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From Her Last Day In Swat Valley To Her First Day At Oxford Univerity, A Nostalgic Malala Yousafzai Takes Up The '10 Year Challenge'

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

The 10-year challenge that spread like a forest fire on social media brought in everything from memes to puberty-hit photographs, political campaigns, and stories of a decade apart. Hopping on to the bandwagon with the trend, Malala Yousafzai too penned down the difference in her life within a decade. 

As people began sharing their stories of 'growing up, growing older and growing stronger', making Malala nostalgic, as she thought of her 11-year-old self knocked her memory. 

Remembering the dark days in the dearth of peace under the Taliban, when she lived under "terrorism and violence" whereas she wrote, firing and bombing became their daily wake-up calls. 

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The 11-year-old, concerned for her freedom and future, and wanting to read and write, embarked on a journey with her father to advocate for women's right to attain education. 


"As an 11-year old, I worried about my future and my freedom. All I wanted was to put on my ink-stained scarf, walk through the streets, sit on our old wooden chairs inside those cracked walls, pick my pen, open my book," she said.

She wrote a diary that was published by an international publication and reading these entries a decade, she hears "skepticism, nostalgia, hope and caution" in a young girl's voice. 

Remembering everything that unfolded in the 10 years and how Malala from a schoolgirl fighting for her education, became the voice for every girl's education. She said, "14th January 2009 was my last day of school in Swat Valley. And 14th January 2019 was the first day back to lectures for my second term at Oxford University." 

The Pakistani youngest Nobel laureate, concluded her thoughts saying, "It boils down to this: When most leaders think of all the problems in the world, 130 million out-of-school girls are not at the top of the list. They are concerned about economies, shifting centers of power, conflict and geopolitical mechanics. Never mind that educated girls could solve a lot of these problems. They have the short-term focus of today, not tomorrow."  

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