"Dear Friends, on the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed. And then, out of that silence came, thousands of voices."About Malala Yousafzai – Bio
An extract is taken from Malala Yousafzai's 16th birthday speech at the United Nations. Born on 12th July 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan, she is an activist for female education, a student, UN messenger of peace, and the youngest Nobel Laureate.
Born in a family with modern beliefs, her father always supported her right from her birth. As Malala quotes, "Welcoming a baby girl is not always cause for celebration in Pakistan — but my father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was determined to give me every opportunity a boy would have." Her father was himself a teacher and the family ran a chain of schools.The Incident that Changed Malala Yousafzai’s Life
On 9th October 2012, while returning home after the exam along with two of her friends she was shot by a Pakistani Taliban on the left side of her forehead. Her condition remained critical for several days but with time improved and later she was shifted to the United Kingdom for further treatment. The incident not only left a mark on her forehead but also her soul. Soon, after her recovery, she made women's education the sole goal for her life.Malala Yousafzai’s Work for Society & Woman Empowerment
She co-founded Malala Fund, which is a non-profit organization that Shiza Shahid in 2013 which focuses on providing quality education to girls till 12 years of age. With this as a foundation stone, Yousafzai spread her wings, and her remarkable work towards society bears fruits toward success. Her achievements had no boundaries & starting with National Youth Peace Prize in 2012, she became the first Pakistani to receive the award. In 2014, she became the first laureate to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada.
With Queen Elizabeth II as one of her audience, Yousafzai spoke before the United Nations in July 2013 at Buckingham Palace. She met the former US President Mr. Barack Obama and his family and confronted him on his use of drone strikes in Pakistan.
Malala never considered herself a feminist even though she was fighting for women's rights as well as children's rights. But after listening to Emma Words at the United Nations launching the HeForShe campaign made her change her mind and she started calling herself feminist.
On her 18th birthday, she gifted female Syrian refugees a school at Bekaa Valley, Lebanon which was funded by the not-for-profit Malala Fund.
After completing her education in the United Kingdom, Malala Yousafzai wished to return to Pakistan. She was also inspired by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto Zardari. In 2018, she realized her goals have changed and she further quotes, "now that I have met so many presidents and prime ministers around the world, it just seems that things are not simple and there are other ways that I can bring the change that I want to see."
Later in 2018, Malala was interviewed for a Netflix show"My next guest needs no introduction" with David Letterman, there she opined about the Taliban and their acts misguided by excuses in culture or literature or even misinterpretations of teachings of Islam.Malala Yousafzai & Pakistan
Even after her commendable work worldwide Yousafzai had a negative reception in Pakistan. She was opposed by Taliban sympathizers. Not only this many private schools in Pakistan banned her book "I am Malala" and against the book, then-President Mirza Kashif released a book named "I am not Malala".She was now and then attacked by words but none let her zeal down. She continued her work in the education sector and is currently creating many such Malala Yousafzai by making them aware of their rights and duties.Final Words
Malala was an ordinary girl until she was forced to face misogyny against females or girls in Pakistan. With that one breathtaking accident, an ordinary girl gave up on her fears and decided to walk on an extraordinary path of bravery and her aura became light for many such girls who gave up on their hopes.