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This article was first published 8 years ago  » News » Here's how the world's bravest teen celebrated her 18th birthday

Here's how the world's bravest teen celebrated her 18th birthday

July 13, 2015 11:34 IST
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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai blows out candles on her birthday cake at a school for Syrian refugee girls, built by the NGO Kayany Foundation, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

That she is no average teenager has been established time and again. As Malala Yousafzai turns 18, she opens a school for Syrian girls in a refugee camp.    

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai turned 18 on Sunday and she spent the day on the Syrian border. A campaigner for education, she opened a school for Syrian girls living in a refugee settlement in Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley.

Malala was shot by Taliban militants in 2012 in her native Pakistan for campaigning for girls’ rights. But there is no stopping the world’s bravest teen.

In a speech at the school, Malala told world leaders that they were failing Syria’s children. "On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world: you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria's children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy -- the world's worst refugee crisis in decades." She called on them to invest in books not bullets.


Malala Yousafzai cuts a ribbon near Noura Jumblatt, founder of the NGO Kayany Foundation, at a school for Syrian refugee girls. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

Malala said she was honoured to mark her 18th birthday “with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria”.

"I am here on behalf of the 28 million children who are kept from the classroom because of armed conflict.

Malala talks with school girls at Abrar Syrian refugee informal settlement in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world and it is our duty to stand by them,” added the youngest Nobel laureate.

Malala sits with girls inside a classroom at the school for Syrian refugee girls. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

The Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School will offer education to girls aged 14 to 18.

Nearly 1.2 million registered Syrians are taking refuge in Lebanon, though the total number maybe even higher.

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