‘Tell every girl who sees this cover she can change the world’

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Posted on 06/03/2021 09:32 / Updated on 06/03/2021 09:32

After years of hectic schedules and traveling around the world, Malala Yousafzai “finally” found time for herself—including eating at McDonald’s and playing poker.

Now 23, the Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani girl gave a lengthy interview to British Vogue magazine, where she will be the cover of the July issue.

Yousafzai graduated from Oxford University in England last year.

“I was really excited about anything, from going to McDonald’s to playing poker with my friends,” he recalls.

“I enjoyed every moment because I had never experienced so many things before. I’ve never really been in the company of people my age.”

Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban militants when she was 14, after mobilizing a campaign to give access to the girls. Education The country in which he was born, Pakistan.

“I wasn’t really in the company of people my age because I needed to recover from that incident (of which I was a victim), and then I started traveling around the world, published a book, made a documentary. .. so many things happened.”

“At university, I finally found some time for myself.”

‘The veil is not a sign that I am being tortured’

Malala is photographed looking down, veiled in studio photo

Nick Knight/British Vogue
Malala Yousafzai told Vogue: ‘Muslim girls, Pashtun or Pakistani, when we wear our traditional clothes, we are perceived as oppressed, or voiceless, or subject to patriarchy.’

Yousafzai, wearing a red scarf by British Vogue, says the dress is not a sign that he is “harassed”.

For her, the scarf represents her roots as a Sunni Muslim of the Pashtun ethnic group.

“Muslim girls, Pashtuns or Pakistanis, when we follow our traditions and wear our traditional clothes, we are treated as oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy.”

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“I want to tell everyone that it is possible to have your voice within your culture, you can have equality in your culture.”

He also criticized the mix between activism and social media.

“Today,” she told Vogue, “we associate activism with tweets. This needs to change, because Twitter is a completely different world.”

‘Greta wrote to me for advice’

Greta and Malala photographed sitting on the bench

@ Malala
Malala met Greta Thunberg in Oxford last year

Yousafzai reveals her close friendships with other youth activists known around the world – Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg, for example, texts a Pakistani woman asking for advice.

“I know the power in a girl’s heart when she has a vision and a mission,” says the Vogue interviewer.

In 2014, she became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner for mobilizing girls for a universal right to education.

Yousafzai admitted that he “wrote nothing about the Nobel Prize” in his introduction to Oxford. “I felt a little self-conscious.”

Studying for a degree in philosophy, politics and economics, Pakistani says she used to get up until morning to write her paper “every week”.

“I was so mad at myself, like, ‘Why am I sitting here at 2 o’clock writing this essay? Why didn’t I do any reading?'”

‘I just wanted to be a student’

Yousafzai said that fame influenced his time at school in Birmingham, also in England, where he continued his studies after leaving Pakistan.

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“People asked me things like, ‘What was it like meeting Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie or Obama?’

“And I didn’t know what to say. It’s weird because you want to leave that Malala outside the school building. I just wanted to be a student and a friend.”

Currently, the young woman lives with her parents in Birmingham, where the family moved after an assassination attempt.

She says she is not sure what to do next and asks herself, “Where am I going to live now? Should I stay in the UK or should I move to Pakistan or some other country?”

The activist also revealed that his father occasionally receives emails from suitors in Pakistan.

“One guy said he had lots of acres, lots of houses, and he would love to marry me,” he says.

The full content of the interview with Malala Yousafzai will be available for download on newsstands starting this Friday (4/6) and in July.


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About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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