Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Mitchell Moskowitz, Reporter

On October 15, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The great honor was bestowed upon the 17 year old for her valiant defense of women’s rights, specifically the right to an education.
Despite being the youngest individual ever awarded the Nobel Peace Price, Malala Yousafzai is already a household name. Known as both a crusader for women’s rights and an outspoken critic of the Taliban, Malala and her efforts were brought to the world’s attention on October 9, 2012. While riding home from school, Malala’s van was opened fire on by Taliban militants. Despite being shot in the head, Malala survived after being airlifted to a nearby military hospital.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, people all over the world erupted in support of Malala and her mission. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Madonna voiced their support for Malala. Former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush even compared her to Holocaust diarist Anne Frank. The UN Special Envoy for Global Education also issued a petition demanding that not only Pakistan, but all nations to ensure women receive equal education. In Pakistan, a group of 50 Islamic clerics issued a fatwā (a ruling of Islamic law) against the Taliban responsible for the attack.
Now, nearly two years later, Malala Yousafzai continues to serve as an activist for female education. “The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions,” Malala explains, “but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.” Undeterred by the Taliban’s threats, Malala has continued to speak out against the oppression of women in the Middle East; her message of freedom continues to resonate throughout all corners of the world. Through standing up to her oppressors, even in the face of certain death, Malala has inspired millions of others to take action in the fight for freedom. In the words, “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”