To say that Malala Yousafzai is an extraordinary young lady feels like an understatement. Indeed, being short listed for the Nobel Peace Prize—at the tender age of 16— would require it.
But that is the present.
On Oct. 9th 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin on her way home from school. Amazingly, she not only recovered from her injuries but thrived in the process. The Taliban’s attempts to use violence and intimidation to silence her, and others like her, backfired. Malala and her story of hope and bravery would soon become a catalyst for change in the fight for women’s rights under the Taliban regime.
Since then, she has used her story of courage and perserverence to inspire a new generation of Pakistani women. And that message has gone viral. Since her recovery, she has appeared in hundreds of media outlets, written a novel, launched a charity called the Malala Fund and even met with the Obamas. All of this while still receiving death threats from the Taliban.
Although she graciously lost the Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OCPW), her message has grown louder, and her impact can be felt around the world.
Below, we’ve collected what we consider some of her best quotes from some of these interviews and speeches, to help inspire others to be courageous in the face of tremendous adversity.
11 Malala Yousafzai Quotes on Courage, Hope, and Education:
1. On standing up to enemies:
“I would tell him to shoot me but first listen to me. And I would tell him that education is my right and education is the right of your daughter and son as well. And I’m speaking up for them. I’m speaking up for peace.”
2. On fighting back without violence:
“I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said,’If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’ But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’
3.On appreciating what we have:
“We are human behind and this part of our human nature that we don’t learn the importance of anything until it’s snatched from our hands.
4. On the power women have:
“I am proud to be a girl, and I know that girls can change the world,”
5. On the importance of education:
“They are afraid of educated women. They are afraid of the power of knowledge.
6. On her future plans:
“Because a doctor can only help someone who has been shot, If I become a politician, I can help make a tomorrow where there are no more cases of people being shot.”
7. On Islam:
“What the terrorists are doing is against Islam because Islam is a religion of peace. It tells us about equality, it tells us about brotherhood, it tells us about love and friendship and peace, that we should – we should be nice and kind to each other.”
8. On not winning the Nobel Peace Prize:
“When I think of myself, I have a lot to do,” she said. “So I think that it’s really an early age, and I would feel proud when I would work for education, when I would have done something, when I would be feeling confident to tell people, Yes! I have built that school, I have done that teachers’ training, I have sent that much children to school. When I will be feeling proud. Then if I get the Nobel Peace Prize, I will be saying, Yeah, I deserve it, somehow. Still, I need to work a lot. I need to work a lot. And I must work a lot.”
9. On Terrorists:
“If a terrorist can change someone’s mind and convince them to become a suicide bomber, we can also change their minds and tell them education is the only way to bring humanity and peace.”
10. On Education Being The Solution:
“There are many problems, but I think there is a solution to all these problems, it’s just one and it’s education. You educate all the girls and boys. You give them the opportunity to learn.”
11. On Peace Being Here Ultimate Goal:
“When I look at my goal, my goal is peace. My goal is education for every child.”
As a bonus, here’s that incredibly inspirational interview on John Stewart:
The Extended John Stewart Interview
Do these Malala Yousafzai quotes have you feeling inspired Are there any other inspirational or positive quotations we may have missed?
Let us know in the comments.