16 Times Malala Showed The World What Awesome Is
This week sees the release of the documentation of Malala’s amazing, inspiring life so far (she’s only 18!); ‘He Named Me Malala’ and we couldn’t be more excited. She’s already achieved more than most people even dream of in a lifetime. Here are 16 times Malala showed the world who’s boss.
1. Staring down the barrel of a gun to stand up for what she believes in.
Malala is probably one of the bravest teens out there. After speaking out against the Taliban, a fundamentalist group which restricts the rights of girls to be educated, Malala was shot in the head on her school bus at just 15 years old. The bullet went through her head, neck and shoulder, but she survived.
Her assassination attempt received worldwide condemnation and protests across Pakistan. Over 2 million people signed the Right to Education campaign which helped lead to a new Pakistani education bill. Her shooting and her refusal to stand down from what she believed was right, brought to light the plight of millions of children around the world who are denied an education.
2. Being the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
She shared this with Kailash Satyarthi, for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education
3. Being named after a heroine at birth
“They can only shoot a body, they cannot shoot my dreams.”
Malala was named after the famous Pashtun heroine, Malalai, who rallied local forces in the battle with the British in 1880. And she sure is doing a great job at living up to the title of heroine.
4. Hanging out with the Obama clanThe Pres thanked her for all the work she’s done to campaign for education rights. And Malala showed her kick-ass side by both thanking Obama for his support, but also telling him her concerns about US drone strikes ‘fuelling terrorism’.
5. Facetiming with the Biebs
6. Having the support of a tonne of A-listers
Celebs like Selena Gomez, Orlando Bloom, Seth Rogen, and Jennifer Hudson stepped up to feature in Malala’s ‘We are silent’ campaign last year. Check out the vid.
7. Co-writing her own book about her life – ‘I am Malala’
She even gave the Queen a copy of it when she met her in in 2013.
8. Dropping her dream of becoming a doctor so that she can be a politician
Even before she was shot, Malala was very aware of the importance of political activism. While in a refugee camp in 2009, and inspired by the activism of her father, she committed to becoming a politician and not a doctor, as she had once aspired to be.
9. Setting up her own fund
The Malala Fund brings awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education as well as to empower girls to raise their voices, unlock their potential, and to demand change.
10. Viewing ‘revenge’ to her shooters in the most graceful way possible
“I don’t want revenge on the Taliban, I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban.”
11. Celebrating her birthdays with classThere are no diva birthday moments with Malala. In fact, she uses her birthday to help other people.
Last year she launched #Booksnotbullets, her campaign to get all children free education. Right now almost 60 million kids are unable to go to school, and each year Malala says another $39 billion globally should go toward education. To pay for it, she thinks at least one fifth of a nation’s money should go to education. “[I]f the whole world stopped spending money on the military for just 8 days, we could have the $39 billion still needed to provide 12 years of free, quality education to every child on the planet.”
For her 17th she used her birthday as a day to champion the #bringbackourgirls cause in Nigeria, meeting with the Nigerian President and asking him to help bring back a large group of school girls who had been kidnapped by the fundamentalist group Boko Haram.
And for her 16th birthday she spoke at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York, calling on world leaders to provide free, compulsory education for every child.
12. Being named “One of the most influential people in the world” by Time Magazine
Also two years later she was named one of Time Magazine’s ”The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014”.
13. Meeting the Queen
In 2013 Malala met Queen Liz at Buckingham Palace at a reception for the Commonwealth, youth and education. She was even seen cracking up at a joke made by the Queen’s hub.
14. Giving countless, epic speeches
Her amazing way with words has meant she’s spoken at some of the most prestigious places on the international stage, including the UN and Harvard University.
15. Having an actual day named after her
July 12th every year is named ‘Malala Day’ in her honour. But being her incredibly modest self she has this to say about it. “Malala day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”
16. Because an entire day isn’t a big enough deal, having an Asteroid named after her too
NASA astrophysicist Amy Mainzer discovered asteroid 316201 in June 2010 and named it after Malala to recognise her plight in bringing education to all.
She said, “We desperately need the brainpower of all smart people to solve some of humanity’s most difficult problems, and we can’t afford to reject half the population’s.”
‘He Named Me Malala’ is out on Friday (6th November), you can watch the amazing trailer below.