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Updated On: Tuesday, November 21 2017

Malala in Iraq

Content by: South-South News

14 July 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — In her first visit to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai met displaced children at a tent school in Hasansham U3 camp to highlight their needs and their right to access education. An international advocate for girl’s education, Malala called on the international community and world leaders to support every child’s right to go to school.

“I am on my girl-power trip,” she said, “This is my 20th birthday, and on every birthday I go to a different country. This year I decided to come to Iraq to speak about internally displaced girls here and their education.” Malala added, “I met amazing girls, especially Anwar who is a brave girl, 13-years-old, and she has courage, she’s getting her education, and I think she’s going to be the change maker for her community. I think young girls like these that I want to encourage and inspire.”

Anwar Ahmad Ayesh missed three years of schooling due to the conflict in Mosul. Inspired by Malala, she now wants to be an advocate for girl’s education. “I saw her on TV. She inspired me a lot and she boosted my confidence. She is my role model and she represents the path that we would all like to take,” Anwar said. “When I heard her story, I hoped to be like her or at least do a little of what she was able to do.”

Malala stressed on the need to increase education funding. “I say to world leaders and all the international communities that we need to invest in education. This is something that can’t be ignored. This is the future of many children and especially for regions like Iraq and Syria, which have gone through conflict. Education is the only way these countries can go forward and achieve progress.”

Around 350,000 displaced children in Iraq are not enrolled in school. That’s almost half of all those of school age.

Malala survived a Taliban attack on her school bus in 2012. “To all girls and boys out there I would say that believe in yourself, follow your dreams, you are the change makers and you can really change your community,” she said.

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