Malala Yousafzai

2 minute read
Aryn Baker


When she first started blogging in 2009 about the Taliban takeover of her hometown of Mingora, Pakistan, one of the most searing entries detailed how Malala Yousafzai, then 11, could no longer wear her school uniform on the streets, lest she become a target of the extremists who would ban girls’ education. Briefly, the militants prevailed, and for several months her school, along with hundreds of others in the mountainous district of Swat, was closed. “They cannot stop me,” a defiant Malala proclaimed at the time. “I will get my education, if it is in home, school or any place.” When the government regained control, Malala returned to class a relentless campaigner for girls’ right to education. On Oct. 9, 2012, the Taliban tried to silence her with a bullet to the head. She was airlifted to Birmingham, England, for emergency care, becoming in the process a worldwide symbol of education rights. Five months and several surgeries later, Malala is back in a school uniform, albeit the kelly green and navy of Birmingham’s Edgbaston High School for Girls, where she is expected to finish her education. Wearing the uniform makes her proud, says Malala, now 15, “because it proves that I am a student and that I am living my life and learning. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity.” Because of Malala’s courage, they may.

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