He Named Me Malala 27.01.17

He Named Me Malala is a 2015 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about then 18-year old Pakistani activist and youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. The film recounts her survival of an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization’s violent opposition to girls’ education in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, and her subsequent life in exile in the UK.

Born in 1997 into a successful family who run a chain of schools in the Swat valley, Malala has spoken out for the rights of girls, in particular the right to education, from an early age. In early 2009, Yousafzai wrote a blog for the BBC Urdu detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley.

The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life. Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.

On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation.

Following her recovery, in July 2013, aged only 16, she spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education. In 2014 she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

Since March 2013, she has been a pupil at the all-girls’ Edgbaston High School in Birmingham. In 2015, she achieved a string of A’s and A*s in her GCSE exams.

Described by Time magazine as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”, she has won numerous high profile national and international prizes in recognition of her advocacy work.


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