In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Malala Yousafzai offered some words of advice for President Donald Trump.
The 19-year-old Pakistani activist was in New York City to be honored as the newest U.N. Messenger of Peace — the highest recognition given by the United Nations — on April 10, 2017. She’s the youngest recipient to have earned the title.
Speaking to “CBS This Morning,” Yousafzai encouraged Trump to visit a refugee camp to learn more about the people who’ve been affected by conflict in Syria.
Yousafzai, who gained global notoriety for surviving a gunshot wound to the head at the hands of the Taliban in 2012 for daring to go to school as a girl, has focused her efforts on broadening access to education for children, particularly in the developing world.
“Once you educate girls, you change the whole community, you change the whole society,” Yousafzai said on stage at the U.N., CNN reported.
Yousafzai’s visit to America — and message for Trump — comes amid growing despair for Syrian families grappling with tragedy.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to attack a rebel-backed region of his own country on April 4, 2017. More than 80 people, many of them children, were killed in the gruesome assault, with hundreds more injured.
In what some critics have blasted as nothing more than a theatrical show of power accomplishing nothing, Trump approved targeted air strikes against Assad’s regime — with no long-term strategy in place.
While many politicians and talking heads jumped for joy at the show of force, many others pointed to the hypocrisy of Trump’s broader stance on Syria: If the president is so disturbed by a chemical attack on innocent people, shouldn’t he also be accepting those same victims as refugees in the U.S.?
It’s a question that’s not lost on Yousafzai.
“It’s important that [Trump} understands that these people are in need,” she explained in the interview with “CBS This Morning.”
“And I have seen them — I have went to refugee camps — and I think he needs to go to these refugee camps.”
Because of the magnitude of the refugee crisis, humanitarian groups have been struggling to provide enough resources to ensure such camps have food, water, and adequate shelter for the families in desperate need.
While the victims of the horrific chemical attack certainly need our support, Yousafzai reminded viewers at home — and Trump — that so do the millions of Syrian refugees who’d already lost everything before last week.
“He needs to know what real life is like in a refugee camp,” she reiterated.