Malala Yousafzai Celebrated Her 18th Birthday By Opening a New School

Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 18th birthday on Sunday. To celebrate, the Pakistani education activist and youngest-ever Nobel Peace laureate did something extraordinary: she opened a secondary school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

The new school, located near Syria's border, will provide quality secondary education for more than 200 Syrian girls between ages 14 and 18, according to the Malala Fund.

"I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria. 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," Malala said in a statement from the Malala Fund Blog. "On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world – you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria's children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy – the world's worst refugee crisis in decades."

NEXT: Malala's 18th Birthday Celebration Launches #BooksNotBullets »

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Photo Credit: Malin Fezehai for the Malala Fund via AP