DUBAI (Web Desk) – A Palestinian primary school teacher who grew up in a refugee camp won a $1 million prize for teaching excellence, beating out 8,000 other applicants from around the world.

Hanan al-Hroub, who teaches in the West Bank city of al-Bireh just outside Ramallah, was awarded the second annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was on-hand to present the prize to al-Hroub, however her name was announced by Pope Francis in a video message after he talked about the importance of education and teachers, especially for children who grow up amid war.

She said she will use the million-dollar prize money to create scholarships for students who want to go into teaching, The Washington Post reported.

The inaugural prize last year went to Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from Maine.