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Malala returns to Pakistan

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Malala returns to Pakistan

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Nobel laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai returned to her native Pakistan on Thursday, six years after she was shot by Taliban gunmen over her advocacy for schooling for girls.

Pakistani station Geo TV showed footage of Yousafzai at Islamabad's international airport walking to a car escorted by a security convoy.

At the age of 17, Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her education advocacy. Now 20, she is making her first visit to Pakistan since 2012, when masked gunmen stopped and boarded a bus taking her home from school and shot her in the head.

Five of Malala’s biggest achievements

1. Malala Day

On Malala’s 16th birthday, on June 12, 2013, she spoke at the UN to call for global access to education.

“The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born,” she said in her first public address since the attack.

The speech received standing ovations, and the UN dubbed it “Malala Day”.

2. Malala Fund

In 2013, Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, founded the Malala Fund, which promotes the right of every girl to 12 years of free and safe education.

The Fund has invested more than $6 million (€4.8 million) in girls’ education in Pakistan.

On her 18th birthday in 2015, the fund opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon.

3. Nobel Peace Prize

On October 10, 2014, Malala was named as the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and for their right to an education.

She shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a children's rights activist from India.

At 17, she became the youngest Nobel laureate, and the second Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize.

4. Oxford University

In 2017, Malala began a philosophy, politics and economics degree at Oxford University.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote: "5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls' education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford."

5. Return to Pakistan

This week, Malala returned to Pakistan for the first time since she was shot.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held a ceremony in her honour.

"I am very happy today, that after five and a half years I have set foot on my soil, in my nation again," she said.