WORLD NEWS

8 Reasons Why Malala Yousafzai Is An Inspiration To Us All

FILE - In this file photo taken Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who was shot in the
FILE - In this file photo taken Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban last October for advocating education for girls, speaks about her fight for girls' education on the International Day of the Girl at the World Bank in Washington. Pakistan's army announced Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, that it had arrested 10 militants suspected of involvement in the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala, who won world acclaim after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating gender equality and education for women. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

On Friday, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person -- and the first Pakistani -- ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for daring to seek an education. Since then, the young woman has been wowing the world with her courage, her passion and her dedication to the fight for children’s education and the rights of girls around the world.

There are many reasons why Malala is an inspiration to us all. Below, we have listed just a few of them:

  • 1 The young woman is tremendously brave
    YouTube/NDTV
    As early as 2008, Malala had already begun her fight for education rights. According to the Toronto Star, her father brought her to Peshawar to speak to a local press club in September of that year. “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” she said to the group gathered, adding that she hid her textbooks under her clothes when she walked to school.

    Malala was just 11 at the time.

    Since the failed assassination attempt, terrorists have said that they will “attack” her again if they get the chance; but Malala, who — at the age of 11 also began writing a blog for the BBC, describing her life under Taliban rule — has refused to be intimidated.

    “If I speak truly, I’m a little bit scared of ghosts,” she famously told NDTV in 2013. “But I’m not afraid [of the Taliban]. No, not at all.”
  • 2 She's also tremendously compassionate
    YouTube/Comedy Central
    Malala famously left "The Daily Show"’s Jon Stewart speechless when she told him what she would tell a member of the Taliban if she ever met one face to face.

    She said: “I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well. That’s what I want to tell you. Now do what you want.”
  • 3 She's fighting for every child's right to go to school
    YouTube/United Nations
    Last year, on July 12, when the United Nations declared the teenager’s birthday “Malala Day,” the youngster stood up to address the dignitaries gathered and told them about how she represents the estimated 57 million children around the globe who are not currently going to school.

    “'Malala Day' is not my day,” she said in a speech delivered at the U.N. in New York. “Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”

    “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world,” she said later. “Education is the only solution. Education first.”
  • 4 And she's inspiring millions of others to do the same
    In the weeks after she was shot, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, launched a petition in her
    In the weeks after she was shot, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, launched a petition in her name. The Malala Petition called for the U.N. to recommit to Millennium Development Goal 2, which aims to get every child in school by 2015. The petition eventually got more than 3 million signatures.

    The petition reportedly prompted Pakistan to pass a Right to Education bill, which guarantees free education for all children.
  • 5 Malala advocates for young women everywhere
     “We must help girls fight all the obstacles in their lives, and stand up and speak bravely and overcome the fear they have i
    AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga
    “We must help girls fight all the obstacles in their lives, and stand up and speak bravely and overcome the fear they have in their hearts,” Malala said at a private dinner in August, per Forbes.

    A month before, the young woman had met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, Nigeria, to advocate for the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram.

    At the time, Malala addressed the girls’ captors: “Lay down your weapons. Release your sisters. Release my sisters. Release the daughters of this nation. Let them be free. They have committed no crime."
  • 6 And her organization, Malala Fund, is changing the world
    Malala said at this year's Clinton Global Initiative that <a href="http://www.malala.org/" target="_blank">her fund</a> is <a
    AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon
    Malala said at this year's Clinton Global Initiative that her fund is pledging a $3 million multi-year commitment, in partnership with Echidna Giving, to support education initiatives in developing countries, according to ABC News.

    Also this year, Malala and other team members from her fund helped hundreds of Syrian children refugees cross from their war-torn country into Jordan. Malala and her organization have been advocating for the more than 1 million displaced Syrian refugee children and helping them get access to education.

    (In the photograph above, Malala is pictured chatting with a 16-year-old Syrian refugee during a visit to a refugee camp near the Syrian border, in Mafraq, Jordan, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.)
  • 7 She won’t let haters stand in her way
    She has supporters worldwide, but Malala has also endured her fair share of criticism. 
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She has, for instance, been
    AP Photo/Susan Walsh
    She has supporters worldwide, but Malala has also endured her fair share of criticism.

    She has, for instance, been accused by some of abandoning her own people and becoming a Western mouthpiece. Responding to these accusations, she told the BBC last year: "My father says that education is neither Eastern or Western. Education is education: it's the right of everyone."
  • 8 And her dreams are big and wonderful
    Malala <a href="http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/09/6973/" target="_blank">told CNN's Christiane Amanpour</a> last year
    Malala told CNN's Christiane Amanpour last year that she hopes to one day be the prime minister of Pakistan. "Through politics, I can serve my whole country," she said.

    The youngster is a believer in big dreams. "The important thing is to always ask the world to do some things. But sometimes they cannot be done, so you have to take a stab and you have to do them,” she said in August.

Malala, we applaud you.

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