Malala Yousafzai

by Isabel Choi from San Diego, California in United States

124857Malala Yousafzaitarget center.comOn October 9, 2012, a sixteen year old educational rights activist named Malala Yousafzai, was shot in the head by a religious group called the Taliban (“Malala Yousafzai”). Many girls who attend school on a daily basis do so without realizing that it is a privilege. Malala’s situation was extraordinary because she was putting her life at risk everyday she was going to school.  Malala was born on July 12, 1997 and grew up in the Swat Valley of Pakistan which is located in Migora. Malala’s childhood was peaceful up until the Taliban began seizing control of where she lived, which changed Malala's entire perspective on life. Everyday that Malala would get up for school she was terrified that the Taliban would kill her and her family if they left their house (“Malala Yousafzai”). However, despite Malala’s fears she continued to attend school becoming even more determined to fight for women's educational rights. Malala's father who was an educator at her school, and her mom, would encourage Malala to stand up for what was right and to put her fears aside. Malala was shot in the head on the bus ride back from school because she fought for her education. This horrible incident completely shaped Malala’s life forever. She survived and became even more committed to fight back. Malala rose as an inspirational hero and as a voice for girls all around the world who were in need for an education  ( “Malala Yousafzai Challenges Taliban on Education and Women's Rights in Pakistan” ). A true hero is fearless and empathetic for what they believe in. Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration because of her fearlessness and passion to fight for girls educational rights despite the Taliban’s oppressive rules and dangerous practices against activists.

124699Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize 2014pakistanshining.comMalala Yousafzai demonstrates an abundant amount of passion when fighting for women's educational rights and fearless to rise as a powerful voice for young girls. She used her passion to start a campaign and to travel around the world to advocate for educational rights. At the age of eleven,  Malala realized that the right of having an education was an incredibly important political issue. Perseverance guided Malala into having such passion for making a positive impact on helping people receive a proper education: “Yousafzai continued her campaign for education, equality, and peace for all children everywhere. From her home in Birmingham, England, Malala has traveled to meet notable people, ranging from heads of state to Hollywood celebrities. She has crusaded tirelessly for girls' education as she herself attends school every day.” ( “Malala Yousafzai Challenges Taliban on Education and Women's Rights in Pakistan).  Malala is presented as someone who retains an exceeding amount of desire and passion. With the help of her father Ziauddin, Malala was able to co-found the Malala fund after she survived the Taliban's attempt to assassinate her (Malala Fund). Malala was eager and made ambitious moves to make a tremendous effect on children's educational rights. She didn't just say that she wanted to help girls get an education, she went beyond that and started a fund to make a huge impact on this situation. Despite Malala’s young age and the fact that she attended school everyday, Malala was completely opposed to acting passively for peace and equality. Her strong passion is recognized through her determination and helpfulness to give children a chance to stand up for themselves and get an education. Additionally, Malala was an inspiration because of how she rose as an influential voice to all people which shows how much compassion she had. She states in her book: “‘Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”(“Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”). Malala’s passion to advocate for educational rights was also illustrated through her own book titled “I Am Malala” . She emphasized that we can all make a change in our world by having an education. All of Malala’s efforts to help children receive an education was recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize committee which lead to Malala receiving the Nobel Peace Prize award in October 2017. Malala was declared the youngest person to ever receive this award because of her courageousness and perseverance.  (“Malala Yousafzai" Gale Student Resources in Context). Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a spectacular honor and someone who receives this has accomplished the most good for all nations (“Alfred Nobel's Will”). Malala’s great passion toward educational rights and sharing her inspiring story is what developed her into becoming such an important heroic figure.

