8 Times We Fell In Love With Malala Yousafzai

​The Pakistan teenager has gone from being shot by the Taliban for going to school to winning the Nobel Peace Prize

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It's been six years since Pakistan-born Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for speaking up for the right of girls to be educated.

Since then, the 19-year-old student has sold 1.8 million copies worldwide of her autobiography I am Malala, been named the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and encouraged 3 million people to sign the Malala Petition, successfully urging the United Nations to recommit to promoting universal primary education around the world. 

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To celebrate her 19th birthday, we look back at the most inspiring moments from the female education activist.

1. The moment she won the Nobel Peace Prize

In 2014, Malala became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner. The prize was awarded jointly to her and Kailash Satyarthi from India 'for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education'. 

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Speaking at the Nobel peace prize ceremony in Oslo, she received a standing ovation at the beginning and end of her speech which focussed on the importance of ensuring education for children around the world. 

She said: 'Why is it that countries which we call strong are so powerful in creating wars but are so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy, but giving books is so hard?

'We are living in the modern age and we believe that nothing is impossible. We have reached the moon 45 years ago and maybe we will soon land on Mars. Then, in this 21st century we must be able to give every child a quality education,' she added.

Malala dedicated the prize money to the Malala Fund, 'to help give girls everywhere a quality education and call on leaders to help girls like me.'

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2. She inspires Emma Watson, and vice versa

To celebrate the release of the 2016 documentary He Named Me Malala, HeForShe campaigner Emma Watson sat down with Malala to discuss the film and her definition of feminism.

During their chat, Malala explained to the actress how she previously found the term feminism to be a 'tricky word', until she watched Watsons' HeForShe speech.

'When I heard [the word feminism] for the first time I heard some negative responses and some positive ones. I hesitated in saying am I feminist or not?

'Then after hearing your speech when you said 'if not now, when?' I decided there's no way and there's nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I'm a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality.' 

3. She #Slayed her A-levels

Despite speaking to world leaders on a weekly basis, Malala has declined hundreds of engagements and interviews over the years to focus on her education at her private girls' school in Birmingham.

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And it's paid off.

Last year, the activist achieved six A*s and four As, much to the pride of her family.

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Despite admitting she'd like to remain in the UK for university, the teenager is still deciding whether to take a place from Oxford University or Stanford university in the US.

4. She's not afraid of standing up to Presidents

For most of us, the thought alone of speaking to a world leader would have us running out the door but for Malala, not only does she face these moments with ease but she isn't scared of telling them exactly what she thinks of their policies.

In 2014, the teen met with President Obama at the White and took the opportunity to ask him to stop ordering drone attacks in Pakistan.

After the meeting she admitted: 'I expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism.'

'Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact,' she added. 

Take that, Obama.

5. She quarrels with her brothers

Despite winning a Nobel Peace Prize, the campaigner can't seem to establish a peaceful relationship with her younger brothers just yet.

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Speaking to an audience during the Nobel Peace Prize Awards at Oslo City Hall she said: 'I am pretty certain that I am also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers.'

'I want there to be peace everywhere, but my brothers and I are still working on that.'

After all, she's only human. 

6. Malala's weapon of choice? Books.

During the 2015 Oslo Education Summit, Malala told world leaders it is imperative they improve international access to education.

Annie Leibovitz's photo of Malala in her school in Birmingham.

A photo posted by Malala Fund (@malalafund) on

'Books are a better investment in our future than bullets. Books, not bullets, will pave the path towards peace and prosperity,' she said.

'My message today is very simple to the leaders: be a child for a moment, dream with no limit, and dream bigger, this is how you can achieve bigger,' she added.

7. She googles her celebrity crushes

In Davis Guggenheim's 2016 documentary, He Named Me Malala, the Nobel Peace Prize winner attempted to shy away from questions about her celebrity crushes.

However, she couldn't help admit she regularly scrolls through Google images of cricketer Shahid Afridi, tennis pro Roger Federer and actor Brad Pitt. 

Much like the rest of us then.

8. She's transforming education for girls around the world

In 2013, the activist created a non-governmental origination called the Malala Fund to raise awareness and funds to work with donors and other organizations to successfully establish education opportunities for girls around the world. 

The grant went towards educating a group of 40 girls in her hometown of Swat, Pakistan and has since united with the UN to set up educational programmes for girls in Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Happy birthday, Malala! 

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