Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 to Ziauddin Yousafzai and Tor Pekai in Mingora, Swat a popular tourist spot attracting thousands of tourists every year due to its natural and scenic beauty. Queen Elizabeth II once during
Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 to Ziauddin Yousafzai and Tor Pekai in Mingora, Swat a popular tourist spot attracting thousands of tourists every year due to its natural and scenic beauty. Queen Elizabeth II once during her visit to the area called it 'the Switzerland of the east'.
Malala was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed. Malala used to state that she would like to become a doctor, but later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead.
Malala, who is fluent in Pashto, English, and Urdu, started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club. How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education? Malala asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region.
In late 2008, Aamer Ahmed Khan of the BBC and his colleagues decided to find a schoolgirl to blog anonymously about her life under the Taliban’s growing influence in Swat. BBC correspondent in Peshawar, Abdul Hai Kakar, had been in touch with Ziauddin Yousafzai, but couldn’t find any students willing to do it, because It was too dangerous, their families said. Finally, Ziauddin suggested his own daughter, 11-year-old Malala. Editors at the BBC unanimously agreed. At the time, Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah were taking over the Swat Valley, banning television, music, girls’ education, and women from going shopping.
On 3 January 2009, Malala's first entry was posted to the BBC Urdu blog. She would hand-write notes and then pass on to a reporter who would scan and e-mail them. The blog records Malala's thoughts during the First Battle of Swat, as military operations take place, fewer girls show up to school, and finally, her school shuts down.
In Mingora, the Taliban had set an edict that no girls could attend school after 15 January 2009. The group had already blown up more than a hundred girls’ schools. The night before the ban took effect was filled with the noise of artillery fire, waking Malala several times. The following day, Malala also read for the first time excerpts from her blog that had been published in a local newspaper.
The Taliban continued to destroy schools in the area. Five days later in her blog, Malala wrote that she was still studying for her examinations, our annual examinations are due after the vacations but this will only be possible if the Taliban allow girls to go to school. We were told to prepare certain chapters for the exam but I do not feel like studying.
In February 2009, girls' schools were still closed. In solidarity, private schools for boys had decided not to open until 9 February, and notices appeared saying so. On 7 February, Malala and a brother returned to their hometown of Mingora, where the streets were deserted, and there was an eerie silence. We went to the supermarket to buy a gift for our mother but it was closed, whereas earlier it used to remain open till late. Many other shops were also closed, she wrote in her blog. Their home had been robbed and their television was stolen.
After boys' schools reopened, the Taliban lifted restrictions on girls' primary education, where there was co-education. Girls-only schools were still closed. Malala wrote that only 70 pupils attended, out of 700 pupils who were enrolled.
On 15 February, gunshots could be heard in the streets of Mingora, but Malala's father reassured her, saying 'don't be scared, this is firing for peace'. Her father had read in the newspaper that the government and the militants were going to sign a peace deal the next day. Later that night, when the Taliban announced the peace deal on their FM Radio studio, another round of stronger firing started outside. Malala spoke out against the Taliban on the national current affairs show Capital Talk on 18 February. Three days later, local Taliban leader Maulana Fazlulla announced on his FM radio station that he was lifting the ban on women's education, and girls would be allowed to attend school until exams were held on 17 March, but they had to wear burqas.
On 25 February, Malala wrote on her blog that she and her classmates played a lot in class and enjoyed ourselves like we used to before. Attendance at Yousafzai's class was up to 19 of 27 pupils by 1 March, but the Taliban were still active in the area. Shelling continued, and relief goods meant for displaced people were looted. Only two days later, Malala wrote that there was a skirmish between the military and Taliban, and the sounds of mortar shells could be heard, people are again scared that the peace may not last for long. Some people are saying that the peace agreement is not permanent it is just a break in fighting.
On 9 March, Malala wrote about a science paper that she performed well on, and added that the Taliban were no longer searching vehicles as they once did. Her blog ended on 12 March 2009.
After the BBC diary ended, Malala and her father were approached by New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick about filming a documentary. In May, the Pakistan Army moved into the region to regain control during the Second Battle of Swat. Mingora was evacuated and Malala's family was displaced and separated. Her father went to Peshawar to protest and lobby for support, while she was sent into the countryside to live with relatives. I'm really bored because I have no books to read, Malala is filmed saying in the documentary.
That month, after criticizing militants at a press conference, Malala's father received a death threat over the radio by a Taliban commander. Malala was deeply inspired in her activism by her father. That summer, for the first time, she committed to becoming a politician and not a doctor, as she had once aspired to be. I have a new dream. I must be a politician to save this country. There are so many crises in our country. I want to remove these crises.
By early July, refugee camps were filled to capacity. The Prime Minister made a long-awaited announcement saying that it was safe to return to the Swat Valley. The Pakistan Army had pushed the Taliban out of the cities and into the countryside. Malala's family reunited, and on 24 July 2009 they headed home. They made one stop first, to meet with a group of other grassroots activists that had been invited to see United States President Barack Obama's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Malala pleaded with Holbrooke to intervene in the situation, saying, respected ambassador, if you can help us in our education, so please help us. When her family finally did return home, they found it had not been damaged, and her school had sustained only light damage.
Following the documentary, Malal was interviewed on the national Pashto-language station AVT Khyber, the Urdu-language Daily Aaj, and Canada's Toronto Star. She made a second appearance on Capital Talk on 19 August 2009. Her BBC blogging identity was being revealed in articles by December 2009. She also began appearing on television to publicly advocate for female education.
