Even the victory divided the Syrians… A whirlwind around the little girl “Sham”

Since last Thursday, thousands of Syrians have celebrated the 7-year-old girl, Sham, who won the title of “Arab Reading Challenge” in its sixth season under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, after a competition with more than 22 million students from 44 countries.

However, this joy did not bring all the Syrians together despite all the celebration. Rather, it re-illustrated the rift between the war that has spanned between them for more than 11 years between supporters and opponents, after the child appeared to thank the head of the regime, Bashar al-Assad, amid accusations of opposition activists confirming that she was orphaned because of him. Her father was killed in an air strike on the countryside of Aleppo in 2015.

While others reported that Sham’s father was one of the first demonstrators to come out at Aleppo University in 2012, calling for the overthrow of the regime, and then got involved in the fight against it until he was killed years later.

Her father killed the regime, so how can she thank his boss?!

But her mother explained that her husband was killed in 2015 in a terrorist bombing that targeted their area in Aleppo, and that her daughter was also wounded by shrapnel in the incident. While some questioned her words, they said that she was obliged to adopt the regime’s narrative.

Opponents emphasized that the true story is completely different from the words of the mother and the regime’s media, stressing that the father was killed in a documented bombing by Assad forces in the city of Khan Toman in the Aleppo countryside on December 20, 2015.

They added that Muhammad al-Bakour, Sham’s father, was from the city of al-Atareb in the western countryside of Aleppo, and he worked as a guard in the al-Zakri mills in the Khan Toman area, which was a blazing battlefield due to the regime forces and its allies’ attempt to secure control of the southern countryside of Aleppo.

When the regime bombed the mills and the opposite road, the young man was killed.

It is worth noting that the Sham issue was not the first over which the Syrians were divided during the years of war.

She caught everyone’s attention

It is noteworthy that Sham Al-Bakour, the daughter of Aleppo Governorate, was awarded the title of Syrian champion in the “Arab Reading Challenge” within the challenge competitions held by the UAE in its sixth edition this year, in which Syria is participating for the first time. Al Saghira competed for the title at the Arab level with 18 participants representing 18 Arab countries.

Sham, who has read more than 100 books, as she said, managed to draw attention to her, and become the focus of local and Arab media attention, after she appeared in a number of videos and interviews while speaking Standard Arabic with distinct fluency.

It is noteworthy that the Arab Reading Challenge competition was launched 6 years ago, and requires reading 50 books as a preliminary condition to enter the competition, and 22 million students from 44 countries around the world participated in its edition this year.

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