Household names. Many people are considered household names. Some people should be household names. Of course, opinion comes in when the word should is used, however a household name is someone who has a large amount of press and attention for a reason. Malala Yousafzai is a household name in some places and will perhaps be in more places as time goes on.
Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan on July 12, 1997. She became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate in 2014. Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy and struggle for human rights and education for all people, boys and girls everywhere. She attended a school ran by her family in Swat Valley, Pakistan where the Taliban had banned television, music, girls’ education, and women from shopping among other basic things in life.
In January 2009, with her father’s support, the BBC Urdu website started posting a blog written by Malala. Her entries would be hand-written and given to a reporter who would scan then email them. Artillery fire and fighting were often the background for Malala’s writing. Schools, especially girls-only schools, were closed in her hometown for a time period. Damage from bombings did occur to schools and homes. Schools did reopen and her blog ended in 2009.
Adam B. Ellick, a reporter from the New York Times, approached Malala and her father about filming a documentary. They agreed and the documentary even went with Malala when she had to leave her home when her family was displaced for a time. After the documentary was released Malala made some appearances on television during which she advocated for female education. Death threats came, but so did awards and positive reactions.
On October 9, 2012 a Taliban gunman tried to kill Malala Yousafzai as she rode home from school on a bus. Her shot her. A surgery to remove part of her skull to relieve pressure and other surgeries occurred. Two days later she only had a 70% chance of survival. After a couple of moves her initial recovery moved to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in Birmingham, England. The Pakistani government agreed to pay all costs. Malala and her family then moved to a nearby temporary home.
Worldwide media coverage has produced outrage, sympathy, and more. Pakistani officials ratifying a Right to Education Bill was one accomplishment. Politicians around the world shared their disgusted reactions to this assassination attempt. Celebrities, including Madonna and Angelina Jolie, have shown their support of Malala.
Malala Yousafzai continues to fight for education for all children. Malala Day and her Nobel Prize are two of her awards. Malala Fund opened a school. Her memoir has been published and so has a children’s book. Accolades and accomplishments continue.
Household name or no, Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration! Inspiration can come from anywhere and from someone of any age. Have a bright day!