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Malala Yousafzai gave girls the best present for her 18th birthday

 
Malala Yousafzai (aka the young Pakistani education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban for attending school) didn’t celebrate her 18th birthday the way most girls do. Instead of a huge party, Malala, the world's youngest Nobel Peace laureate winner, decided to give a gift to Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon—a school to call their own.

Intense violence in Syria has caused 4 million people to flee as refugees, including 1 million living in Lebanon. The crisis interrupts the lives and education of countless kids, and Malala believes that all children have a right to the opportunity to learn. In many parts of the world, girls have an especially difficult time attending school safely—Malala was attacked by the Taliban because she continued to go to school when it was forbidden for girls to do so in her region of Pakistan. Now, her new school will allow 200 Syrian girls, ages 14-18, to get the education they deserve.  

In the United States, we often take school for granted and see it as a burden. But imagine if you were denied that opportunity—you wouldn’t be able to share your ideas or be exposed to those of others. You might not even have the skills to be reading this article! The limits on education that Malala is fighting are designed to keep girls down. She knows that knowledge is the way to peace, success and happiness, and that smart girls can change the world for the better.

We're so glad that Malala is continuing to fight for girls' education—and that on a day when she should be receiving presents, she's giving them to others. We hope Malala had a great birthday, and that her gift warmed her own heart as much as it did ours. Happy birthday to our girl power icon.

What do you think of Malala’s birthday gift to Lebanon?

Credit to: NPR

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by Katy Herman | 2/1/2016
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