Malala Yousufzai, the Noble Prize Winner and an education activist, officially graduated from the prestigious Oxford University through a virtual convocation ceremony.
“Like all of you, I am also missing my graduation ceremony this year”
Although the current pandemic has denied a lot of students the opportunity to ascend the stage and collect their graduation certificate in-person, it does not mean that their proud moment of achievement should not be celebrated.
Malala was a part of the star-studded YouTube streamline, Dear Class of 2020, that was dedicated to support and encourage students graduating this year. The popular YouTube lineup was joined by many celebrities and influencers like Barak and Michelle Obama, Bill Gates, Beyoncé, Malala and K-Pop.
As part of the virtual graduation ceremony, Malala delivered a speech and spoke about the challenges she faced in the last few months in completing her degree due to the unprecedented lock-down that was strictly imposed in the wake of COVID-19.
“When I pictured my last few months at Oxford, I saw myself studying in the library, working day and night, revising, and in the end celebrating our achievements with my friends, but right now I’m stuck in my house, trying to study while my brothers interrupt me and annoy me”.
However, at the same time, Malala reminded us to remain steadfast and positive in these unfortunate times, and to not let the crisis and sorrows define our abilities and achievements.
She shared: “Don’t be defined by what you lose in this crisis but by how you respond to it…You have gained your education, now it’s time that you go out and use it for the betterment of the world. Congratulations to the class of 2020.”
Born in Swat, Pakistan, Malala was fond of going to school while her father ran a girls’ school in their village. In October 2012, Malala was shot in the head in her school-bus by Taliban- a conservative extremist group that condemns the education of girls and are violent in their activities.
She was taken to a hospital in Birmingham where she received proper care and medication, and in 2018, she pursued a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the Oxford University.
Malala Transformed a Misfortune into a Movement
After the tragic incident, Malala began her fight for children’s right and continues to champion the right of girls’ education. Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to girls fighting poverty, gender discrimination and child marriage, was also established with the help of her father. In Pakistan, Malala Fund has built several schools and trains young women to speak up for their rights, and in other developing countries like Nigeria, Brazil and India, it continues to provide support for free education of girls and advocacy. In recognition of her efforts, Malala became the youngest person to win the Noble Prize winner in 2014.