Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai

 

Nearly two years after they met in a refugee camp in Jordan, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai welcomed the Syrian schoolgirl activist Muzoon Almellehan to her new home in northern England on Tuesday.

Malala, who moved to Britain in 2012 after being shot in the head in Pakistan by the Taliban for refusing to quit school, won acclaim for her advocacy of women's right to education.

She became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Meeting with families in tow at a gleaming public library in the northeast English city of Newcastle, 18-year-old Malala and Muzoon, 17, pledged to campaign together for access to education for Syrian refugee children.

"I hope world leaders promise the future generation that they will not deprive them of their basic human right, which is education," Malala told Reuters in an interview.

The setting for their reunion was a far cry from the sprawling lines of tents comprising the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in the Jordanian desert, where the pair first met in early 2014.

Malala now lives in England's second city, Birmingham, where she was treated after being shot, and Muzoon is among the first Syrians from refugee camps in the Middle East to have come to Britain.

Since the two first met, the number of registered Syrian refugees has doubled to almost 4.4 million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Despite being occupied by school exams and plans to attend university in the next couple of years, the pair will be keeping a close eye on an international summit due to be held in Britain in early February, focused on Syria's humanitarian crisis.

reuters

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