Aqeela Asifi: 2016 Global Teacher Prize Finalist

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As the winner of the 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her philanthropy work in women’s rights, Aqeela Asifi was one of the top 10 finalists for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. As a teacher in Afghanistan, Asifi fled to Pakistan as a refugee when the Taliban took over the country where she continued her work as an educator. With no facility or money for supplies, Asifi taught literacy, math, geography and history from a tent while her students traced their lessons in the dirt on the ground. To date, Asifi has built nine schools and is responsible for more than 1,000 graduates—most of them young women and refugees themselves. Asifi’s graduates have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, government officials and teachers.

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