Kolkata, India: Malala Yousafzai, the young lady originally from Pakistan, who was shot on her head by the Taliban and who had a miraculous survival, is the cover star of British Vogue’s July issue.
Yousafzai, just 23, is an activist, author, tireless campaigner for girls’ education, daughter, sister, student, and survivor, who graduated from Oxford University and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest recipient of the prestigious recognition.
Just a decade ago, Malala nearly lost her life, when a Taliban militant shot her in the head, while she was returning from school for the last time after the regime ceased control in the Pakistani region of Swat valley where she lived and announced a ban on girl’s education.
In 2012, she was forced to travel to the United Kingdom for specialist surgery after a near-fatal attempt on her life, which she refers to as “the event.” She didn’t stop there, though. That was just the beginning of the force called Malala.
She turned the fears into faith, her obstructions into objectives, and has since then been an unstoppable champion of women’s education and rights.
She released a touching memoir in 2013, spoke before the United Nations on her 16th birthday, and founded Malala Fund, an NGO with active initiatives in eight countries across the world with the objective of ensuring that every girl on the planet receives 12 years of free and safe education.
From a little girl targeted by Taliban to British Vogue cover girl
Malala and all females in Mingora, Pakistan’s Swat Valley, were barred from attending school under Taliban rule.
Her reluctance to give up her right to study resulted in an assassination attempt on her life when she was 15 years old when a Taliban gunman shot her and two classmates as they rode a bus home from school in October 2012.
IMAGE COURTESY OF NICK KNIGHT/ BRITISH VOGUE
Her father, Ziauddin, mother, Toor, and younger brothers, Atal and Khushal, took her to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where she made a miraculous recovery – and redoubled her efforts.
In Vogue’s cover for the July issue, Malala graces in a red Stella McCartney headscarf and matching red lips what is apparently made to highlight her powerful purpose in life.
“When the opportunity came about to work with Malala, I was super excited and very much in awe, because she has such a powerful presence.
When it came to deciding the make-up look, it had to be all about her,” said the stylist who worked with Malala for the shoot.”
In her cover story for Vogue, the Nobel laureate spoke in extension about her life, her future plans, what she thinks about marriage, and so on.
“I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?,” Malala said about marriage.
On wearing a scarf on her head at all times in public, Mala said: “It’s a cultural symbol for us Pashtuns, so it represents where I come from. And Muslim girls or Pashtun girls or Pakistani girls, when we follow our traditional dress, we’re considered to be oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy. I want to tell everyone that you can have your own voice within your culture, and you can have equality in your culture.”
COVER IMAGE BY NICK KNIGHT/ BRITISH VOGUE (COPYRIGHT BELONGS TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR AT ALL TIMES)