MURAD BASRAWI WRITES—Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for women’s education and the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan this past month, six years after she was shot by the Taliban for advocating for women’s education.
Security was tight when Yousafzai and her family arrived at the airport. Yousafzai, who is now studying at Oxford, is staying in Islamabad for four days. She met with Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi in his office, where Yousafzai expressed happiness at returning to her home country: “I still can’t believe that it is actually happening…I have always dreamed of coming back to my country.” The audience in the prime minister’s office applauded her as she expressed her homesickness for Pakistan.
Yousafzai took good use of her stay in Pakistan. First, she visited her childhood home in the Swat Valley as well as the area where she was shot by the Taliban. The visit was an emotional one that ended with Yousafzai Tweeting, “Today is the happiest day of my life.” In addition, a new girl’s school was launched thanks to funding by the Malala Fund, an advocacy organization founded by Yousafzai in 2013 that focuses on women’s education around the world.
Despite Yousafzai’s accomplishments and her difficult experiences, one Twitter user accused her of acting as a propaganda tool for the West.
Nevertheless, Yousafzai has support from Pakistan’s State Minister for Information, Marriyum Aurangzeb. According to Aurangzeb, Yousafzai is “a person who had the guts to stand up against militants, and her coming back to Pakistan is also symbolic that we are winning in our fight against extremism and militancy.” Since being shot, Yousafzai has become an international leader in the fight against extremism, focusing on improving education opportunities for women all across the globe.