Nobel laureate Malala returns to Pakistan home

02 April, 2018, 11:19 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan: From struggling for an education to youngest Nobel peace prize winner

Yousafzai returned to her hometown for the first time in nearly six years after leaving her home country following a Taliban attack in which she was shot in the head for defending the right of girls to be educated.

After the Pakistani army drove out the Taliban in mid-2009 she became a symbol for girls' education through a blog she wrote for the BBC's Urdu service, which started while the Taliban were still in power, and a documentary "Class Dismissed", that profiled her.

Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai consoled the teary eyed 20-year-old Saturday morning upon her arrival at the home.

Yousafzai and her family arrived in a helicopter provided by the Pakistani military, which took her to the town of Mingora in the Swat Valley from Islamabad.

In an interview to Geo TV, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize victor and education activist said that she planned on a permanent return to Pakistan after completing her education.

Yousafzai won worldwide renown after she was shot by the Taliban in Mingora.

In 2014, Malala became the youngest Nobel laureate, honored for her work with the Malala Foundation, a charity she set up to support education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

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Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai has visited her hometown in Pakistan for the first time since she was shot by Taliban militants in 2012.

It had been uncertain whether she would be able to visit Swat, a scenic mountain region parts of which spent almost two years under the control of Pakistani Taliban militants, due to continued concerns for her safety.

Two security officials said the trip to Swat would likely be just for one day.

She was returning to Islamabad on March 31 following her visit to her hometown. But she told me that I had won the Peace Prize.

Malala also took to Twitter and declared her native Swat town "most handsome place on earth" to her. In the past five years I had always dreamt of stepping foot in my country, Malala said as she slightly broke down speaking about her return.

Barkat Ali, 66, says he remembers holding Malala in his lap when she was a child in Mingora.

"What I want is for people to support my objective of education and think about the daughters of Pakistan who need an education", she told Pakistan's The News in comments published on Saturday.

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Since her attack and recovery, Yousafzai has led the Malala Fund in which she said has invested $6 million for schools and books and uniforms for schoolchildren.

For Pakistan, the safety and security of Malala during her stay remains as the top priority, for which, strict security measures are being ensured while her schedule of engagements and travels, are being kept in secrecy.

She vowed to return upon completion of her education overseas.

"I left Swat with my eyes closed and now return with my eyes open", she told AFP, remembering her memory of how she was airlifted out in a state of comma after the Taliban attack.

However she has also been met with pockets of intense criticism.

Not far away from Mingora and the Swat Cadet College Guli Bagh, is Khpal Kor Model School, a school built by Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Prize money.

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