Malala Just Spent Her Birthday Visiting the Biggest Refugee Camp in the World

Source: Malin Fezehai

On Tuesday, Malala Yousafzai turned 19-years-old. Since 2013, her birthday has been declared Malala Day by the United Nations. 

As she is wont to stray from orthodoxies, Malala spent her birthday in a decidedly atypical way: in Dadaab, Kenya, home to the world's biggest refugee camp, promoting her cause.

Malala was propelled to international renown in 2012 after the then-15-year-old survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Malala's star had been on the rise thanks to her work supporting girls' education in the tribal regions of her native Pakistan when she sustained a gunshot wound to the head while returning home on a school bus.

Malala speaks on the ground at Dadaab on her birthday, July 12.
Source: 
Malin Fezehai

Malala has since used her platform to amplify her message, which is precisely what the youngest Nobel laureate was doing on her birthday. 

In a blog post she wrote about her trip, Malala described the story of Rahma Hussein Noor, a 19-year-old Somali teenager she met in Dadaab. Noor had previously lived in the camp with her family. Upon returning home to Somalia, Noor was unable to continue her education and, left with few options, her father arranged for her to marry a man in his 50s. 

Refusing to accept that fate, Noor traveled alone by bus for eight days to return to Dabaad in order to complete her education. 

"We are facing a global refugee crisis and more and more girls like Rahma are at risk of losing their chance to go to school — and their dreams for a better future," Malala wrote in her post. 

With more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons, according to the UN's refugee agency, and more than 20 million refugees, scores of millions are deprived not just of education, but of basic human rights, too. Continued unrest in regions like the Middle East has only intensified the crisis in recent years. 

"We cannot allow girls like Rahma to fight alone. It's time to do right by girls ?—? #YesAllGirls," she added. "Today, on my 19th birthday, I'm asking you to stand with me and keep fighting for girls around the world who are denied an education."

Read more:
• Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai Discuss Why It's Important To Be a Feminist
• Malala Wants to Raise Over a Billion Dollars to Educate Syrian Refugee Children
• Malala Yousafzai Shut Down Donald Trump's Islamophobia in the Best Way

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."