By Sophie Condron
Tuesday, October 13th, 2014
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for education and girls’ rights, was shot in the head in October 2012 and miraculously survived. Since then, she has become an international public figure and has won many awards. Malala serves as a model of peace, hope, and bravery.
Malala, quoted by the Huffington Post UK, said, “If I win the Nobel Peace Prize, it would be a great opportunity for me, but if I don’t get it, it’s not important because my goal is to get peace and my goal is to see education of every child.”
On Friday October 10th, 2014, Malala Yousafzai, in recognition for her perseverance and bravery, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 17, she is the youngest person to receive this award. Malala has been an advocate for girls’ rights and education since she was eleven years old.
Two years and one day before Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, she was shot in the head by the Taliban because she was advocating for girls’ rights and education. Some of her friends were shot as well, though none were injured as severely as she was.
She was riding home from school when the bus was stopped and boarded by a gunman. He shot both Malala and her friends. Surgeons operated on Malala in Pakistan before she was flown to Birmingham, England where they performed another operation to place a titanium plate to fix her cracked skull. Luckily, she had no brain damage from the injury, and she kept the skull piece removed during surgery to remind her of her courage.
Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist, shares the prize with Malala. He received the prize for his efforts to end childhood slavery and childhood labor.
The Nobel Prize has been awarded annually since the first award in 1901. Several Nobel Prizes are awarded for different categories: literature, physics, peace, mathematics, physiology, chemistry, medicine, and economics (added in 1969). Malala is the recipient of the 95th Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite the tragedies in Malala’s life, she continues to advocate for girls’ rights and education. In July 2013, Malala, quoted from CNN, told the United Nations:
Dear friends, on the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too, they thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed. And then, out of that silence came, thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.