On Friday, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education, became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Members of the Taliban hunted down Yousafzai on October 9, 2012, after they learned that she was speaking out about her experience as a woman, living under Taliban occupation in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
A Taliban member shot Yousafzai in the head, and after undergoing medical operations; she lived to tell the story. Following the assassination attempt, Yousafzai continued to speak out about women’s rights to education, and she went on to write a memoir about her experience.
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, described Yousafzai’s mission, saying, “With her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most: a girl with a book.”
Receiving the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize raised Malala Yousafzai to the ranks of previous winners, such as President Obama, who received the award five years ago. Yousafzai met Obama in October 2013, when she was invited to the White House.
At the time, the White House released a statement, saying that the President asked Yousafzai to the Oval Office to “thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan.”
However, according to McClatchy DC, comments made by Yousafzai regarding Obama’s drone strike policy were not included in the official statement from the White House.
Following their meeting, Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama, and added that during the meeting, she had told him that she was worried about the effect of U.S. drone strikes:
“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”