So many of you have been asking about Malak lately—some of you have followed her story from the beginning, some of you who recently saw her heartbreaking video for the first time. Your compassion for the child who stole our hearts in Fallujah is relentless and amazing!
We just spoke with Malak’s family, and she’s doing well! Here’s a quick update…
When we first introduced you to this amazing little girl in 2016, she had just escaped the battle to liberate Fallujah from ISIS. So much about those days terrified us and broke our hearts, but nobody broke our heart more than Malak. Her tears, her speechlessness, the loss of her parents, and now the loss of her home.
Malak made it out of Fallujah with her extended family. We committed to providing regular deliveries of food and water to Malak’s family and the entire camp where she lived.
After the immediate crisis passed, she and her family finally moved to a house just a few hours away. We’ve worked hard to keep in touch with her, including a visit to check in on her last fall.
We got off the phone with Malak’s family earlier today, and they shared this update with us.
Malak, whose name means Angel, passed all her exams and graduated first grade—she loves school and is excited to begin second grade soon.
Malak was also excited for the start of Ramadan last month, eager to fast like the grownups in her family. However the heat and long days without food and water were too much for her, so her family won’t let her fast each day. Instead, she goes on again, off again. We admire her tenacity at such a young age.
At present, Malak’s uncle, Alaa, is the breadwinner for the family, and they’re barely making ends meet. We’re in conversation with her family about how we could help them provide more stability, and we’re exploring ways they might be able to start a business—hopefully we’ll have more news to share with you soon.
To all of you who have given so much of your heart to this little girl and her family: thank you.
We believe that Malak’s best future is with her family. She has a long road ahead of her, but Malak is home. She is safe with her friends and family.
The best way we can support people like Malak is to slow down and ask them what they want—and what Malak wants most is to be right where she is, with her family, doing well in school, and thriving. We’re passionate about helping her realize her dreams, to helping her thrive in the way she and her family want most.
And keep checking in on her! Send messages, ask how she’s doing, and stay tuned for more stories—we plan to keep you updated!
Much love to you all.