Malala Yousafzai, A noble laureate and education activist who, at a very young age developed a thirst for knowledge was born in Mingora, Pakistan. In 2007, when Malala was ten years old, the situation in the Swat Valley rapidly changed for her family and community. The Taliban took over the Swat Valley and swiftly established themselves as the dominant socio-political force in much of northwestern Pakistan. Girls were not permitted to attend school, and cultural activities such as dancing and watching television were forbidden. Suicide attacks were common, and the group made its resistance to girls receiving a proper education a cornerstone of its terror campaign. Malala was anxious to go to school and believed in the right to education, for which she defied the Taliban and the situation. Malala became a vocal opponent of the Taliban’s tactics, which led to an unexpected outcome.
In 2009, Malala Yousufzai started to write her own blogs later on at a very young age and grew up writing in the BBC diary and became a voice being heard in her region and in whole Pakistan. During this time Pakistan’s war with the Taliban was fast approaching and in 2009, Malala was forced to leave her home to seek refuge somewhere else as a consequence of her voice.
Later on her return to Swat, Malala used media to activate her educational rights, which made her well-known throughout Pakistan and also got nominated for International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011.
In 2012, Malala Yousufzai was shot in her head three times on her way back home from school in a bus, this incident happened when the Taliban stopped the school bus and one of them asked Malala for her name and shot her 3 times after her identification. One of the bullets entered and exited her head lodging into her shoulder. Malala was seriously wounded. So, later that day she was airlifted to Peshawar for treatment and four days later she was shifted to Birmingham, United Kingdom for further treatment.
After weeks of treatment and therapy and multiples surgeries, Malala recovered and started attending school in Birmingham in 2013.
This situation brought back great support for Malala, her goal, and her determination. In 2014, Malala was named as a Noble prize winner. She became the youngest person to receive a noble prize, after accepting the prize Malala Yousufzai mentioned that “This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.”
The Malala Fund has evolved into an organization that empowers girls to reach their full potential and become confident and strong leaders in their respective nations via education. Malala Yousafzai, currently based in Birmingham, is a strong advocate for education as a fundamental social and economic right. Malala Yousafzai continues to be a strong champion for the power of education and for girls to become change agents in their communities through the Malala Fund and her own voice.
“I am still the old Malala. I still try to live normally but yes, my life has changed a lot.” – Malala Yousafzai.
All this did not put her on backfoot but instead, her voice reached new heights.