16-Year-Old Malala Inspires the World
16-Year-Old Malala Inspires the World
  • Park Yoon-soo Women News reporter / Trans by Nam W
  • 승인 2013.10.22 14:54
  • 수정 2013-10-22 20:39
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The world focuses on youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee with a new memoir
Tells Obama to “refocus on education rather than attacks on Taliban”
“Looks up to the former prime minister, Bhutto,” Dream is to be a politician


Malala Yousafzai in an interview with CNN.    ⓒCNN
Malala Yousafzai in an interview with CNN. ⓒCNN


The whole world is focused on a 16-year-old Pakistani girl. She’s one of the most talked-about girl in the media these days: Malala Yousafzai.


Last year, she dramatically survived a Taliban assassination attempt and became a “symbol of girls’ education.” Soon after her memoir, “I Am Malala,” was published, she paid a visit to the US. She addressed the United Nations, met with many high-ranking officials including US President Barack Obama and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and called for attention on girls’ education. She also expressed her dreams “to become the prime minister of Pakistan.” Although she wasn’t awarded, she was the front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize. The whole world is inspired by Malala.


“Honored to have been nominated”


The Nobel Peace Prize, which was announced on the 11th, received more attention than ever thanks to the youngest contender, Malala Yousafzai. Although she didn’t win the prize, she said she was “honored to have been nominated” and that it doesn’t matter if she actually won the prize. The media applauded her for not receiving the award, stating she is “nobler than the Nobel.”


In fact, she already swept major human rights awards this year including Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award and Harvard Foundation’s Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award. In October, she won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the most recognized human rights award in Europe.


Malala released her memoir, “I Am Malala” on the 8th. The book describes the day of the shooting briefly but vividly.


A year ago, when she was 15 years old, Malala was thinking about calculus, chemistry, Justin Bieber songs, and the movie, “Twilight.” Then a gunman boarded the school bus and asked “Who is Malala?” Then he shot her in the head.


The book, written by British journalist Christina Lamb, recounts Malala’s life before and after the moment on October 9, 2012 when the shooting occurred. It reveals a girl who likes the actress Angelina Jolie, US TV show “Ugly Betty,” and cooking show “Masterchef,” worries about her clothes and her hair, but also has had interest in girls’ education since early teen and has an iron determination that comes from experience that is beyond a 16-year-old can handle.


The final part of the book describes the moment she regained consciousness in the hospital. Malala, who had undergone multiple operations, thought “Thank God I’m not dead.”



The cover of “I Am Malala,” her recently published memoir.
The cover of “I Am Malala,” her recently published memoir.


“My dream is to become the prime minister of Pakistan”


During her visit to the US, attending various events, meeting with high-ranking officials, and having interviews with the media, Malala left made many inspiring remarks.


A day before the announcement of the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, she met the Obamas at the White House. There, she didn’t hesitate to criticize US “drone” attacks in Pakistan. She thanked President Obama for the US’ support in education for refugees in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria, but expressed concerns that drone attacks are killing innocent victims and that it could lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. She emphasized that “If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact.”


In an interview with BBC, she urged for peace, stressing that “the best way to solve problems is through dialogue.” She added, however, “That’s not an issue for me, that’s the job of the government, and that’s also the job of America.”


She said one of the people she admires the most was Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female prime minister, and confessed that she wanted to “become the prime minister of Pakistan.” She added, “Before, I wanted to become a doctor, but now I want to join politics because through politics, I can serve my whole country. I can be the doctor of the whole country, helping children get education and improving the quality of education.”

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