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'Books not bullets': Malala opens school for Syrian refugees

Malala celebrated her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls [Reuters]

Date of publication: 13 July, 2015

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For her 18th birthday, the world's youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, celebrated her 18th birthday in Lebanon on Sunday by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls, calling on world leaders to invest in "books not bullets", according to Reuters.

"I decided to be in Lebanon because I believe that the voices of the Syrian refugees need to be heard and they have been ignored for so long", Malala told Reuters.

"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", she said in a speech.

In 2012, Malala was shot on a school bus in Pakistan by the Taliban for advocating girls' rights to education. She continued campaigning and won the Nobel in 2014.

"In Lebanon as well as in Jordan, an increasing number of refugees are being turned back at the border", Malala added. "This is inhuman and this is shameful."

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, Lebanon is currently home to nearly 1.2 million out of the four million refugees who have fled Syria to neighbouring countries since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.

The UN says the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries is expected to reach 4.27 million by the end of the year.

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