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Children sit on May 23, 2014 in a classroom of the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation

Children sit on May 23, 2014 in a classroom of the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. The city, which is Boko Haram’s spiritual birthplace, AFP PHOTO / AMINU ABUBAKAR

Aisha Abubakar was at home two years ago when Boko Haram Islamists stormed through the door. She watched as they executed her father.
Children in Nigeria’s deeply impoverished north face immense challenges in accessing education, and for the fatherless like 13 year-old Aisha the obstacles are even tougher. But by far the most daunting roadblock standing between Aisha and a diploma is that she lives in Maiduguri, the epicentre of a brutal insurgency being waged by a group that has declared war on education, especially for girls.
With an English textbook spread on a wooden table in a sparsely furnished classroom, Aisha vowed that Boko Haram — which kidnapped more than 200 girls from a secondary school — would not keep her from reaching medical school.
“I’m sure my dad would be proud to have a medical doctor for a child,” she says.

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