In every life, there are defining moments when a person must decide whether to stand up for what is right or remain silent. At a young age, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai began boldly advocating for girls' access to education, which had been denied by the Taliban, an extremist Islamic group. The consequences were grave. In October 2012, the Taliban shot Malala point-blank in the head because of her outspoken beliefs. Miraculously, Malala survived and would go on to become the co-founder of the Malala Fund, which seeks to advocate and provide education to millions of young girls globally who are denied an education because of poverty, violence or tradition. Two years after the attack, Malala became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala describes to Oprah the last moment she remembers before being shot. The young activist says her recovery taught her that "there is nothing greater than the love and the prayer of people." Later in the podcast, Malala's father, Ziauddin, joins the discussion and explains why he felt closest to God on the day Malala was attacked.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey, welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right marilla you soft. I was a young pakistani girl, not afraid to speak the truth. She was a straight, a stew growing up in her beloved Swat Valley of Pakistan, her father Z, argue dean, ran a school, her mother to apply.
Looked after my Lala and her two younger brothers Malalai describes her childhood as peaceful and happy until the Taliban came when she was eleven years old within two years, people were beaten and murdered in the public squares televisions were set on fire and schools were destroyed when the Taliban band girl from getting an education. Mullah bravely spoke out then, on the afternoon of October night, two thousand twelve to Mask gunman, stop MILAN a school bus and shot her point blank in their head. Two of her friends were also shot in that attack. Both of them also survived Malalai just fifteen years old, was rushed to the hospital and then flown to Birmingham England for further treatment, in what doctors called a miracle MILAN not only survive but suffered very little permanent damage, Malaysia
embodies the strength. The power and courage of the human spirit is a part of you. Now that believes that you are first of all more connected to humanity in a way that you weren't before the attack but that so much of your life belongs to the world. Do you feel that, what's I think, I'm far channel fortune, I dont know how to explain, but I have gone through these experiences of being deprived of education and seeing terrorism seeing schools being grown up. So when you see it, situation. It helps you to do is to know what other people and how are the people feel when they go through the same circumstances in their life when they suffer two December,
It is in their life saw now seeing around the world that children cannot get education and guys are facing so many difficulties in their life and they are deprived of independence and being themselves. It just reminds me of my past and then I think that what I have learned to my past, I should help people not to go through the same situation of terrorism. So when you were giving your Nobel Peace Prize Scrooge seven to first of all, how do you even begin to write Nobel Peace Prize speech? How did you begin to frame that what you wanted to say to the world? Well, just like or two before this speech I had my exams, so us totally focused on examines. I couldn't go five minutes to the speech and I think I need to do well, in my example, distorted form for high school. Yes still not, I don't know what you in high school. I told you of your exams you'll only Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had also focus on
but then so I really wanted to speech to be the voice of goods to be the voice of children, and it was wonderful because we invited five guises Nigeria, syria- and she goes from Pakistan, including the two girls were attacked, and I his girls and guess what they had their story and presenting goes within Nigeria where who are abducted by walking around more does in Pakistan who suffer from sexual violence are Syrian goes one now refugees, they had a story and that made my day very special She said I was not just one girl, but that was many of speaking on behalf of those millions of girls who are deprived of education and that really made the world more precious to me and it felt like it was. I was receiving it for the children It's so interesting when extraordinary things
than in our lives, they often begin with Gordon three days you know was the state of Swat in such a way that you fear and going out, because they are all there at all ready been all of these announcements by the Taliban. That girls were not supposed to go to school in girls were not possible in the marketplace, but yet you were still doing it where you afraid in doing when there was a very difficult time more than four hundred schools or destroy and women were not allowed to go to markets and girls. Education was banned completely and it there situation for me- I was not afraid of speaking out, but I was afraid to live in that situation. And I did not want to live in a situation where I had no freedom, but I did not have the right. To be what I wanted and I and like thinking that Unstrung from went to school and the next. That would come. To my mind was: am I going to be just
