9 Things You Need To Know About Malala Yousafzai, The Brave Girl Who Stood Up To The Taliban


Just one year ago, Oct. 9, 2012, two armed Taliban men stopped a bus that 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was riding home from school in Swat, Pakistan, and shot her multiple times in the head and neck.

The event created global shockwaves, bringing incredible attention to the plight of female education and the social pressures against “liberalization” in Pakistan.

Here's what you need to know about this incredibly impressive young woman:

1) She was the youngest nominee (16) for a Nobel Prize ever, and was widely regarded as the favorite for the award. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ended up winning in part for their upcoming efforts in Syria.

2) People in her home town thought she was getting good grades because her father ran the school.

3) She published her memoir this past week on the anniversary of her shooting, titled “I am Malala.” The Pakistani Taliban issued another threat against her life on Monday, and then threatened to terrorize any bookstore that sells the text.

4) Her response to the threats: "I'm never going to give up. They only shot a body but they cannot shoot my dreams."

5) Malala has received multiple awards, including the $65,000 Sakharov Award, the most prestigious Human Rights award in Europe.

6) The day of the assassination attempt, Madonna dedicated the song “Human Nature” to Malala at a concert in LA. Angelina Jolie donated $200,000 to Malalafund.org, and wrote an article explaining the event to her children and answering questions, like "Why did those men think they needed to kill Malala?"

7) After formerly aspiring to be a doctor, now her goals have shifted.

8) Her father is extremely proud of her for following in his activist footsteps, and has encouraged her ever since she started blogging for the BBC at age 11: "I will never put my head into the yoke of slavery," he said.

9) While on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," she addressed how she would react if she were to be confronted by another Taliban hitman.

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If you are as in awe of this young woman and Jon Stewart and I are, check out Malalafund.org to learn more and contribute.

Sources: Wikipedia, CNN, Salon