To say that Malala Yousafzai won a few awards in 2013 would be kind of like saying the bullet merely scratched her head. From the Simone de Beauvoir prize in January to the nomination for the Nobel Peace prize in March, and from being selected as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in April to the Pride of Britain award in October, Malala was the focal point of much international accolade and Taliban indignation. Now there is even debate that perhaps this much attention is beginning to detract from what she stands for, instead of enhancing or promulgating it.
But awards were only one aspect of make Malala such a hub of media, both nationally and internationally. Statements released by the Taliban this year, urging Malala to not malign them further cemented her incredible ability to influence the militant elements with such power. Her book, unimaginatively, yet aptly titled “I Am Malala” caused the world media to binge on it for weeks, with pundits touting not only her resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, but also her need to share her story to inspire others.
Perhaps the most powerful moment in Malala’s journey was the day of the announcement of the Nobel Peace prize. Despite losing out to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OCPW), national media declared her a victor, for she had forever conquered the hearts and minds of (some) Pakistanis.