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Malala wins Nobel Peace Prize

Pakistani youth activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, October 10. She is the youngest Nobel winner in history. Malala shares the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a man from India who has helped lead a movement to end child slavery around the world. Both winners were recognized «for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,» the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday.

A Voice for the Voiceless

Malala Yousafzai has never been ordinary. When she was just 11 years old, she started blogging about the Taliban takeover of her hometown of Mingora, in northwestern Pakistan. Taliban members follow an extreme version of Islam, and believe young girls like Malala should not go to school. Classrooms throughout the Swat district of Pakistan, where Malala was living, were closed for several months. Malala spoke publicly about her desire to go back to school. «All I want is an education,» she told one television broadcaster.

When the Pakistani government regained control, Malala was able to return to class. She continued to blog and speak out about girls' right to education. But on October 9, 2012, the Taliban tried to silence her. A gunman boarded her school bus and shot her on the left side of her forehead. Malala survived, and showed great courage and optimism during her long recovery. During this time, she became a symbol of the struggle for girls’ rights all over the world.

Prize for Peace

Now, Malala has also become an international symbol for peace. The Nobel prize is one of the highest honours in the world. Malala and Satyarthi will split the award of $1.1 million. In 2011, Malala won Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize. Her mission for peace is unstoppable. Nine months after she was shot, she gave a now-famous speech at the United Nations. «They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed,» she said. «And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power, and courage was born.» The Nobel prizes will be presented to the winners on December 10.



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