12 Year Old Afghan Girl in Greece Awarded US Scholarship

Arezu, a 12 year old Afghan refugee living on the Greek island of Lesvos, has received a scholarship to further her studies in Boston, Massachusetes in the US. When she was just seven years old, she and her family escaped Afghanistan. Mariam, her mother, was eight months pregnant when the family embarked on a dangerous journey from northern Afghanistan to Turkey. When the family arrived in Greece, they were housed in the notorious Moria refugee camp, which is known for its overcrowding and inhumane living conditions.

Arezu, who comes from a country where women and girls face extreme obstacles to education, is gifted academically and possesses strong intelligence and speaks 4 languages fluently. She arrived in Greece knowing no Greek, learned the language in one school year and received the highest grades in her class. She is fluent in four languages.

She is one of only 34% of refugee school-aged children that have access to education and are able to attend secondary school. 

“When we believe in ourselves, we can accomplish anything. We can learn from our mistakes. Without education I feel very sad, I feel like a bird in a cage, I want to break free from the cage. I want to thank all my teachers and the Greek people. I want to become a Professor of Medicine when I grow up and help the sick. I want to make a hospital that is free to help other children in need.” – 12 year old Arezu

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