Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 20 April |
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Malala survives being shot in the head by the Taliban to attend Oxford


DFID | CC BY 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/10/17

The 20-year old advocate of girls' education attended her first lecture today.

Five years after being shot in the head by the Taliban, 20-year-old Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai attended her first lecture at Oxford University.

Today Malala, who is studying philosophy, politics and economics at Lady Margaret Hall college at Oxford, tweeted, “Five years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls’ education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford.”

The fact that Malala is studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the world is a testament to her incredible bravery and persistence. The odds were stacked against her from the beginning, as the Taliban’s regime forbade the education of girls. Not only did she succeed in spite of that by actively defying the Taliban’s ban, she survived an attempt on her life for her advocacy.

At age 11, Malala wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC chronicling her life under the Taliban regime. After a New York Times documentary on her life aired the following year, she became well known as an advocate for education rights and as an opponent of the Taliban’s ban on girls education.

On October 9, 2012, 14-year-old Malala was targeted by Taliban extremists who shot her on a school bus in Pakistan in 2012. Despite being shot in the head, she survived to go on become the world’s most well-known advocate for girls’ literacy and education.

With her father, she founded the Malala Fund to further her cause, and in 2014 she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. After finishing school in July, she was accepted at Oxford.  Throughout it all she traveled around the world pursuing her cause.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.