By Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi.
Malala Yusufzai, the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was at school in Birmingham when she was told of the announcement in Oslo, but she did not take a break and continued with her usual school day.
Malala, 17, is a student of the Edgbaston High School, where she enrolled after recovering from the serious head injury she suffered after being shot at by the Taliban in Pakistan.
She was admitted to the Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
One of the most known education activists, Malala has said that she would never miss a single day in school, unless it was for something that could bring about change.
Asked if receiving many invitations at events affected her studies at school,sShe told The Guardian earlier this year: “I will only miss school for an engagement if it is going to bring real change. That is the question I have to ask myself with each request and if the answer is yes, I say, ‘OK, I will sacrifice one day of my school for the education of millions of children who are out of school.'”
Malala lives in Birmingham with her parents, insisting on retaining her Pashtun dress and identity in a western atmosphere. Her mother found it difficult to adjust to life in Britain, she told the BBC.
“It was difficult to adjust to this new culture and this new society, especially for my mother, because we have never seen that women would be that much free, that they would go to any market, they will be going alone with no men and with no brothers and fathers, because, in our country, if you want to go outside, you must go with a man — if even your five-year-old brother goes with you it’s fine, but you must have someone else, a girl cannot go outside all alone”, she said.
Malala said she still very much saw herself as a Pashtun girl, despite her new life.
Asked if she was becoming western, she replied: “No, I’m not becoming western. I’m still following my own culture — Pashtun culture.”
She pointed out that her dress sense has not changed and that she still covered her head with a shawl.