Justin Trudeau has worked his way back into our hearts

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Our relationship with Justin Trudeau has been on the rocks, but after the Canadian Prime Minister’s heartfelt interaction with a Syrian refugee, he’s found his way back into our hearts.

Trudeau was overcome with emotion listening to newcomer, Vanig Garabedian discuss his first year living in Canada, and when Trudeau weeps, we all weep.

Garabedian recalled that when he stepped off the plane a year ago, the prime minister personally welcomed him to the country, shaking hands with him and his family in Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

As Trudeau heard how genuinely grateful Garabedian is to be living in Canada, he couldn’t help but shed a few tears. Read more…

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Witness the devastation of Aleppo in this 360-degree video

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One of the biggest and most horrific stories of 2016 has been the ongoing destruction in the Syrian city of Aleppo and a new 360-degree video gives viewers a more complete, immersive view of the of the crumbling historic city.

The video, shared on Tuesday by the Aleppo Media Center, shows the ruins of the city’s eastern al-Shaar neighborhood.

The video isn’t the first such experience to show the utter devastation in Aleppo. Earlier in 2016, Amnesty International Australia used footage shot in 2015 to put together a “virtual reality” experience of the damage in the city, the first time a war zone was seen in this format.  Read more…

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Followers await news after Syrian girl’s Twitter account deleted

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Twitter followers are concerned following the disappearance of the account of Bana al-Abed, a seven-year-old who has shared her experiences of living in the war zone of Aleppo, Syria on the social media platform. No explanation was given to her followers prior to the Twitter account deletion.

It’s been a little less than a week since Bana tweeted what was described as her “last message,” though the girl had sent out tweets since then, including one on Sunday, just before her Twitter account unexpectedly disappeared. 

According to CNN, her final tweet was, “We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye.- Fatemah #Aleppo.” Read more…

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Comic book take on journalism is an essential celebration of the embattled profession

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Like many a Facebook user before the 2016 election, comic book artist Sarah Glidden used to consume a lot of articles without thinking much about where they came from. “I just thought about journalism like it was water,” she says. “You turn on the faucet and it comes out.” 

Then some reporter friends mentioned they were going on a trip to two of the most troubled countries in the world: Iraq and Syria. Glidden tagged along on a tourist visa, curious about the reporting process. 

The journalists, who worked for a daily online magazine now called The Globalist, agreed to have the mirror turned on them. Glidden took her own recorder and filled 8 GB SD card after 8 GB SD card with…well, pretty much everything they said and did, whether it seemed important or not. Her main exception: “I’d probably turn it off if we got really drunk.” Read more…

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Syrian girl who received Harry Potter books is ‘trapped’ after bombing

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The Syrian girl who was sent a Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling has been displaced in Aleppo along with her mother after her house was destroyed by bombing. 

Talking to Mashable via direct message on Twitter, Bana Alabed said they’re still trapped in the rebel-held areas in the eastern part of the city 

“Still inside, we can’t escape. If we go to regime side, they will kill us. We received many death threats,” she said. “We’re just waiting. We’re together.”

Earlier, the 7-year-old tweeted a picture of her house reduced to rubble:  Read more…

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7-year-old face of Syrian turmoil, Bana shares ‘last message’ on Twitter

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She has been on Twitter only a few months, but seven-year-old Bana al-Abed’s account has become a voice for many trying to comprehend the horror of life under siege in Syria.

The account, which says it’s managed by her mother Fatemah, has attracted plenty of attention. It shares pictures of Bana studying, and the ruined city around her. After tweeting about her love for Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling even responded

But her messages over the last day have cut through a news cycle otherwise distracted by the ramblings of Donald Trump.

After days of posting videos of smoke plumes above Aleppo, Fatemah shared what she said would be their “last message” on late Sunday. Read more…

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‫Syria’s White Helmets apologise for #MannequinChallenge rescue video

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Syria Civil Defence, a.k.a. the White Helmets, were recently named Nobel Peace Prize finalists for their work, reportedly saving over 70,000 civilian lives in the war-torn nation. 

But a recent video from the group has resulted in considerable backlash, with the Syria Civil Defence now calling it “an error of judgement,” according to CNN.

Filmed by opposition group the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS), the clip is a riff on the #MannequinChallenge. 

“This video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defence volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral ‘Mannequin challenge.’ This was an error of judgment, and we apologise on behalf of the volunteers involved,” said the statement. Read more…

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Syrian girl thanks J.K. Rowling for her ‘Harry Potter’ books

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It’s been a series of magical moments for Bana Alabed. 

The 7-year-old girl who has been tweeting from a war zone in Aleppo, Syria is now able to escape into the magical world of Harry Potter, thanks to a gift from the author herself.

On Thursday, Bana’s account, which is run by her mother Fatemah, shared a video of her thanking the author for sending copies of the books. 

“My friend, Joanne, how are you? I started reading the books. Thank you very much. I love you,” Alabed said in a video, showing the cover of the Philosopher’s Stone on a phone.   Read more…

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