The Inspiring Story of Malala Yosafzai


For most of us the fire of idealism has long been doused by the struggles of daily life. In the continuous tradeoff between “practicality” and principle the former wins every time! Principle has largely been relegated to armchair discussions. Philosophy is fast becoming a dirty word and doing what is right is so rare that its an exception. Amidst all this gloom the exceptional courage of a young girl from  the small town of Mingora in the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan serves to inspire and shock us out of our respective inertia, defeatism, indifference, the habit of making easy compromises to protect income and position… and just plain cowardice. What Malala has experienced….achieved at age 16 is the ultimate vindication of the extremely traumatic and tortuous journey from selfishness to selflessness.



Malala, at age 11, began to catch the unfavourable attention of the Taliban in the Swat Valley. Not because she aped the West or made a spectacle of herself in any way. She was just a precocious, energetic little girl who believed in the importance of education, especially for women. At a time when the Taliban issued stern warnings to schools for girls to shut down and for the girls themselves to stay home and... indeed acted on their threats by killings and bombings, Malala and her friends continued to attend school. She spoke up bravely and even appeared on national TV. She was clearly marked for death by the Taliban… and yet… insisted on going to school. On Oct 9 2012 as she was returning home from school her school van was halted by 2 Taliban gunmen; they demanded to know “Who is Malala”. As soon as she was identified Malala was shot in the head. After being airlifted first to Peshawar, then to Islamabad and thence a few days later to Birmingham, UK, Malala made a miraculous recovery, defying not just the Taliban but also certain death. Today she is a global icon of the courage of conviction that education is fundamental to empowerment, especially for women. Proof that idealism is the stuff of legend…and all human progress!


Don’t be surprised if Malala Yousafzai is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 (she’s already one of the nominees) on 11 October 2013; if she’s conferred with the Prize, she’ll be the youngest by far…all of 16 years old! A true role model!


Malala Yousafzai : read more about this inspiring young girl at


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