Activist and Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai Celebrates Oxford degree at Home

Known the world over for her campaign for girls’ education, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has now finished her degree at Oxford University and, like all students, is just looking forward to some sleep and some movies.

With universities in Britain temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Yousafzai posted pictures on social media which showed her celebrating with a cake and balloons, and covered in foam, paint and confetti as per tradition for Oxford students on the last day of their final exams.

“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford,” she said on her Twitter and Instagram feeds.

“I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep.”

Congratulations poured in on social media, including from aid charity Oxfam, which said: “Congratulations, you are an inspiration!”

Hollywood and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has 54 million Instagram followers, said: “Congratulations Malala!! That’s amazing.”

A global symbol of resilience

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
In 2014, Ms Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy.(Reuters/Cornelius Popp)

Ms Yousafzai, now 22, survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, after she was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education.

She had become known as an 11-year-old writing a blog under a pen name for the BBC about living under the rule of the Pakistani Taliban.

A gunman arrived at her school, asking for her by name. He opened fire on her and two classmates on a bus.

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She was airlifted to a hospital, first in Pakistan, and then to an intensive care unit in England for multiple operations.

After recovering, Ms Yousafzai attended school in England, before winning the place at Oxford.

At the age of 17, in 2014, Ms Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy.

Through her Malala Fund, she has also become a global symbol of the resilience of women in the face of repression.

Malala Yousafzai and her family sit around a large cake.
Ms Yousafzai posted pictures on social media showing her celebrating with her family.(Twitter: @Malala)

“Like many of you, the pandemic has changed a lot about my final year of university,” she wrote in a post to graduates in the Malala Fund’s digital newsletter for young women, Assembly, speaking about how her brothers kept interrupting her studies.

“It’s hard not to think about all the moments we’re missing. But we didn’t miss out on the most important thing: our education.”


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