“You must do something for the children of Syria,” reads the note, scrawled in pencil on white lined paper in childlike handwriting.
Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed and her mother, Fatemah, posted an open letter to President Trump on Bana’s Twitter account on Wednesday, sharing the message with the hundreds of thousands of users who follow the account.
The page-long letter asks the new president to “please save the children and people of Syria.”
Bana first captured global attention when she and her mother created a Twitter account, @AlabedBana, that posted near-daily updates on their life in opposition-held Eastern Aleppo and condemned the government’s role in the violence.
The photos and videos from inside the city offered a rare glimpse into life in a war zone, and revealed the struggles faced by a family under siege. Bana and her family are now living in Turkey, after fleeing Aleppo in December.
Some, however, have questioned whether Bana actually wrote the Twitter posts herself and if the videos in which she speaks were rehearsed or altered. And supporters of the government of President Bashar al-Assad assailed her as a fraud and a propaganda tool.
Fatemah told The New York Times that her request to Mr. Trump was a simple one: “Look to the children in Syria like your children.”
She said Bana regularly hears news about Mr. Trump and felt it was time to try to get his attention.
“Donald Trump is now president. He can do something for the people, especially in conflict zones,” Fatemah said. “And all the world had their opinions about this. And this was our opinion, me and Bana.”
Fatemah said the note was intended to urge Mr. Trump to change his stance on Syrian refugees. She wrote it ahead of an expected executive order that would cut the country’s refugee resettlement program and toughen immigration restrictions for people from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, including Syria.
Despite Mr. Trump’s repeated remarks on tightening restrictions against Muslims entering the United States, Fatemah said she believed that someday his views may change.
“Maybe he will change his mind, I don’t know,” Fatemah said. “But we will keep hoping.”