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 lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.She affectionately referred to the region as “my Swat.”
Yousafzai was shaped in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School, also named after a famous Pashtun poet, Khushal Khan Khattak.Once, after Yousafzai stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, her father encouraged her to become a politician instead.It has also been indicated that she may have wanted to be a pilot.Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.
Yousafzai apparently started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008. Her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club. “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” Yousafzai told her audience in a speech that was covered by newspapers and television channels, throughout the region.