Malala brings ‘girl power’ to Iraq on her 20th birthday

Malala Yousafzai is known globally as the single most powerful voice in the fight for securing education for girls around the world. And even on her birthday, the young advocate used her day to focus on giving the gift of education to girls in Iraq.

According to HuffPost, Yousafzai spent her 20th birthday on July 12 — also known as “Malala Day” — by speaking to girls at Iraq’s Hassan Shami camp for the displaced, located just outside of Mosul. The visit, HuffPost reports, is part of her “Girl Power Trip,” which aims at “promoting education for women and girls around the world.”

During her time at the camp, HuffPost says Yousafzai met with girls living under the Islamic State and heard their stories, one of which she documented in a blog post. Meeting with a 13-year-old Iraqi girl named Nayir, Yousafzai wrote that despite having fled Mosul, the young scholar has maintained her determination when it comes to attaining an education.

“‘No matter what, nothing will keep me from finishing my studies,'” she told me. Her new classroom is a small tent in the camp. She just took her exams in sweltering heat,” Yousafzai wrote of her conversation with Nayir.


Driving home the importance of education, Yousafzai shared another snippet of her meeting with Nayir:
“But Nayir knows that education is her best chance for a better future. After all she has suffered, she described the feeling of returning to school: ‘It was as if all my hopes came back.'”
Here’s hoping countless girls around the world find their hopes return to them through education.

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