124713Malala helping girls recieve an education through the Malala Fund.twitter.comMalala Yousafzai became an important figure because of her fearlessness through her devotion to fight for educational rights despite the Taliban's oppressive rules. As a sixteen year old girl at the time, Malala Yousafzai was not an adult so she had plenty of fears within her that caused her to be frightened to speak up for what she believed in. However, Malala’s extraordinary amount of fearlessness allowed her to continue and fight for what she knew was right. She did not do this for the attention but because she knew in her heart that was the right action. “Yousafzai's father kept a school for girls open long after the order was given to close them. Yousafzai was terrified but spoke out against the restrictions. She began writing a blog for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym, Gul Makai, in 2009. Yousafzai, who spoke and wrote perfect English, described her fears, including her concerns that her school would be forced to close or she might be killed on the way home from school” (“Malala Yousafzai”). Regardless of Malala's fears regarding to the Taliban’s corrupt rules, she set them aside by deciding to focus on what the world truly needs. She started a blog and wrote a book to share her story about her experience fighting for her education and to make a difference in educational rights. Although Malala at the time had so much fear building and collecting inside her, she decided that being afraid does not lead to a favorable life and realized that being shot for fighting for her rights made her stronger and more fearless. Malala continued to speak out against the restrictions through her blog. She was strong enough to put her fears aside and focus on what is truly important to her. Furthermore, Malala and her family received many death threats, which caused a lot of fear and she became skeptical to continue and fight for educational rights. Instead of Malala living a life hiding from standing up for her beliefs, she stayed devoted to being a voice for all young girls in need of an education: “Yousafzai's father, who operated the school that his daughter attended, received death threats from the Taliban, and the family temporarily lived in a refugee camp.  Despite these dangers, Yousafzai remained committed to spreading her message to anyone who would listen (Student Resources in Context, “Malala Yousafzai”). She decided to ignore death threats that she received and instead focus on spreading her story around the world and her message. Malala was so determined to fight for what she believed in that she was not afraid of standing up for her and others right anymore. Although Malala had a near death experience this did not discourage her to continue to fight. Just weeks after Malala was shot she immediately asked for her school book so she could continue receiving the education that she deserved. (“Malala Yousafzai”) It really takes courage for someone to do that. Any other person would have so much fear of getting injured again that they would become discouraged to continue fighting for what they believe in. Malala however, did not lose her confidence to continue and demand for her educational right. Fearlessness is what forms a true hero and because Malala was fearless when fighting for what she believed in, she is known to people as a heroic figure.

Malala Yousafzai shared her beautiful story and how her fearlessness and passion to strive to fight for educational rights despite the Taliban’s oppressive rules shaped her as an inspiring role model to all .“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back” ( “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” ). Malala, as a sixteen year old went through many struggles in her life shaping her into becoming a better person who is incredibly passionate about their work. When the incident occurred where Malala was shot, she did not let that experience change her life in a horrible way but instead it made her stronger and her voice more powerful. She became incredibly passionate about sharing her message to the world about girls’ education and she was fearless when wanting to stand up as a voice for all girls. Both of these traits is what shaped Malala Yousafzai into becoming such an inspiration and someone whom I admire greatly. Malala Yousafzai inspires me to become a better person by making me feel capable of accomplishing anything.  I can relate to Malala in many ways because I am also very young and I agree with her point of view on how education regardless of your gender is something that is important. Once I heard this story about Malala, it reminded me of my own grandmother who had to give up pursuing an education because their family was going to immigrate to Brazil and she had to work to help support her family. My grandmother could have lived a much more fulfilling life than now if she had the opportunity to continue with school and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Without an education it is hard for someone to become successful in life. It’s important for all kids to receive an education so that they are prepared for the future and the world ahead of them. Malala’s passion and fearlessness to share her message around the world led her to becoming one of the world's most inspirational heroic figures even at the age of sixteen. She set her mind to fighting for what she believed in and continued to devote herself to this issue until she was satisfied that she made a difference by helping girls receive an education.

Works Cited 

"Malala Yousafzai." Gale Biography in Context, Gale, 2012. Biography In Context, Accessed 8 May 2018.

"Malala Yousafzai Challenges Taliban on Education and Women's Rights in Pakistan, October 9,

2012." Historic World Events, Gale, 2015. Student

Resources In Context, a1. Accessed 8 May 2018.

Fund, Malala. “Learning for 12 Years. Leading without Fear.” The Malala Fund,

“Alfred Nobel's Will.”,

Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: the Girl Who Stood up for Education and

Was Shot by the Taliban

"Malala Yousafzai." Gale Student Resources in Context, Gale, 2017. Student Resources In Context,

df0ee. Accessed 23 May 2018.

"Malala Yousafzai." Newsmakers, vol. 3, Gale, 2013. Student Resources In Context,

. Accessed 23 May 2018.

Page created on 5/22/2018 4:33:26 PM

Last edited 5/25/2018 3:43:02 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Malala Yousafzai Biography Children's Activist, Women's Rights Activist, Activist (1997–) - The life story of Malala is shown through this website and her inspirational story through helping children receive an education.
Malala Yousafzai PAKISTANI ACTIVIST - Explains many awards that Malala has received and how she was determined to fight for what she believed in. Her great passion and fearlessness was shown through this website.
Malala Yousafzai: ‘The Day I Woke Up in the Hospital’ - Malala Yousafzai explains her experience of her waking up and how she felt in the hospital. her inspiring story was illustrated in this website.

Extra Info

Malala Yousafzai herself wrote a book about her inspiring story and how she was determined to make an impact on girls educational rights. She titled the book " I am Malala" and she shares how it was difficult for her to fight for children's educational rights but she continued to stay committed and devoted. 

Here is a website that has a brief overview of Malala's memoir.