October 9 – Malala Survives!

Posted October 9, 2016

Today is the anniversary of a horrific assassination attempt.

When Malala Yousafzai was just 11 years old, she started writing a blog, using a pseudonym (or fake name) to protect her identity.

Why did she need protection?

Young Malala was describing her life under the repressive Taliban, a terrorist group that was trying to control the region of Pakistan where she lived. At times the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. Malala didn't just talk about what was happening in her corner of the world, she gave her own views about those events, and about the importance of education for girls.

Aaannd the Taliban wasn't happy about that. Especially when people began to pay attention to the blog. There was a movie, interviews in print and on TV, even a prize nomination.

On this date in 2012, when Yousafzai was 15 years old, an assassin shot her –in the face! – while she road on her school bus.

We are all so grateful that she somehow survived!

Yousafzai was taken to England for rehabilitation. Although many in the Muslim world condemned the attempt on her life, the Taliban repeated threats that they would kill Yousafzai and her father.

The news of the child assassination attempt became big news all over the world, and some said that Yousafzai became the most famous teenager in the world. Because of her work towards children's rights, particularly girls' rights, some real changes happened in Pakistan – with its first Right to Education Bill now in place – and more efforts towards education rights and girls' rights have started around the world.

Malala Yousafzai has gotten some amazing honors and awards, most notably the 2015 Nobel Peach Prize. At age 17, she was the youngest to have ever earned this prestigious prize!

Yousafzai is now 19 years old. She continues to be a student and an activist. She writes and speaks. There was a U.N. Event called Malala Day, and there is a non-profit organization called Malala Fund; the latter has funded the opening of a school near the Syrian border, especially for Syrian refugees.

Also on this date:

Independence Day in Uganda

Leif Ericson Day

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