The Legacy of Malala Yousafzai
At only 14 years of age, Malala Yousafzai had already become an outspoken activist. In the Taliban-occupied region of Pakistan in which she was living, girls were banned from attending school. Using a pseudonym to shield her identity, she wrote impassioned letters and blog posts advocating for girls’ right to education.
In 2012, when the Taliban identified Malala as the author, a gunman boarded her school bus and shot the teenager in the head. Miraculously, she survived this attempted assassination and by the time she recovered in 2013, her story had been heard globally through the news media.
Rather than be silenced by her brush with death, the courageous 15-year-old continued her vocal campaign. Her 2013 memoir, I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, became an international bestseller. In it, she pleads;
“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
For three consecutive years, (2013, 2014, and 2015) Malala was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people. At 17, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her legacy, rooted in her fearlessness and resilience in the face of terrorism and suppression, continues to inspire countless people around the world.