Malala Yousafzai was born on October 9, 1997, in the Swat Valley of northwestern Pakistan. She is a Pakistani school girl who, with the help of her father, Pakistani education activist Ziauddin Yousafzai, became an outspoken advocate for girls’ education. On October 12, 2012, when she was 15 years old, Taliban gunmen shot Malala in the head while she was riding in a van with her classmates on their way to school. Although she was seriously injured and required over a year of rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, Malala continued to campaign for girls’ education.
In 2013, she published her memoir I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up to the Taliban and Became a Symbol of Hope. The memoir tells her story of growing up in the Swat Valley during Taliban rule and her fight for an education. In 2014, Malala was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and won the 2014 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. In 2015, she received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Peace for her work as an advocate for women’s education and against Taliban violence.