Malala Yousufzai, a 23-year-old woman, is known for standing up for the rights of women and their rights to education. She was just 15 years old when her life had changed forever, just by one bullet.
The Taliban, people who were against the freedom of girls, ruled Pakistan from 1996 to 2001. Malala was born on 12th July 1997. Her father was a teacher of Khushal School in Pakistan, which was a girls school. However, everything changed when the Taliban took control of their village. In January 2008, Malala had to say goodbye to her classmates, not knowing if she would ever meet them again. The Taliban had banned many things like listening to music or girls going to school but Malala believed that girls should also be allowed to go to school so she had spoken publicly on behalf of all the girls and showed that they had a right to education. However, that action had made her a target.
In October 2012, Malala was on her way home from school when a masked man carrying a gun had entered the school bus. He has asked the students who was Malala? But no one said anything. He told them to speak up otherwise he would shoot them all. Instead, the students looked her way, making it obvious and easier for the masked man, presumably a Taliban. He pointed his gun towards her and shot her three times, one on the left side of her head, and two other girls had been shot but were stable enough. Malala, who was in critical condition being shot in the head, was carried to a military hospital in Peshawar. On 15th October, Malala was finally moved to the UK for further treatment.
She was treated in Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital and was in coma for 3 days before she woke up. The first thing she said was asking where her father was. She had some surgeries for her face. In December 2014, she became the youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She had decided to live her life in the UK. Now she still stands up for the education of girls and has helped many who do not have the opportunity to go to school.
Written by Amtul Basit Sehar
Halqa: Birmingham Central