July 12, 1997
Malala is born in Mingora, Pakistan, to proud parents Ziauddin and Toor Pekai Yousafzai. Ziauddin names his daughter after Malalai, a Pashtun heroine.
Welcoming a baby girl is not always cause for celebration in Pakistan — but Ziauddin is determined to give Malala every opportunity that a boy would have. Ziauddin, an educator, promises that Malala will go to school and be treated with equality in his home.
January 2007 - December 2008
Taliban militants take control of Swat. They ban many things — like owning a television and playing music — and enforce harsh punishments, including public executions, for citizens who defy their orders. In December of 2008, the Taliban issues an edict banning girls from going to school.
The Pakistani army moves in to Swat Valley to force the Taliban out and fighting ensues. More than one million residents of Swat, including the Yousafzai family, flee their homes to other parts of the country.
Malala grows up in Swat Valley — sometimes called the "Switzerland of Asia" because of its beautiful mountains, forests, rivers and breath-taking sunsets.
From an early age, Malala shares Ziauddin’s love of learning. She spends her childhood playing outside and exploring new worlds in books.
Using the pen name “Gul Makai” to protect her identity, Malala begins blogging for the BBC about life under the Taliban. She describes how she feels in the final days before her school is set to close.
After reading Malala’s blog for the BBC, The New York Times features Malala and Ziauddin in a short documentary about their life and fight to protect girls’ education in Swat.
The Pakistani army weakens the Taliban’s stronghold in Swat Valley, forcing them to retreat. While the Taliban no longer control Swat, they remain in rural areas outside Mingora.
Ziauddin’s school is able to reopen and Malala is excited to return to the classroom. Although she fears retaliation for speaking out against the Taliban, she publicly campaigns for girls to go to school — and wins Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.
After multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation, Malala is discharged from the hospital and rejoins her family at home in Birmingham, U.K.
October 9, 2012
Due to her increased prominence, both in Pakistan and around the world, the Taliban target Malala. A masked gunman boards Malala’s school bus and asks for her by name. He shoots Malala in the head, neck and shoulder. Two of her friends, Kainat and Shazia, are also injured in the attack.
Malala survives, but remains in critical condition as she is transported to the United Kingdom for treatment. People in Pakistan and around the world pray for her recovery.
July 12, 2013
In her first public appearance since the attack, Malala speaks at the United Nations on her 16th birthday. The U.N. declares July 12th “Malala Day” — and Malala promises to dedicate this day each year to shining a spotlight on the world’s most vulnerable girls.
Malala puts on her backpack and school uniform and steps into a classroom for the first time since the attack.
Malala and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi win the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala invites girls from Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan to attend the ceremony in Oslo, as she becomes the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate.
Determined to continue their campaign for girls’ education, Malala and Ziauddin set up Malala Fund, an organisation dedicated to give all girls access to education.
Over the next few years, Malala meets with girls around the world and many heads of state, carrying her message of girls’ education and equality.
July 12, 2014
In response to mass kidnappings of schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram, Malala travels to Nigeria on her 17th birthday to meet with the families of the victims and add her voice to the outcry demanding for their safe return.
July 12, 2015
Malala marks her 18th birthday by opening a secondary school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
July 12, 2016
Malala spends her 19th birthday meeting with refugee girls living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in Kenya and the Mahama camp in Rwanda.
April 10, 2017
Malala embarks on a six-month Girl Power Trip with stops in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to meet girls, hear about the challenges they face and fight for their right to go to school.
Today Malala balances her school work and social life with leading the fight for girls’ education around the world — but she is not fighting alone.
October 2, 2015
HE NAMED ME MALALA, a documentary by Academy-Award winning director Davis Guggenheim, hits theatres and brings Malala’s story to audiences in 175 countries and 11 languages.
September 7, 2016
On her last “first day” of secondary school, Malala launches a campaign encouraging people around the world to support education for #YesAllGirls.
July 12, 2017
Malala resumed her Girl Power Trip in Iraq and Kurdistan meeting girls forced out of school by violence in Mosul and other towns. Now free, they celebrated Malala's birthday with bumper cars and cotton candy. After her visit, she continued on to Nigeria.