2016 - Malala – the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner
|Malala - the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner
born on July 12, 1997, is only 18, but she has been
fighting for girls' education for years. She has two younger brothers.
Her father ran a local school and education has always been very
important to the family.
|When she was 11,
she started blogging about the Taliban takeover
of her hometown in northwestern Pakistan using the pseudonym of
a heroine in a folk tale. Taliban members follow an extreme version
of their religion. They believe girls should not go to school. So they
banned education for women and destroyed hundreds of schools in
the district. One of them was Malala's.
|Malala spoke about
her desire to go to school and wrote in her blog about her experience
as a girl going to school under the Taliban. She also wrote about the fear she and the other
girls at school felt, about the classrooms that became emptier as frightened girls stayed
away from school, and how girls no longer wore school uniforms because they did not
want to attract the attention of the Taliban. But Malala' s blogger identity did not remain
secret. Radio and TV stations broadcast documentaries about her and her fight for girls'
well-known for her views on education. On October 9, 2012, the Taliban
tried to silence her. Some gunmen boarded her school bus and asked for Malala. No one
answered, but the frightened girls' looks told them who Malala was. One of them shot her
on the left side of her forehead. Malala survived. She was flown to the UK for treatment
at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. During her long recovery she showed
great courage and optimism and became a symbol of the struggle for girls' rights all over
|News of the
Taliban's attack on Malala spread around the world, and she and her
paign for girls' education became internationally famous. She has used her fame to carry
on speaking out for her cause1. On her 16th birthday, she even spoke to the General As-
sembly of the UN in New York: "The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and
opens. They are afraid of women. Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most
powerful weapons." The UN made July 12 Malala Day to support the campaign for the
right of children to get an education.
|In that year, she
also released her book I am Malala, which tells the story of her life be-
fore and after the gunshot that nearly killed her. Her book even inspired a course about the
importance of education for girls at an American university.
|But the greatest
event happened on December 10, 2014, when Malala got the Nobel Peace
Prize and became the youngest winner of this award. She shares it with the Indian activist
Kailash Satyarthi, who also campaigns for children's rights. Malala is now a student in
Birmingham, England. She continues to give a voice to the millions of children around the
world who do not have the opportunity to go to school.
|Adapted from: "Read On" (12/2014), Eilers &
Schünemann Verlag KG, Bremen
|1 cause - Anliegen, Sache