Simon & Schuster US will publish seven-year old Syrian refugee Bana Alabed’s memoir.
She is world-famous for her tweeting from war-torn Aleppo during the siege of the city last year. Her account, @AlabedBana, has more than 370,000 followers, and has earned her legions of admirers, including celebrities and politicians. The Washington Post has described her as “our era’s Anne Frank.”
S&S’s senior editor Christine Pride acquired world rights, first serial and audio for Dear World from Zoe King at The Blair Partnership. S&S UK has not yet confirmed if the book will be published in the UK.
A spokesperson for the publisher said: “Bana’s tweets were remarkable for the insight they gave into the daily horrors of life in the city, including air strikes, hunger and the prospect of her family’s death.”
Alabed and her family were safely evacuated from Aleppo to Turkey in December. In this “poignant memoir” Alabed will chronicle her harrowing experiences in Syria and how she and her family are re-building their lives after escaping the war.
She said: “I am so happy to have this opportunity to tell my story and the story of what has happened in Aleppo to the world. I hope my book will make the world do something for the children and people of Syria and bring peace to children all over the world who are living in war.”
Pride said: "Like so many others, I was completely captivated by Bana's tweets from Syria, which were harrowing and heartbreaking and put a human face to this terrible quagmire. Recalling iconic young heroines such as Malala Yousafzai, Bana’s experiences and message transcend the headlines and pierce through the political noise and debates to remind us of the human cost of war and displacement.”
Alabed's love of books has been well documented on her Twitter account. In September last year she tweeted: “Good afternoon from #Aleppo I'm reading to forget the war.” Two months later, her mother tweeted J.K. Rowling after Alabed and her brothers watched a Harry Potter film. The author responded and arranged with her agent Neil Blair, of the Blair Partnership, for the ebooks to be sent to Alabed because physical copies were not possible. Rowling also took part in a Twitter campaign #WhereisBana to help find the Alabed family after the seven-year-old’s online presence disappeared in December before it was revealed that the family had been evacuated.
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