Episode from the podcastDesert Island Discs

Malala Yousafzai, activist

Released Sunday, 14th February 2021
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Malala Yousafzai is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17 - becoming the youngest winner in its history. Today she is known globally for her human rights advocacy and her ongoing campaign to ensure all children have equal access to education.

She was born in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan where her father Ziauddin was a prominent activist who believed boys and girls should sit side by side in the classroom and co-founded a school which Malala attended. After the Taliban began to establish its presence in the Valley, day-to-day life became synonymous with danger and fear – people were taken from their homes and killed for speaking out against the regime. Education for girls was forbidden and schools were shut down or bombed.

In 2009 Malala began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu in which she spoke out about what was happening in Swat Valley. This made her a target. In 2012 she was shot by a Taliban gunman as she sat on the school bus. Two girls sitting alongside her were also shot. What Malala calls ‘the incident’ generated headlines around the world. Her injuries were severe and she was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. After a long and painful recovery she settled in Birmingham with her family.

Now 23, Malala graduated from the University of Oxford last year and continues to campaign globally for girls’ education through the Malala Fund which she co-founded with her father.

DISC ONE: Rang by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Amjad Sabri
DISC TWO: Shinwari Lawangeena by Zarsanga
DISC THREE: Never Say Never by Justin Bieber
DISC FOUR: Hum Dekhen Ge by Iqbal Bano
DISC FIVE: All I Ask of You by Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton
DISC SIX: Kaari Kaari by Qurat Ul Ain Balouch
DISC SEVEN: Love Always Comes as a Surprise by Peter Asher
DISC EIGHT: Bibi Sherina by Sardar Ali Takkar

BOOK CHOICE: Plato: Complete Works
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Hum Dekhen Ge by Iqbal Bano

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Paula McGinley

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