Bana al-Abed: From a Syrian War Zone to New York City

Her family, like thousands of others in Aleppo, struggled to survive during the siege. First they were running low on food and water, then they lost their home in an airstrike.

Finally they joined thousands of residents who boarded buses and evacuated the city in December before leaving Syria behind for Turkey.

“The last days were horrible days,” Fatemah said on a recent autumn morning in New York in an interview with her daughter by her side. From November to December, it was hell.”

The pair now appear to be thriving. Bana’s face looked fuller, and her front teeth had grown in. Her English came easily, and she had a new American Girl doll with her, a souvenir from her visit to the city.

“This is my baby,” she said, stroking the doll’s blonde hair. She named her…

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