Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan on July 12, 1997.
Welcoming a baby girl is not always cause for celebration in Pakistan — but her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was determined to give her every opportunity a boy would have In the country.
Her father was a teacher and ran a girls’ school in his village. Malala loved school. But everything changed when the Taliban took control of their town in Swat Valley.
The extremists banned many things — like owning a television and playing music — and enforced harsh punishments for those who defied their orders.
The Talibans also said girls could no longer go to school.
In January 2008 when Malala Yousafzai was just 11 years old, she spoke out publicly on behalf of other girls about their right to education. And this made her a target of the Talibans.
So, In October 2012, while on her way home from school, a masked gunman boarded her school bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” He then shot Malala and two other girls in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism; the gunman fled the scene.
Malala was hit in the head with a bullet and remained unconscious and in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but her condition later improved enough for her to be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK. The attempt on her life sparked an international outpouring of support for her.
Luckily, Malala survived the attack. She woke up 10 days later in England, where the doctors and nurses told her about the attack — and that people around the world were praying for her recovery.
In her BIOGRAPHY, she wrote;
“After months of surgeries and rehabilitation, I joined my family in our new home in the U.K. It was then I knew I had a choice: I could live a quiet life or I could make the most of this new life I had been given.
“I determined to continue my fight until every girl could go to school. With my father, who has always been my ally and inspiration, I established Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses.
“In recognition of our work, I received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 and became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate. I began studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. And every day I fight to ensure all girls receive 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
“I travel to many countries to meet girls fighting poverty, wars, child marriage and gender discrimination to go to school. Malala Fund is working so that their stories, like mine, can be heard around the world.
“We invest in developing country educators and activists, like my father, through Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network. And we hold leaders accountable for their promises to girls.”