Born in 1997 in a small village in Northwest Pakistan. Her father was an educational activist and had his own private schools that he would run. Malala was mostly taught by her father growing up until she went to school. She was very active in the school community and was one of the few to voice their opinions on the Taliban’s views on education and other matters when it pertained to women’s rights. In the face of tyranny, Malala was honest with herself and fought not only for herself but for women across the world that are being oppressed.

In 2009 she wrote her first anonymous blog for the BBC Urdu blog where she would detail her life for a reporter from the BBC and what life was like as a girl in a heavily Taliban-influenced region. She vividly recalls schools being blown up by the Taliban in an effort to curb education, especially for females. When schools were opened again for girls, it was quite dangerous as the military fought the Taliban for control in the region and mortar shells could be heard close by, never knowing when a school would be targeted. Growing with frustration, Malala began giving interviews and started speaking out about the treatment of girls in school. Media around the world clamored to her story and it was seen in many parts of the world.

2012 would prove to be a difficult year. Malala was 15 when she was shot in the head by a Taliban soldier in a targeted shooting. Countries around the world offered to provide medical help to Malala, fortunately, she was able to survive the murder attempt. The attempt on her life pushed her into the media limelight, giving her a platform in which everyone in the world would be able to hear her. She continued to be an advocate for education within Pakistan. The Taliban would not be able to silence her. She has continued to be a strong voice when it comes to human rights throughout the world and has won a number of awards like the Mother Teresa Award, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She has also been honored by Time Magazines as “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World”, and was on the shortlist for 2012 Time Magazines “Person of the Year.” Malala continues to be a strong voice against injustice and infringements on human rights. Even with her life in danger she continued to speak out and influence change. The attempt on her life would have stopped many people from using their voices to bring awareness to atrocities happening around them. A leader is someone that continues to speak out and advocate for change even in the face of adversity. Malala has shown she has the courage, determination, and strength to stand up for what is right.  Malala is a true leader who will not stop until the world is fair, honest, and just.

By Sunny Dhaliwal