Muzoon Almellehan—'Malala of Syria' becomes the youngest goodwill ambassador

21st Jun 2017
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Muzoon Almellehan, 19-year-old education activist has become the first person with official refugee status to become an ambassador for UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), when she was appointed as the goodwill ambassador.

She is also UNICEF’s newest and youngest goodwill ambassador who was appointed on World Refugee Day. According to IANS, she said,

"Even as a child, I knew that education was the key to my future, so when I fled Syria, the only belongings I took with me were my school books. As a refugee, I saw what happens when children are forced into early marriage or manual labour—they lose out on education and they lose out on possibilities for the future."
Image: CNN

While she was living in the refugee camp in Jordan, she received help from UNICEF, thereby following the path of late Audrey Hepburn who was also supported by UNICEF and later became a goodwill ambassador.

Muzoon lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan after fleeing the conflict-affected Syria in the year 2013 with her family. While she was staying in the Za’atari camp in Jordan, she started advocating children’s right and access to education, particularly for girls. After, that she moved to Britain, but that did not stop her from advocating children's right to education.

Recently she traveled to Chad with UNICEF to create awareness about the importance of education, where few children, even fewer girls have access to education.

Popularly called 'Malala of Syria', she has been constantly working to create awareness about the challenges children affected and uprooted by conflict face in accessing education. Though she is living in Britain for now, she wants to become a journalist and return to her homeland and help the people there. According to The Guardian, she said,

"I want to go back to rebuild Syria. It will need doctors, engineers, lawyers, and journalists to make this happen, not ignorant people who have lost hope.”

On World Refugee Day, people from all over the world get to show support for fellow human beings who are forced to flee their homeland for a lot of reasons. It is also a day that celebrates the strength and courage which millions of refugees find in themselves to survive.

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