Malala Yousafzai | Inspiring Story of Young Education Activist
Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 as a daughter of a teacher father in Pakistan, where the birth of girls is not welcome. She lived a normal life with her family until 2009. But when Malala was 12 years old, many things started to change in her country after the Taliban took over Pakistan. One of them was the education system. Girls were prohibited from going to school. But Malala chose to fight instead of sitting quietly against this ban. She wanted what was right for her and her country.
In those days, BBC impressed her by not keeping quiet on the situation then she started writing a blog on the BBC under the pseudonym "Pakistani Girl's Diary". Not only that, although she was 12 years old, she continued to defend her right to education by going door to door from houses to schools. But her name revealed as a BBC writer in a documentary about her prepared by the New York Times in those years.
In 2011, she won Pakistan's first youth peace award and was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize. As a result of its growing popularity and national recognition, it has become the target of Taliban leaders.
The Taliban wanted to silence this girl, who did not remain silent to the events in her country. One day, her bus was stopped by the militants while she was going to school. The militants shot Malala in the neck and head. She was seriously injured but miraculously survived. She was sent to England for treatment, after 6 months she was on her feet again. While she was fighting for her life in that hospital, there was a burning fire of change in her country. People took to the streets in Pakistan and education law was changed with more than two million signatures collected.
Nine months after the attack of the Taliban, Malala gave a speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday in 2013. Yousafzai highlighted her focus on education and women's rights, urging world leaders to change their policies and she added that “The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.” She was among the 100 Most Influential People in the world in those years.
Together with her father, she became an advocate for millions of girls who could not receive education for social, economic, legal, and political reasons. Thanks to the Malala Fund they established in 2013, they raised awareness about the social and economic effects of girls' education, supported them to raise their voices, and enabled them to realize their potential and demand change.
Malala, an education activist, was the youngest person to achieve a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Also, she released a book of her life named I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban in October 2013. And it became an international bestseller.
She says that her story is not unique, it’s what many young girls go through. But it reached out to everyone in the world and made a difference. For the world and Pakistan, Malala becomes a source of hope and strength.