like the other women in my community. Getting married it in at a very early age, thirteen fourteen and then having children and then grandchildren- and that said that will be my life. I wouldn't be myself, you thought if I don't get an education, I'm gonna end up like all these other women, and this is what I feared the most just rather than failing that. If I speak I don't be targeted right, so you were willing being targeted, even knowing that speaking out, you could lose your life and you didn't think it was possible because at that point the Taliban had never harm children right. Yes, your right hand day people calling the most potent people terrorist and they have done things which shocked people, but then no one could imagine targeting children. Yes, they have destroyed school, but they never a child with a targeted, a child who spoke out- and I saw it- was very unusual- very unusual- and I always used to
think about my father, because he was used to speak together about this campaign of education and out speak on behalf of colours and he will speak Fora for school. It is for women's rights, for peace and for gazites, saw Austrian. Wait about my father. There too, he might be targeted and used to think worked. What should I do with One come storehouse thing, my mother, for the letter at the back of the house saw someone goes you tell her father just to go away quickly at the back and I would even decided to put the knife under her pillow, but then she said he's too, while insured him do that, and I always used to think that. How can I protect my father? I thought it was interesting. I you're describing you're on the bus and you're sitting there with your friends. Someone stops the bus, they come under the bus. You don't immediately think that their there for you Do you remember the feeling of being shot? I don't remember that incident. You don't remember it. I remember this
At last moment or nice, talking to my friend and thinking about the next day, we had exams at their time, and I my exam went very well on their day. Not thinking of the next day, exam saw us quite happy that went and then suddenly waking up in Birmingham in a hospital raising doctors and nurses and had no idea what had happened in between. So when the towers enters the bus and says, who is Mozilla or whereas Malalai did you think what I do not remember by my friend, says my best friend whenever she said that when the person came and who he said, who is more or less The girl looked at you because they had no idea what was going to happen next and- and I also like what did I well, how did I the act? Was I scared and she said you'd said nothing but you're holding my hand so tightly that I could feel pain. Lange and then she said they as he fired. Buller Sue fell down into my lap and you
started reading and then they five to three more minutes and then my light of the two friends were hit as well when you awakened from the coma. I heard that the first thing that you asked was where's your father. Yes, because I thought he'd like attacked and survey way about him- and I was I first thank God that I was alive Nas surviving! Doesn't it's very difficult moment when you want to wake up and when you want to prove that you are surviving you're, not dead, and once I woke up, I said yes, I am alive and I make this thing and I haven't gone thus while yet and then I ask where's my father and it was very good time, because I could not speak because those too my neck, and I really wanted to ask many many questions and I tried to write them draws the does those but then days later when I saw my family. That was the first time that I cried does of
very emotional moment to see my family again. In what way did your near death and the world's outcry prayers candles lit around the world? In what way did that experience deepened meaning of your life. So when I was in the hospital, I had no idea that people outside had so much support for me and they were praying for me and the cars and the letters that I heard you soon. I had no idea, but as the doctors in the hospital staff to bring cards to the hospital to my room every day, it just totally surprise me before I believed in prayers, but then it strengthened my belief in prayers dead. The prayers of people are so powerful that it can give you life and that guard listens
then he just listen due to their voices. I know you believe there are two reasons: restoration in prayer and love. Did you feel, but you could feel the love about pouring from people? Could you not? I think there are those nothing greater than the loving the prayer of people, as so special that you could he can't buy it. Combine it's it's it's a gift It's a gift of God. You have been called now wherever you go, people say and even as we introduce you Pierre wills. She is the bravest girl,
