Birmingham, Oct 11: Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest Nobel Prize winner, celebrated the peace prize with her classmates at Edgbaston High School for girls in Birmingham, the city in central England that she now calls home.
The Pakistani girl, who was shot by the Taliban for daring to want an education just like the boys, had traveled to Birmingham for medical treatment. She was shot while returning home from school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley two years ago.
Addressing a press conference at Birmingham’s Library, she said: “This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,” adding “I speak for them and I stand up with them. And I join them in their campaign.”
She said it was an honor for her to share the prize with Kailash Satyarthi of India, 60, who has spent a lifetime working against child slavery and exploitation.
She also invited the prime ministers of both India and Pakistan to attend the Nobel awards ceremony.
Malala’s case won worldwide recognition, and the teen, now 17, became a symbol for the struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan.
With British journalist Christina Lamb, she co-authored a memoir, “I am Malala,” which revealed to the world that she was, in fact, also a regular teenager.
There’s a part of her that loves the TV show “Ugly Betty,” whose main character works at a fashion magazine. She likes pop star Justin Bieber, watches the television cooking show “Master Chef.”
And on Friday, the people who helped her on the journey – and those just touched by her story along the way – couldn’t help but be swept up by the magic of it all.
Malala, who remains determined to return to Pakistan one day and enter politics, said the joint prize gives a message that the people of both countries – and people who are Hindu and Muslim – can work together.
(With AP Inputs)