From adversity to triumph: Abdel-Malik Walid Khalil is no ordinary student
26 September 2023
Baghdad, 26 September 2023
Abdel-Malik Walid Khalil, originally from Jurf al-Sakhr, is not your ordinary student. Aside from being among the top students in Iraq, he has risen from a camp of displaced Iraqis, overcoming challenges in pursuit of his dream. Abdel-Malik, his parents and seven siblings became displaced in 2014. To date, they have not been able to return home.
"I studied in a tent in very difficult conditions: cold weather, hot weather, power cuts. But I was able to achieve the impossible, to pass my final exams with a top grade of 99.57 per cent", he said.
The 19-year-old's story, as explained by Abdel-Malik and his father, is a microcosm of modern Iraq – where ordinary citizens from all walks of life are struggling to improve their lives against the odds, buoyed by nascent stability after decades of conflict. Young Iraqis like Abdel-Malik inspire hope in the future of this country.
Abdel-Malik now has a new goal: to study medicine. He received encouragement at a meeting in Baghdad with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. "Your resilience is impressive. Don't give up. A young man with such excellent qualifications deserves all the support", the SRSG said.