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Doubts raised over Aleppo girl Bana al-Abed’s Twitter account



The Twitter account of seven-year-old Syrian girl Bana al-Abed, who became a symbol of the Syrian conflict, with some dubbing her the ‘Anne Frank of Syria,’ has fallen subject to suspicions over its authenticity.

Bana’s account, which has been verified by Twitter, was set up three months ago, and has since gathered over 220,000 followers, along with global media coverage. The tweets, written by both Bana and her mother, Fatemah, depict life under siege in east Aleppo.

When the girl’s Twitter account was deactivated on Sunday, her supporters were distraught, believing she had been killed. The hashtag, #WhereIsBana was used as people hoped for good news.

However, the next day her account was re-activated and she tweeted that she was fine.

While many people have only fondness and concern for the Aleppo girl, to others, the account presents a number of questionable elements that some say point to a propaganda effort, pointing to videos where Bana appears to be reading from a prompt. 

https://www.rt.com/viral/369693-bana-alabed-doubts-raised/
"Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
"If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer

Comments

  • Such doubts aren’t unusual when such accounts emerge. In 2011, Amina Abdallah Arraf al Omari, who became famous for her “gay girl in Damascus” blog was revealed to be a hoax created by Tom MacMaster, an American man living in Edinburgh.

    In January, an image reported as being a ‘before’ image of a starving Syrian child from the town of Madaya turned out to be an unrelated girl living in Lebanon. The White Helmets group have also been accused of being a propaganda tool.

    As a result, questions have been raised as to Bana’s ability to timely hashtags and tweet in an area that doesn’t always have electricity or internet.

    Within two days of setting up the account, she had used #HolocaustAleppo, #MassacreInAleppo, #StopAleppoMassacre and tweeted at Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama and Syrian President Bashar Assad.


    https://www.rt.com/viral/369693-bana-alabed-doubts-raised/



    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
  • @AlabedBana Dear banana , why is your twitter account registered in the UK and why are you banning ppl for asking this?

    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    edited December 2016
    Why would anyone believe some little girl was tweeting out of Aleppo when the city is essentially square miles of sprawling ruins with various armies still battling one another to begin with? Where do these people think she got her internet connection from when most people there are reliant on emergency food and water supplies (from what I've studied)?
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Why would anyone believe some little girl was tweeting out of Aleppo when the city is essentially square miles of sprawling ruins with various armies still battling one another to begin with? Where do these people think she got her internet connection from when most people there are reliant on emergency food and water supplies (from what I've studied)?
    ^^^This is exactly what I've been thinking since I first read this article.
    11-13 Illinois
  • Brave Syrian girl, 7, who pleaded for help as bombs fell around her home in Aleppo, declares her 'love' for Turkey's President Erdogan after being safely evacuated


    The young Syrian girl whose Twitter account gave a tragic description of the bombing of Aleppo has met with Turkey's President after being evacuated to safety. 

    Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed on Wednesday met President Erdogan at his palace in Ankara after her evacuation from the city.

    Erdogan hugged the girl emotionally and also held Bana and her brother as they sat on his knees flanked by the president's wife Emine.

    'Very happy to meet with Mr Erdogan,' Bana wrote on a tweet above a picture of her nestling up to the cheek of the smiling Erdogan.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4054898/Syrian-girl-blogger-7-meets-Erdogan-Ankara-palace.html

     
    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
  • several days before this magical chance meeting with the president, this article appeared online


    Aleppo Twitter Girl Bana Is the 'Ultimate Propaganda Stunt' - Syrian Activist


    A Syrian activist Maytham Al Ashkar contacted the 7-year-old Twitter star, Bana Alabed, on November 27, offering to evacuate her family from eastern Aleppo. After a month, someone who identified herself as Bana's mother responded. "What happened after, convinced me that Bana's account is the ultimate propaganda stunt," Maytham told Sputnik.

    Bana's account, designated by Twitter as "verified", was set up three months ago, and has since gathered over 310,000 followers. The tweets, written by both Bana and her mother, Fatemah, who says she taught her daughter to speak English, depict life under siege in east Aleppo.

    Good afternoon from #Aleppo I'm reading to forget the war. pic.twitter.com/Uwsdn0lNGm

    — Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) ;

    Many have called the authenticity of the account into question, pointing to videos where Bana appears to be reading from a prompt. It is also unclear whether Bana's posts are genuine, since any user, anywhere in the world can post from the account, as long as they have the password.  

    #syria Bana al-Abed is filmed by her mother as they prepare to post on Twitter about life in #Aleppo on October 12 #AFP by @THAER__MOHAMEED pic.twitter.com/85oTf5MEtS

    — AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) ;

    Due to extensive media coverage, Bana became a sort of Syrian war icon and was even called "Aleppo's Anne Frank."

    Pro-government activist Maytham Al Ashkar is originally from Al-Zahraa in northern Syria, currently in Beirut, but often travelling to Damascus and Aleppo. He offered to help evacuate Bana and her family, contacting Bana's Twitter account on November 27. 

    9#EvacuationOfBana#SAA even offered amnesty for the father in case he want to get his legal status settled pic.twitter.com/8PRkxenFnL

    — maytham (@maytham956) ;

    "At the end of the day you are civilians. You are our people. We care for you," Maytham said in his message.

    On December 12, Maytham was contacted by a Twitter user in Arabic, who asked him if the offer to help Bana's family still stands. Once Maytham confirmed his proposal, the user told Maytham he would next be contacted by Bana herself.

    "This person was contacted by Bana, who told him she wanted my offer. Once he got my approval, Bana (the account) contacted me directly," Maytham explains. 

    "When I got contacted by Bana's account, I started to chat in Arabic since we are all Syrians and Arabic is our mother tongue. However, it was obvious that the person behind the account preferred English as a language of communication."



    According to media reports, Bana's father, Ghassan works for the "legal department of the local council" and her mother, Fatemah, is a teacher. 

    However, it seems lack of Arabic on the part of Bana's mother is just as unlikely as Bana's flawless English.

    "According to the media, Bana's mother studied law. This means that she has studied the Syrian curriculum for 12 years, which is all in Arabic, plus 4 years at university, where all the subjects are taught in Arabic," Maytham told Sputnik. 


    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201612161048599179-aleppo-bana-twitter/

    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    Erdogan :unamused:
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Lynsey_ADMIN_Lynsey_ADMIN_ Administrator

    It's Freaky Friday! Lindsay Lohan meets with Turkish President Erdogan, his wife and a Syrian girl blogger at the presidential palace in Ankara to discuss 'efforts in helping refugees'


    Lindsay Lohan met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and seven-year-old Syrian girl blogger Bana al-Abed in Ankara on Friday. Lohan later wrote on Instagram: 'What a dream it is for Mr. President Erdogan and The First Lady to invite me to their home. Their efforts in helping Syrian Refugees is truly inspiring.' Lohan had previously expressed support for Turkey's efforts to host nearly three million Syrians fleeing their nation's five-year war.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4165562/Lindsay-Lohan-meets-Erdogan-Syrian-girl-blogger.html


    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
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