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Early Life

Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 and given her first name, Malala, meaning “grief stricken”, after Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun poetess and warrior woman.Her last name, Yousufzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she […]

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BBC blogger

At the beginning of 2009, Yousafzai had a chance to write for BBC Urdu when her father, Ziauddin, was asked by Abdul Hai Kakkar, a BBC reporter out of Pakistan, if any women at his school would write about life under the Taliban. At the time, Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah were taking over […]

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3 January 2009 BBC blog entry

Malala Yousafzai, 3 January 2009 BBC blog entry On 3 January 2009, Yousafzai’s first entry was posted to the BBC Urdu blog that would later make her famous. She would hand-write notes and then pass them on to a reporter who would scan and e-mail them.The blog captures Yousafzai’s troubled psychological state during the First […]

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Banned from school

After the ban, the Taliban continued to destroy schools in the area. On 19 January, Yousafzai wrote “Five more schools have been destroyed, one of them was near my house. I am quite surprised, because these schools were closed so why did they also need to be destroyed?” But Yousafzai did not stop thinking about […]

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Precarious peace

After boys’ schools reopened, the Taliban lifted restrictions on girls’ primary education, where there was co-education. Girls-only schools were still closed. Yousafzai writes that only 70 pupils out of 700 students who were enrolled attended.On 9 February, Yousafzai’s maid mentioned that the situation in Swat had become “very precarious” and that her husband told her […]

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Girls’ schools reopen

On 25 February, Yousafzai wrote on her blog that she and her classmates “played a lot in class and enjoyed ourselves like we used to before”. Helicopters aren’t appearing as frequently nor discussions about the army and Taliban. But there is still gossip in town about a woman who fell down wearing a traditional burqa, […]

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Refugee

After the BBC diary ended, Yousafzai and her father were approached by New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick about filming a documentary,which is where many details of this time are captured. In May, the Pakistani Army moved into the region to regain control during the Second Battle of Swat. Mingora was evacuated and Yousafzai’s […]

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Political career and activism

Following the documentary, Yousafzai was interviewed on the national Pashto-language station AVT Khyber, the Urdu Aaj Daily, and Canada’s Toronto Star.On 19 August she returned to Capital Talk, where she reiterated her desire to become a politician, naming Benazir Bhutto as an inspiration. She reportedly criticized President Zardari on television, saying “At times I think […]

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My purpose is to serve humanity

In late 2009, Yousafzai’s political career appears to have started. A video dated 22 December 2009 shows Yousafzai entering an assembly room full of children who rise and begin clapping as they see her. She takes her chair at a table onstage where, behind her, a large banner reads District Child Assembly Swat.A UNICEF video […]

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Continued activism

In December 2009 at the latest, Yousafzai began participating in the Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s “Open Minds” project, which brought journalism training and discussions of current affairs to 42 schools in Pakistan. The program also edited their work and put them in touch with local newspapers. Yousafzai’s own success had inspired other young […]

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