A young fiery soul, undeterred by the threats, advocated for the educational rights of the woman. The youngest Nobel laureate, and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai turned 20 on Tuesday. She, along with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, has set off to the Middle East to celebrate her birthday with internally displaced girls from conflict-ridden areas.
On October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The murder attempt drew sharp reactions across the world with outpourings of anger and sympathy. The family later settled to UK.
On July 2013 which marked Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. The UN dubbed the event “Malala Day”. It was her first public speech since the attack. Her memoir I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb, was published in October 2013.
She later continued with her efforts to aware people about voicing their rights. Innumerable awards and recognitions in her kitty, Malala still maintains that she is an average school going girl, and her family holds prime importance for her. She graduated this summer and may pursue higher education at Oxford University.
Yousafzai was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. She has been designated the UN Messenger of Peace in 2017.
She joined Twitter on July 7th and was greeted extensively by the world. In a few hours, she raked over 350,000 followers. Many world leaders and acclaimed figures welcomed her.