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Malala Yousafzai Celebrates Her Birthday in the Best Way Possible

The Nobel Peace Prize Winner decided it was more important to give, than get, a gift this year.

Image via Flickr user DFID

Most teenagers celebrate their birthdays in the same way: by getting drunk, eating gross food, and complaining. But Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, decided to throw a slightly different kind of party. This Sunday, Malala celebrated her 18th birthday by opening a brand new school for Syrian girl refugees desperate for an education.


Malala came to the world’s attention when she was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating a girl’s right to education. Since then, she’s become an even more powerful activist and advocate for women’s education, both in Pakistan and across the world. Malala decided to place her latest school in Lebanon because, as she told Reuters, “I believe that the voices of the Syrian refugees need to be heard and they have been ignored for so long.”

Image via Wikimedia

Lebanon is home to 1.2 million Syrian refugees and 500,000 school-aged children. Yet less than one-fifth of those children are currently enrolled in school. While the refugee crisis in Lebanon and nearby countries is nearly crippling, Malala hopes that schools like hers can make a real difference in the lives of young women. Malala hopes she can serve up to 200 girls aged 14-18 years old.

The Malala fund, which supports local education projects, paid for the school. Though Malala was able to celebrate her birthday with cake, her good dessert was eloquently paired with an even better message: “Today on my first day as an adult, on behalf of the world's children, I demand of leaders we must invest in books instead of bullets.”

A role model woman and a role model birthday.

(Via: NBC News)