NEWS

Malala Yousafzai, A Prominent Girls’ Education Right Advocate, Begins Studies At Oxford

Date October 18, 2017

Malala Yousafzai, a 20-year-old Pakistani activist, who was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls’ right for education, attended her matriculation ceremony at the University of Oxford last week.

This young girl, who is also the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has suffered enough in order to be able to avail herself this seemingly inalienable right.  

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Wearing a subfusc, a black academic dress, used in Oxford for all formal ceremonies, she walked towards the Sheldonian Theatre to undergo an official process of matriculation.

A little bit earlier, she tweeted a picture of her laptop and books, writing:

5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls' education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford.

Malala was formally accepted to Lady Margaret Hall in August, which happens to be the same Oxford college Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan, attended in the 1970s.

This summer, the girl was very excited to find out that she had received three As in her A-levels, which allowed her to take up Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. On Twitter, she shared her joy with her followers:

So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students - the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead.

Later, she revealed that after she had been invited to Lady Margaret Hall for an interview, she was very nervous, adding that “it was the hardest interview of her life.”

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It took Malala a long road, great effort, and a lot of sufferings to come to a place where she is right now. Ms. Yousafzai became a famous advocate for girls’ right to education long before she arrived in Britain. In 2009, she appeared in a New York Times documentary about the Taliban edict, forbidding girls from attending school. Using a pen name, she was writing a blog on BBC about life in Swat Valley, an area in Pakistan, largely controlled by the Taliban, where she was from. In 2011, she was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, which was later renamed the National Malala Peace Prize.

Sadly, that made her a target when in 2012, a Taliban gunman appeared on her school bus, asked her by the name, and shot her in the head and neck.

Severely injured and fighting for life, Malala was transferred to Great Britain for medical treatment and reconstructive surgery. Later, her family also relocated, and they settled in Birmingham, England.

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In 2014, Ms. Yousafzai was awarded the joint the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, for “her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

She also founded the Malala Fund, an organization advocating for girls’ education worldwide. This year, Ms. Yousafzai has become the youngest United Nations messenger of peace with a special focus on girls’ education. When she was giving her acceptance speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York, she said:

If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now and not wait for anyone else.

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Thankfully, now she is safe and couldn’t avoid being nervous before starting college, just like any usual girl. Last month, among pictures of her from the UN General Assembly and the offices of the US senators, Malala wrote an anxious tweet about not knowing what to pack for college! She asked her followers to give her a bit of advice, adding hashtag #HelpMalalaPack:

Packing for university. Any tips? Advice? Dos and dont’s?

Malala was first confused with some people saying to pack less, others saying to overpack. But later, she received a lot of replies, advising her to get a mattress pad, healthy snacks, and flip flops for the shower, which she found useful.

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Ms. Yousafzai is determined to get a good education and has previously voiced an ambition to return to Pakistan to become a politician.

Now, with an Oxford’s PPE course, which has been known as a springboard for political careers in Britain, including even David Cameron, the former British PM, this dream might soon come true.

We wish you good luck, Malala! You deserve all the best!

Education