In October 2011, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a South African activist, nominated Malala for the International Children's Peace Prize of the Dutch international children's advocacy group Kids Rights Foundation. She was the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for the award. The announcement said, Malala dared to stand up for her-self and other girls and used national and international media to let the world know girls should also have the right to go to school. The award was won by Michaela Mycroft of South Africa.
Her public profile rose even further when she was awarded Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize two months later in December. On 19 December 2011, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani awarded her the National Peace Award for Youth. At the proceedings in her honor, Malala stated that she was not a member of any political party, but hoped to found a national party of her own to promote education. The prime minister directed the authorities to set up an IT campus in the Swat Degree College for Women at Malala's request, and a secondary school was renamed in her honor.
By 2012, Malala was planning to organize the Malala Education Foundation, which would help poor girls go to school. In July of that year she participated in the national Marxist Summer School, and delivered a message to the 32nd congress of the Pakistani IMT which thanked them for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and Socialism.
As Malala became more recognized, the dangers facing her became more acute. Death threats against her were published in newspapers and slipped under her door. On Facebook, where she was an active user, she began to receive threats and fake profiles were created under her name. When none of this worked, a Taliban spokesman says they were forced to act. In a meeting held in the summer of 2012, Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her.
On 9 October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala as she rode home on a bus after taking an examination. The masked gunman shouted, which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all, and, on her being identified, shot at her. She was hit with one bullet, which went through her head, neck, and ended in her shoulder. Two other girls were also wounded in the shooting, Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, both of whom were stable enough to speak to reporters and provide details of the attack.
After the shooting, Malala was airlifted to a military hospital in Peshawar, where doctors were forced to begin operating after swelling developed in the left portion of her brain, which had been damaged by the bullet when it passed through her head. After a three-hour operation, doctors successfully removed the bullet, which had lodged in her shoulder near her spinal cord.
On 11 October 2012, a panel of Pakistani and British doctors decided to move Yousafzai to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. Mumtaz Khan, a doctor, said that she had a 70% chance of survival. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that Yousafzai would be shifted to Germany, where she could receive the best medical treatment, as soon as she was stable enough to travel. A team of doctors would travel with her, and the government would bear the expenditures of her treatment. Doctors reduced Yousafzai's sedation on 13 October, and she moved all four limbs.
Offers to treat Yousafzai came from around the world. On 15 October, Yousafzai traveled to the United Kingdom for further treatment, approved by both her doctors and family. Her plane landed in Dubai to refuel and then continued to Birmingham, where she was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, one of the specialties of this hospital being the treatment of military personnel injured in conflict.
Malala had come out of her coma by 17 October 2012, was responding well to treatment, and was said to have a good chance of fully recovering without any brain damage. Later updates on 20 and 21 October stated that she was stable, but was still battling an infection. By 8 November, she was photographed sitting up in bed.
On 3 January 2013, Malala was discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in the West Midlands. She had a five-hour operation on 2 February to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing, and was reported in stable condition.
The assassination attempt received worldwide media coverage and produced an outpouring of sympathy and anger. Protests against the shooting were held in several Pakistani cities the day after the attack, and over 2 million people signed the Right to Education campaign's petition, which led to ratification of the first Right to Education Bill in Pakistan.
Malala spoke before the United Nations in July 2013, and met with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace. In September she spoke at Harvard University, and in October she met with U.S. President Barack Obama and his family, during that meeting, she confronted him on his use of drone strikes in Pakistan. In July 2014 Yousafzai spoke at the Girl Summit in London, advocating for rights for girls.
Awards and honours:
Malala Yousafzai received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 20 November 2013
Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the following national and international honours:
2011 National Youth Peace Prize
Sitara-e-Shujaat, Pakistan's third-highest civilian bravery award, October 2012
Foreign Policy magazine top 100 global Thinker, November 2012
2012 Time magazine Person of the Year shortlist
Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, November 2012
Rome Prize for Peace and Humanitarian Action, December 2012
Top Name of 2012 in Annual Survey of Global English, January 2013
Simone de Beauvoir Prize, January 2013
Memminger Freiheitspreis 1525, March 2013, conferred on 7 December 2013 in Oxford
Doughty Street Advocacy award of Index on Censorship, March 2013
Fred and Anne Jarvis Award of the UK National Union of Teachers, March 2013
Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, Global Trailblazer, April 2013
One of Time's 100 Most Influential People In The World, April 2013
Premi Internacional Catalunya Award of Catalonia, May 2013
Annual Award for Development of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), June 2013
International Campaigner of the Year, 2013 Observer Ethical Awards, June 2013
2012 Tipperary International Peace Award, Ireland Tipperary Peace Convention, August 2013
International Children’s Peace Prize, KidsRights, 2013
Portrait of Malala by Jonathan Yeo displayed at National Portrait Gallery, London (2013)
Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International
2013 Clinton Global Citizen Awards from Clinton Foundation
Harvard Foundation’s Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award from Harvard University
2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award – Reach All Women In War
2013 Reflections of Hope Award – Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought – awarded by the European Parliament
2013 honorary Master of Arts degree awarded by the University of Edinburgh
2013 Pride of Britain (October)
2013 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year
2013 GG2 Hammer Award at GG2 Leadership Awards (November)
2013 International Prize for Equality and Non-Discrimination
2014 Nominee for World Children's Prize also known as Children's Nobel Prize
2014 Skoll Global Treasure Award
2014 Honorary Doctor of Civil Law, University of King's College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2014 Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Kailash Satyarthi