The World Can Be Doing More for Refugees

3 minute read
Bana Alabed is a Syrian refugee and peace activist. Her book 'Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace' was published in October 2017

My name is Bana Alabed. I am eight years old and a refugee. Like millions of other children I had to run away from my country because of the war and I lost many things—including my home. Do you know our crimes? Just that we were born in Syria.

The Syrian War is going on seven years and many people are still suffering inside and outside the country. Children, like me and my brothers, who should go to school are in refugee camps, or they are dying. The lives of many Syrian families are very hard—not enough food or medicine and bombs falling out of the time. The Syrian people want an end to the war so they go back home and rebuild a better life. I want to come home one day soon.

But we need help. That is why I went on Twitter last year so that I could tell people what was happening and they would help us. Many people cared about us and have helped Syria—but we still need much more help. We need to end the war once and for all.

When I was in Aleppo, I saw many terrible things. Everyday bombs would kill neighbors and people were always running all around. All the people in the city just wanted the war to stop but it didn’t until all of East Aleppo became rubble. Everyone in my city lost someone to the war. I lost my best friend to a bomb, she was just a child and not a fighter? What was her crime?

This is what Syrians are running away from, this is why we are going to anywhere that is safe. We look for peace in other countries. We have no choice if we want to live. You who have peace, ask yourself: What if you were in Syria right now? Wouldn’t you want to run away to a place of peace and a better life?

When I finally got out of Aleppo, I tasted what peace was like for the first time in many years. Turkey welcomed me and my family. Now for the first time, I can go to school, and play outside without hearing the bombs. I love school even more than I thought I would and have made many new friends from all over the world. But I am just one in millions of refugees who is very lucky.

The world can do better and be kinder to refugees. We are innocent. Refugees need homes, jobs and education. Especially the children because education is our right. Without education, our future is lost and we can’t grow up to make the world better from what we’ve learned and take care of other people and our families.

I am grateful that I have peace and education, but what if the whole world opened the gates of peace and education to every refugee like me? The world will be a better place.

I believe the most important thing is for all of the wars to end. Without peace, we will always have refugees.

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