If you hadn’t heard of Malala Yousafzai before this weekend, hopefully, you learned about her after she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize (actually, the youngest to win any Nobel prize.)  Her biography is one of my favorite books. It is amazing what this young girl has gone through in just 17 short years.

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Malala was only 11 years old when she started writing a diary for the BBC about school life for girls in the Swat area of Pakistan that was controlled by the Taliban.  At that idealistic age, she couldn’t have truly understood the danger in which she was placing herself.  Even when the Taliban issued a death threat against her, she thought they really meant her father because she didn’t think they would harm a child  She was wrong.  Her autobiography, I Am Malala details her life in the Swat Valley before and after the Taliban.

Even after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, she cannot return to Pakistan as there is still a death threat on her life if she returns.  Sadder still was reading numerous comments on other posts from narrow-minded people.  I expected and did, see the comments from those who still fear her religion and think that she should give up her traditional clothing because she lives in the West now. But I wasn’t expecting to see scathing comments directed at her focus on education.  It’s sad to think that in countries where education is mandatory, we would tear down those who see education as a precious gift and fight to give that gift to others.

I am thrilled that Malala won the prize.  She actually shares it with Kailash Satyarthi from India who campaigns on behalf of children’s rights.  How fitting that the joint winners of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize come from two countries who’ve been in conflict for decades.

What are your thoughts on Malala being chosen for this honor?