A visibly happy, now 20-year-old Malala Yousafzai landed back in her homeland late Wednesday night after 6 long years, which saw her rise to fame from a little-known village girl who blogged about injustices in Pakistan to a world-renown feminist icon and education activist.
In six years, life has taken a complete U-turn for Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan. From a teenage blogger and activist, who was shot by Taliban for promoting the cause of girls’ education, but survived the fatal assassination to become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014, the 20-year-old has seen several ups and downs in her life. Now, a resident of Great Britain, Malala on Wednesday returned to her “motherland” after a gap of six years when a heavily injured teenager was airlifted from the country to save her life from bullet injuries.
Yousafzai, who survived a failed assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen back on October 9, 2012, when she was 15 years old and returning from school, was wearing her traditional Pakistani attire and received a warm welcome on her arrival.
Malala was all of 14 — but already known for her activism — when Taliban gunmen shot her in the head in October 2012 for actively supporting girls’ right to education.
The Taliban gunman boarded the school van she was in and demanded to know who was Malala. Upon identifying her, they shot at her. Malala was flown to Rawalpindi in critical condition before being airlifted to Birmingham in Britain. Two of her classmates were also injured.
Now a 20-year-old university student, Malala on Pakistan Day (March 23) tweeted, “I cherish fond memories of home, of playing cricket on rooftops and singing the national anthem in school. Happy Pakistan Day!”
Despite the fact that her flight arrived in Islamabad some 90 minutes past midnight, the Pakistani Twitterati were awake and celebrated the Pakistani Nobel laureate’s return.
Welcome home baby girl @Malala !
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) March 29, 2018
— Kamila Shamsie (@kamilashamsie) March 28, 2018
— Rehman Wazir (@RehmanWazir_) March 28, 2018