and the world now made the brave as girl into what does your heart say when you hear those words, people think I did a brave thing that I spoke out for education and then even after hours attacked. I spoke out again, so it's is defined as baby. For me, baby is when you speak up and speak out, for what is right and its own responsibility is not that we do something something extra and do a favoured or community. I think it's or duty, and we should do it and we must do it and, however, you define it is our duty to speak out for his right. Where do you think you started to embody that I mean? Obviously we see in the wonderful film he made me mulatto that
from a little toddler you crawling around in the classrooms and you listening to your father teach so obviously the way you were raised have a lot to do with how you felt about yourself and strengthened you hold for yourself as a young girl and and and the growing woman. But where does it? What does that come from? Because I think that you the name in the movie so powerful. I'm not gonna give that away and when you say you work to become this girl. Yes, but who really inspired me was my father and my mother, of course, and I went out listen to my father speaking out for education and speaking out for women, Xyz industry, the inspired me, but then sometimes we just thing that the person who bring the change would be very special, and he would be like Martin Luther king. Then
Mandela and their very special people? They can't be among us, and we don T realize that they're, just normal people, people like us and will allow Well, I'm not having done that much yet in this, my my dream too, to be like them in the chain they have brought in society that I can do the same and this at the beginning of the journey. But it's really to believe that that they're, just like you and it begin from a small step, and when you it's it's helping the community. If you actually that ambition once you start egg, then you are strong Commitment then you can do it allows journey, is featured in a documentary by Oscar winning, filmmaker Davis. Guggenheim called named me? Milan she's, all right, written a best selling memoir called. I am MILAN. I love way
say. I know God stopped me from going to the grave it feels like this. Life is a second life people pray to God to spare me, and I was spared for a reason to use my life for helping people to believe. Ah, yes, I strongly believe that I believe that this life is purely for a purpose, and that is helping people netting doing something for the world and doing something for the betterment of the society in four guns, and this this is a second life. This is a new life. You say: when people talk about the way I was shot one. But I think it's the story of Malaysia, a girl shot by the Taliban. I don't feel is a story about me at all. Is it really feel kind of separate from you
sometimes thing. One reason for this is that I don't remember the the incident, so it does not make me feel like I was the girl who was shot issues just molecular the gun. Was shared by the Taliban she's as she has got this definition, she's she's got someone else for me. For me, I am this. Son with a hard with strongly believes that doing something for your people is important and you should do how as much as you can you say that you ve never been angry at the men who shot you never not a moment about an atom. I think that, in order to go forward, it's important that you had loving your heart and I want to have love in my heart. I dont want to have any head any bird feelings in my heart and that that's what makes me more
happy if I never had a. Why me moment now you never had a wide. This have to happen to me now, because I believe that whatever happened bad good, it's really important to focus on future and learn from your past, but in order to go forward, you have to focus on your future and if every day for the last three years, if I would have cried third White was me white was mean nothing would have been done. But instead of saying that, I said, ok I'll, even though I was short, but I'm not just on legal who becomes victim of discrimination in society or being taken terrorism or getting deprived of education. There are billions of goes and the best way to fight against terrorism, is to educate, guys is to empower them is to raise their voices and in those last three years I made the trip Jordan to speak out for seed inequities in,
to eventually nine in Nigeria, and this is not the best revenge you can ever take how you celebrated your eighteenth birthday, So I went to Lebanon in Jordan and oh, we opened the school, and that is that of the wonderful and the great thing you can ever do and you see goes in. They squadron reform sitting there with folks sitting in the classrooms, and you can see that what else can you do better than this? You change the gauze life. Forgive her school, you built yes, so that was like the most precious gift, I've ever issue. That was the love of those. For an eighteenth birthday, pretty cool. I think it's wonderful. I was what I don't know what I was fifty when I built a school, not eighteen, but when you have won the Nobel Peace Prize at seventeen in your building. Schools around the world, and there is a lot of fun for which anybody can do donating. That's what you want to do is wanted, create educational opportunities for sixty six.
