He shot her in the head.
A year later, Malala has recovered from her wound and lives in Britain with her family. She also travels the world to promote her worthwhile cause of girls’ education, which sorely lags in too many of the world’s nations.
If Malala Yousafzai isn’t worthy of strong consideration for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced today, who is?
In today’s world, one in which much of the Arab world is roiled by violence, religious turmoil and civil war, Malala is the epitome of the peaceful good that can emerge from that troubled part of the globe. She is an inspiration — to young women, to teenagers, to Pakistanis who want nothing more than equality and an end to religious bloodshed.
Earlier this week, Malala appeared on The Daily Show, The Comedy Channel’s political program hosted by Jon Stewart. At one point, Stewart asked the Pakistani teen what she would say to her Taliban attacker if she had the chance.
“I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well,” Malala said. “That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”
Malala’s story of bravery and perseverance make her a sentimental Nobel candidate, but the competition is steep. According to The Washington Post, two of the strongest potential winners are Denis Mukwege of Congo, a gynecologist who has tirelessly treated women raped by that nation’s militias; and Hu Jia of China, a human-rights activist who has worked with AIDS victims and for the release of political prisoners in Asia.
Nevertheless, in the year 2013, when troubled Middle East and Asian nations are bogged down in year after year of wars and religious persecution, Malala Yousafzai seems the embodiment of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her bravery and commitment to peaceful improvements are breathtaking.