Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist and youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, turned 18 on Sunday, and opened a school in Lebanon for Syrian refugee girls.
In 2012, Yousafzai survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, as she was returning home from school in northern Pakistan. She moved with her family to England following the attack and has continued to work tirelessly for education rights.
The Malala Fund, Yousafzai's non-profit organization, paid for the school that will welcome 200 girls between 14-18 in the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border.
"I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria," Yousafzai said in a speech. "I am here on behalf of the 28 million children who are kept from the classroom because of armed conflict. Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world and it is our duty to stand by them."
Lebanon is home to more than 1 million of the 4 million refugees that have fled Syria, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Yousafzai said in a speech last week in Oslo that she would continue her fight for children's rights into adulthood, Reuters reported.
"I think there's no limit of age... to speak of children's rights," she said. "My father has been doing it as a teacher and I will continue to do it as a woman. As an adult, you can be the voice of children."
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at email@example.com.
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