10 Fast Facts About Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who first gained international attention for being shot in the head and nearly killed by the Taliban, has won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. As the global spokesperson for girls’ education, Malala has relentlessly advocated on behalf of her cause, continuing to speak out (despite increased Taliban threats) and even traveling to the United States to meet President Obama (and his family) in 2013. She has co-founded the Malala Fund, which invests in early stage girls’ education initiatives or small organizations in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and Jordan.

Here are 10 other compelling facts about this remarkable Nobel Peace Prize recipient:

1. She’s a minor.
At 17 years old, Malala is is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize since its inception in 1901.

2. She’s been advocating for girls’ education since she was 11.
In 2009, Malala started blogging about living under Taliban rule for the BBC. She later became a national figure in her country, appearing on television as a spokesperson for girls’ education.

3. She was only 15 years old when she was shot by the Taliban.
Malala was aboard a bus in 2012, campaigning for education of girls in Pakistan, when the Taliban reportedly hijacked the bus and singled her out, shooting her in the head and the neck.

4. She addressed the United Nations on her 16th birthday.
Malala spoke of “the right of education of every child” on July 12th, 2013.

5. She has already published a memoir.
In August 2014, “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” was published in the United States and is a #1 seller on Amazon.

6. She was pulled out of class in Birmingham, England to be informed of her award.
She has been living in England since being treated for her gunshot wounds.

7. She originally wanted to be a doctor.
Since her increased visibility, Malala has changed her career focus to politics.

8. Her father used to be a schoolmaster.
Ziauddin Yousafzai ran one of the last schools to defy the Taliban’s orders to not educate girls. He has reportedly encouraged his daughter to be outspoken from a young age.

9. She was just awarded over half a million dollars.
Malala will be splitting the prize money, $1.1 million, with her 60-year-old co-recipient, Kailash Satyarthi, a human rights advocate from India.

10. She’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize nearly two years to the day that she was shot.
Malala was shot on October 9th, 2012. She was reported to be in critical condition and not expected to survive.

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