SAN DIEGO, United States (Kurdistan24) – A young Kurdish girl who recently received the 2017 President’s Education Award for academic excellence told Kurdistan24 she wants to contribute to the development of Kurdistan.
Aynda Fikri Haji, 13-years-old, was awarded the prestigious award signed by US President Donald Trump.
Haji also received a letter from President Trump praising her for her academic accomplishments.
She expressed her delight and joy with being presented the honor two years in a row after she also won the 2016 prize signed by former US President Barack Obama.
“The first time I received an award I got super excited and happy for being on top of my peers,” Haji told Kurdistan24.
Regarding the 2017 award, the young Kurdish girl said she “still felt happy and joyful because it was from a different president who also appreciated [her] skills and abilities.”
When describing her relationship with education, the 13-year-old explained she is motivated to do well in school through the support of her teachers and family.
“While I’m studying, I try to enjoy and have fun with it,” she added.
Haji also discussed the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum to be held on Sep. 25, 2017.
“A referendum for the independence of Kurdistan means a lot to me,” she told Kurdistan24.
“[I] feel more motivated to study and show people that I am a Kurdish girl from Kurdistan and I am proud of that,” Haji continued.
She also noted an independent Kurdistan would encourage Kurds to “study and work harder to compete with other countries in every category like arts, sports, [and] science.”
The young Kurdish student vowed to do her best “to support Kurdistan and help develop it.”
“I will apply all my knowledge and abilities for a brighter Kurdistan,” Haji stated.
The President’s Award recipient said one of her dreams since she was a child, was to become an astronaut and work for NASA.
“My message to all Kurdish youth is to keep trying and trying until they achieve their goals, and never give up no matter what obstacles they go through,” she stated.
Haji was born in Erbil, Kurdistan Region in 2004 before her family moved to San Diego, California where they currently live.