PESHAWAR: The youngest Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai, landed in Pakistan in the wee hours of Thursday, after spending nearly six years abroad after she was attacked by the Taliban militants in 2012 for raising voice against militancy and in favour of girls’ right to education.
TNN has compiled some important facts in the life of Malala which may help give a brief clear idea to her followers about her struggle and achievements.
- Malala was born on 12 July, 1997 in Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. She was named after a Pashtun poetess, and her name means ‘grief stricken’. She was one of 3 children in her family.
- At a time when militancy was at its peak in Swat, Abdul Hai Kakkar, a BBC reporter in Pakistan, asked Malala’s father if he knows someone who would write about life under the Taliban. At that time, the Taliban in Swat were banning women from a variety of activities including shopping and education. When the original blogger backed out, Malala took her place. She was only 12 years old at that time. She initially wrote blogs for the BBC under the pen-name Gul Makai. The BBC never revealed who the blogger from Pakistan was, but her identity was slowly released thanks to her increasing publicity due to her brave stance against the militates despite all odds.
- In recognition of her efforts for girls education, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani awarded Malala the National Peace Award for Youth in 2011 when she was 13 years old. At the ceremony, Malala said that she hopes to begin a national party of her own to promote education.
- On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala in the head as she was coming home after taking an exam. Two other girls are also wounded in the shooting. Attack on Malala drew worldwide condemnation. She was initially treated at a military hospital in Pakistan and then she was shifted to UK for treatment where she recovered from head injuries.
- On October 15, 2012, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown started a petition to support Malala’s dream. With the slogan “I am Malala”, the petition aimed to ensure that every child would be in school by 2015.
TIME Magazine on April 29, 2013 published cover photo of Malala Yousafzai and named her in the list of 100 most influential people.
- On July 12, 2013, Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. The UN dubbed the event “Malala Day”.
- Malala wrote ‘I Am Malala’, her fearless memoir with the help of journalist Christina Lamb which was published on October 10, 2013. The book narrates Malala’s drive home from school on the day she was shot in the head. The book received worldwide appreciation.
- The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 was awarded to Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
- Last year, Canada granted honorary citizenship to Malala and also gave her the honour to address the Canadian Parliament. He became the youngest person to address the Canadian Parliament.
- Malala has now come back to Pakistan after nearly six years for a short visit. While addressing a ceremony at the Prime Minister House, she said she wants to return to Pakistan permanently after completing her education.