Malala Yousafzai

Did you know that Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner and graduated Oxford University? Malala was born on July 12th, 1997, to a Pashtun family living in northwest Pakistan. Malala's father, Ziauddin Yusafzai was also a scholar, a poet, and an activist, and gave Malala a comprehensive education. He encouraged Malala to join the family's routine evening conversations about politics breaking the patriarchal stereotypes. When she was 11, she started giving public speeches, demanding basic child's rights for education.


When Taliban militants took control over the Swat region, young girls were banned from going to school, music and television were forbidden, and women were not allowed to go shopping. When the government military forces pushed the Taliban out from the Swat District, school education was reinstated. Since 2010 Malala had increased her activity to stand up for human rights. While gaining international attention, she was unfortunately recognised by the Pakistan Taliban. On October 9th, 2012, 15-year old Malala was shot in her face by Taliban gunmen when she returned home from her exams. After a 5-hour long surgery, doctors could remove the bullet from Malala's body and stabilise her state, giving her a 70% chance to survive. Her treatment, therapy, and recovery lasted almost two years and succeeded. Malala returned to her everyday life without any severe damage to her health.


Malala persevered and did not cease her engagement with the human rights movement. Her assassination attempt and recovery journey were covered by media worldwide and produced a magnitude of support and sympathy for her struggle. In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and the right of all children to education." Although international public opinion appreciated her efforts, Malala bowever remains an object of controversy in her own country.

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