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Malala Yousafzai Celebrates Birthday With Opening of New School

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Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and advocate for the rights of women and girls, celebrated her 18th birthday this past Sunday by opening a secondary school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley near Syria's border. Malala spoke on the importance of education during her speech at the inauguration ceremony, "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." The Malala Fund, a non profit organization, is helping to support the school which will accommodate more than 200 Syrian girls between the ages 14-18, and the curriculum will enable students to receive baccalaureate or vocational degrees. Students that cannot commit to four years of school have the opportunity to participate in skills courses intended to help them find work and generate their own incomes. "I am honoured to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria. 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," Malala said in a statement. Malala continues to be an inspiration for people across the globe for her continued efforts at making sure every child is given the privilege of education, and that no child is forgotten.  

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