Meet Huda. She likes taking pictures and being with her family. She could do without her history lessons.
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4 April 2019 | Volume 1, Issue 19
  A note from our editor:
We’ve been hard at work on a new Assembly series that is FINALLY ready to share with you all! 🎉

It’s called Roll Call and each instalment follows a different girl through a week in her life. From what she had for breakfast to her favourite TV shows and the issues affecting her community, you can relate to the series even if you’re reading about a girl who lives thousands of miles away from you.

In the first edition of Roll Call, 15-year-old Huda describes her life in Lebanon through seven days of diary entries. She talks about navigating schoolwork (she loves math, hates history), friendships (Nancy is her bestie) and her activism for girls’ education (she’s working on a play about the risks of early marriage). Huda’s humour, intelligence and occasional sass come through in every entry and I can’t wait for you to meet her.

Also in this issue, girls from Jamaica, Colombia, Pakistan and Mexico tell us who or what inspires them. 18-year-old Kode With Klossy alumna Sofia Ongele writes about creating an app to support survivors of sexual assault. And we celebrate the life of Javanese activist Raden Adjeng Kartini who spoke out for every girl’s right to learn.

If you want to write for Roll Call, head to our submission form to tell us about yourself and why you should be featured next!

Roll Call
A week in the life of a 15-year-old in Lebanon
Huda in Lebanon
Meet Huda.

Age: 15
Country of residence: Lebanon
My favourite subject in school is: Math
My dream job is: Nursing
I’m currently listening to: “Je T'aime” by Lara Fabian
My favourite item of clothing is: A black dress
My worst habit is: I get angry quickly and lose my calm
I couldn’t live without: My friends
I’m inspired by: My dad
I love to eat: Ice cream

It’s the first day in the week. I wake up early at 6 a.m. to go to school. I brushed my teeth, arranged my bed, dressed in my school uniform and fixed my hair. My breakfast was sandwich labneh [strained yoghurt] with hot tea.

Today was the last day in the midterm exams. I was so eager to solve the math exam. I like to deal with numbers and solve complicated questions, unlike historical material, which needs a big mind to memorize all that unnecessary information. I did my best in the exam. It was so easy and I hope to have full marks.

Finally, I returned back home after an exhausted day. I quickly washed my hands and ate my lunch because I was so hungry. Then I slept for four hours and when I woke up, I felt a pain in my stomach. But despite the pain, I tried to finish my homework. I didn’t finish all of it but I tried to solve most of it because the pain was increasing. Immediately afterwards I went back to sleep to feel a little better.

At 6:30 a.m., my mum tried to wake me up, but I told her that I was so tired and I couldn’t go to school. I woke up at 10:30 a.m. I ate my breakfast with my tender mum who worried and cared for me until I felt better.

At 2:30 p.m., Mrs. Sally called me. She is the social worker at Naba’a organization, which supports girls in my community. Sally asked me if I could go with Naba’a to visit the municipality of Wadi Nahli and Mankoubin. For sure I agreed. Sally is a nice girl. She always cares about us, listens to our problems, helps us when we fall into trouble and advises us when we need her. She is always beside me and all the girls in Naba’a project that is helping girls stay in school.

Sally picked me and the girls from the committee up from our houses by the bus and we went to the municipality of Wadi Nahli and Mankoubin. There we met with mayor of the municipality to present the result of our questionnaire, which tells the challenges girls in our community face when going to school. We wanted to discuss with them our ideas about the advocacy campaign to help girls complete their education.

Read more.
Around the world 
  Who or what inspires you?

“Two years ago, my mother went through a very difficult time — through a mammogram it was discovered that there was a cancerous development in her breast. She always remained optimistic and looked at the positive aspects of life, like that the cancerous growth was found at an early stage. Her ability to remain strong and be a bright light through that taxing time inspires me to always look on the bright side of a situation in the face of hardship.”
— Katrina, 16, Jamaica
“I am inspired every day by my friends, parents and some of my fellow Mexicans that have made a path for their careers. I also admire Guillermo del Toro, Ann Makosinski, Eufrosina Cruz and Malala Yousafzai.”
— Saraí, 18, Mexico

Sayed “Being the first in any male-dominated field takes a lot of courage. I am inspired by the women who stepped forward in politics, journalism, literature and science despite all the social or religious norms that denied their presence. Whether the world remembers their names or they remain undiscovered, I believe they are the true heroes.”
— Mariyam, 23, Pakistan
“I am inspired by spirituality, cultures, sciences, landscapes, good energies and good deeds.”
— Catalina, 16, Colombia
Student essay
How an 18-year-old coder and activist developed a new app for survivors of sexual assault
  By Sofia Ongele
When I was 15, I didn’t know anything about coding. I was always intrigued by what made the world turn, but the technology behind the apps on my phone and the websites I visited seemed too complex to grasp. I thought, “If this isn’t a subject taught in school, then it must be too complicated for me to understand.”

Around the same time, I found a PRGM button on my graphing calculator, which I assumed was for making minimal computer programs. My friend Laird had made programs on his graphing calculator to create countdowns and display the digits of pi. I was fascinated by how he could make the calculator run commands. So I proceeded to study his code, noting that the “Disp” command would show on screen any text that appeared in quotations.

One day after a statistics exam, I had some free time before class ended so I did a bit of tinkering and made a fully functional program that displayed line by line the lyrics of my favorite song at the time, “Hello” by Adele. I was pleasantly surprised that with a few simple functions and sheer curiosity, I was able to make something out of absolutely nothing.

I wondered what was possible on a full computer if I could build a program on a calculator. Since my school did not offer computer science courses, I took to searching on Google. I stumbled upon the Kode with Klossy program, which offers scholarships to girls ages 13-18 to learn how to code in fun and collaborative classrooms. Armed with my graphing calculator in one hand and my unquenched thirst for knowledge in the other, I applied and was accepted to their 2016 summer program in Los Angeles.

Attending Kode with Klossy began my journey into discovering all there is to know about code. I learned how to do a lot more than making Adele lyrics appear on my calculator. We began the program by navigating through the command line, which is a text-based interface you can use to make your computer perform actions without a mouse. Think about it like this: if you have an analog clock (the one that uses hands to tell time), you can change the time with a dial, which acts like an interface. Or you could open up the clock and move the gears by hand. That’s what a command line does. You bypass the operating system to get the computer to do exactly what you want it to and you can do more than just using the programs on the computer. But like gears on a clock, you also need a certain level of technical knowledge when working in command line or you could end up deleting everything.

Read more.
This Moment in History
Celebrating Raden Adjeng Kartini, Javanese girls’ education activist
April 21, 1879–September 17, 1904

Raden Adjeng Kartini was born to an aristocratic Javanese family in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). She attended a Dutch school until the age of 12 when she entered pingitan, a period of seclusion before marriage that was common for Javanese women at the time.

But Kartini refused to give up learning and continued her studies by borrowing her father's books and newspapers.

As an adult, Kartini would write letters to her Dutch friends and former classmates against colonialism and about the importance of girls' education. Although Kartini died at age 25 due to complications from childbirth, her spirit lived on through her letters — they were published first in Dutch in 1911 and eventually translated around the world. Her words served as a rallying cry against colonialism and in support of Javanese girls' and women's empowerment.
Get published in Assembly!
  Assembly publishes original work by girls, for girls. And we would love to include your voice! Send us your ideas and you could be featured in the next issue.
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