Her Story: Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997. Her early childhood growing up in Mingora, Pakistanis with her parents and two younger brothers was happy and peaceful. Her father was a teacher who ran several schools. Malala was a bright student that loved school and learning. She learned three different languages including Pashto, English, and Urdu. Her parents encouraged her and taught her to believe that she could accomplish anything she wanted to. 

Before Malala was even a teenager she became a strong and steady advocate for girls’ education when she began blogging for the BBC about life under Taliban rule. She wrote under the pen name “Gul Makai”, a heroine from a Pashtun folktale. The blog was called Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl.

Her blog was very well received and she soon became famous. Malala began to speak publicly about the treatment of the Taliban and the restrictions placed education for females. The Taliban were not happy with Malala and issued multiple death threats against her. She refused to be silenced.

On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala in the head when she was traveling home from school, she was just 15 years old at the time. She miraculously survived the attack. On her sixteenth birthday, in 2013, Malala gave a speech to the United Nations, she spoke about wanting access to education for all girls in all nations. She didn’t want revenge against the Taliban, she just wanted peace and opportunity for all. 

She went on to publish her first book, I Am Malala, which quickly became a best seller. In 2014, at age 17, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest Nobel laureate in history.

Malala has used her high public profile to bring attention to human rights issues around the world. In July 2015, she opened a girls’ school in Lebanon for refugees from the Syrian Civil War, with the support of the Malala Fund. Malala Yousafzai has endured violence, racism, and sexism. She bravely stared down fear and death, with an unwavering voice she changed the world. 

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?” 

-Malala Yousafzai

Link to Learn:

KidsKonnect: Malala

Malala Yousafzai Book Review

Where Did #Muslimwomensday Start and Why? Right Here: Muslim Girl

About The Author


Mother, Photographer, Wisecracker.... not necessarily in that order.

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