Malala Yousafzai Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

by Sarah Thomasson

If you haven’t already heard, last week 17-year-old Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

You go girl!

For the majority of her life, Malala has been advocating for education of girls. She has expressed that she believes that with a more educated world, it will become a better place.

Malala grew up in the Taliban-occupied Swat Valley, where her father started a school for girls. The school was overtaken by the Taliban in 2004. Malala and a lot of girls continued to attend school through the occupation and this is where Malala ran into trouble. One day in 2012, Malala was shot in the head on her way to school. The story goes that the Taliban stopped the van carrying girls to school and asked “which one of you is Malala?” She immediately identified herself. 

Since her recovery, Malala has been based in the UK for safety reasons. Recently, six Pakistani men were arrested for trying to kill her. This has not stopped Malala though. A favorite quote of mine, from when she was on The Daily Show, is, “If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others, but through peace and through dialogue and through education.” 

Malala also made history when she was the youngest person to speak on the UN floor at the Youth Assembly, where she advocated for education for all.

Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian advocate for children’s rights. Satyarthi has been an activist for over 30 years and has helped protect about 80,000 kids from unfair labor.

You can watch Malala’s acceptance speech below.

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