One of the world’s most recognizable activists, Malala Yousafzai turns 20 on July 12. Ringing true to her compassionate spirit, she celebrates by visiting a camp for families displaced by fighting in Mosul, Iraq.
By directing media attention on girls forced from school due to conflict and violence, Yousafzai also made sure she enjoyed some birthday spirit during her trip, where she rode rides, bumper cars and ate cotton candy with a group of girls.
According to the Malala Fund, Yousafzai told the girls:
I hope you will stay strong, go back to school as soon as you can and have hope that your future can be better than the dark days behind you. I believe in you — and I will tell the world that you need our support.
In 2012, Yousafzai garnered worldwide attention when she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan. When she turned 18, she opened a school for refugees in Lebanon. For her 19th birthday, she raised awareness for girls’ education around the world.
This year’s birthday is also Yousafzai’s efforts to promote her foundation’s mission and to recruit leaders of the next generation. Earlier this year, the 20-year-old author visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania to meet with refugees, volunteers and students at a high school.
The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate’s visit to Iraq this year arrives right after the Iraqi government’s declaration of victory over the Islamic State in Mosul. Check out the gallery above to see how she celebrated entering the new decade of her life.
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As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!