25 young people making noise for social progress

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Bana Alabed

Bana Alabed first made headlines when she started tweeting from Aleppo when she was just 7. The world watched as the Syrian girl wrote about the horrors during the siege of her city during the Syrian Civil War.

During the siege of Aleppo, Alabed, her parents and her two younger brothers wound up getting trapped in the city and had little access to food, water, medicine and more and were scared for their lives as bombs fell around them.

Alabed live-tweeted throughout it all and let the world know what was happening. She stood up during the war and spoke out against the Syrian government’s attack on the rebel forces.

Alabed, with the help of her mother Fatemah, tweeted at Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad. And her tweets were harrowing. She tweeted things like “#HolocaustAleppo,” “#MassacreInAleppo,” “#StopAleppoMassacre,” “I’m very afraid I will die tonight,” “Stop killing us,” and “I just want to live without fear.”

Alabed wound up losing her best friend in the siege. She had to leave her school and, eventually, her country behind. But she and her family managed to escape to Turkey.

Now 8-year-old Alabed speaks out for other Syrian children, for refugees  and for education. She’s received celebrity attention and won awards, spoken at the UNICEF Ball and more. Alabed even wrote a book called Dear World, which gives an account of the horrifying war through a child’s eyes, making it all the more affecting.

Now Alabed is a Turkish citizen and is able to go to school again. Her favorite subject is math, and she wants to be an English teacher when she grows up. But she’ll also continue fighting for Syrian children.