballooned to over 368K, which includes several celebrities, including J.K. Rowling who sent the girl Harry Potter ebooks.
Though Alabed has captured the hearts of thousands, others aren’t convinced of the authenticity of her twitter account which is managed by her mother, Fatemah, a school teacher of English. According to the New York Times, her detractors, which include Assad himself, have accused the account as jihadist propaganda. Other people have in turn raised flags against her accusers. But as , said to Times noted,
“We can’t just question this source,” said Kathleen Bartzen Culver, the director for the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We also have to question the person accusing the source of being part of the propaganda scheme.”