Malala was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, a town in the Swat District of northwest Pakistan. Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai was a learned man and advocated education for the girl child. In 2009, as the Taliban’s military hold on Swat intensified, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC Urdu service under a pseudonym, about fears that her school would be attacked and the increasing military activity in Swat.
On 9 October 2012, as Malala and her friends were traveling home from school, Malala was shot with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. The Taliban's attempt to kill Malala received worldwide condemnation and led to protests across Pakistan.
Malala became a global advocate for the millions of girls being denied a formal education. In 2013, Malala and Ziauddin co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls' education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change. Malala accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December 2014 and contributed her $1.1 million prize money to financing the creation of a secondary school for girls in Pakistan.
Here are the three life lessons that we must all learn from Malala:
1. Stay strong and stand for yourself:
Despite being in a state of constant danger, Malala braved all odds to acquire education at the young age of eleven. She resisted the status quo and took a stand for herself and did what she felt was right. She spoke up, against the Taliban rule as she anonymously started her own BBC blog. She inspired people to see the wrongs and the injustices that went along with this oppressive rule and faced resistant terrorist organizations just because she firmly believed in herself.
2. The art of persuasion and conviction:
Malala could convince the world that oppression was being inflicted on her and she could win the support of the world for her cause. She could only do that, as she had mastered the art of persuasion. She found that her life, her struggles, and her sacrifice made the most effective story and hence, she worked on herself to make it known.
3. Be yourself
This life lesson may be something that you have read everywhere: Be yourself. But this is indeed the most effective and the most authentic way of communicating. She shares instances from her life—some lighthearted, like how she loves to tease her brothers and her obsession with arm wrestling, and some poignant, like her concern for her homeland and her insecurities about being a teenager. She is unapologetically herself, and that makes her look authentic and genuine.
Malala is truly an inspiration for all the girls across the globe, as she not only did she take a stand for herself but consequently, she took a stand for all the girls and the boys who could not attain education due to the many wrongs and injustices inflicted by terrorists on common people. She is a beacon of hope in a wronged world and we sincerely hope that her cause becomes a reality soon.
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