Million girls who don't have it throughout the world. Do you do normal eighteen year old stuff, but I do have lots of friends down and he got a shopping in go to restaurants. Enjoy time, and also like praying thank cricketing, maintain are still fighting with feathers, baby we're brothers I really enjoyed. So this is what is interesting that living your truth, nearly cost. You your life, you ve, said: if you're afraid you can't move forward and oh is courage, something that you think other people can develop or gives them
of this belief system that allowed you to stand up for what you believe was the right thing for girls to be able to go to school. Are other people able to have that when for theirs they just fight between college in fear, and sometimes we choose fear, because you want to protect ourselves, but we don't realize that by choosing fear, we put ourselves in a situation that has really bad impact on us. If I would have kept silent inside Valley and my father would have kept silent and all of us would have kept silent, then there would not have been that moment when change would have come in us in our valley saw it's better to speak out due to have that moment when you SAM, going to do something from my side and that needs a bit of courage, saw our courage was stronger than our fear in that what really changed our lives there was fed. It wasn't dead, we just totally or fine with what was going on in Russia
I think we were afraid, and that was the fear that to live in their situation. The fear that I was be out be away from school. That training motivated me to have the courage to speak out to speak out. What does it mean to you to be a muslim woman. For me being muslim means to be peaceful, to be kind to always think about others in dollars. Thing that how the one action you take an effect on the others, people live seen any of your. U villa responsibility to embody what you believe to be the characteristics of Islam, and that is peace. You said that the people who did this to you were not about faith, but they were about power. And I think that for so many people in the world that power and that too terrorism resume and that way of looking at life is what they see of Islam:
What do you want to say about what Islam is? What do you want people to know about? Islam? as far as I know, Islam, the word Islam means peace and it's a religion of bread, the whole humanity and kindness and diagnostic and what I have learned is that you have to be kind to each other. You heard respect each other's religious beliefs and cultural believes and dead, I dont understand this long that the tunnel so showing that is killing people, I'm even in a family when this happened. I think there is a tie where your mother was saying what they're, not Islam, that cannot be yes and when
as the text of my mother was worried about me, but she also talked about the mother of the person who shocked me because she thought dead. How would that month feel whose Sunday short three guys in a school? When I say to be the mother of those those people who will shoot others? Do you fear the Taliban still now and after that you survive, and you are alive and yes to speaking out, then there's nothing else you should be afraid of. I got us. Can they do and you are alive and yes to speaking out- then there's nothing else, you should be afraid of a grotesque. Can they do? can only give me didn't want safe means, nothing else can walk in this movement is still alive. This is more mundane, does deserve education, this campaign, this voice, it still alive
They do kill you, they can stop the moment, and this is what I want to survive knocked me with their the movement and describes this experience made you less afraid of death. Yes, definitely before that, take I used to think that. How would you feel, you oughta taken. I had these thoughts coming again and again, and I sometimes to thing that I would be attacked but natural expecting, but these thoughts were coming to my mind and would after us, as a take, as I said it in My- U N speech that there, the chin, nothing in my life, that, except that weakness, fear and hopelessness, died and stern, followed, encourage, was born. I feel stronger than before your father mother raised
some kind, woman child. I wanna meet your father. I what I've met him so when everybody else to meet your father, he's for ordinary man I mean, What do you want to say about him before he's here, because it's hard when you're sitting next to the person to say all the things you really feel? Sometimes I could weep thinking about your father. Because obviously I know that there is nature you're born a certain way and then there's nurturing the port, but I marvel at the kind of man, your father, the kind of vision and foresight that he hand- to. Allow you to be a girl who could grow in her own truth and to allow that in a culture that said, nobody else is doing that. I mean your father may be the bravest person I've ever seen about my father. I can say that he he let me to be- who I want
did he did not stop me and if he would have become the typical father who stopped their daughters not to go to school. Not to be independent, not to have a say not to have the right to speak out and hope. Come here. I am today my father. Never ever ever stop me from having the same form saying that I too have an opinion. Even they farm like aged nineteen, Levin. He said yes, your report matters, and you should give your ideas heard. A priest, Did he would say? Oh done? Amazing about is not true of all women in your culture. Yes, yes, though, I was asking your daughter you share that Nobel Peace Prize and away because to be able to a daughter who could live her truth. The way your daughter is so exemplary, speaks to speak to you and speaks to your dear wife and for you to be kind of man who could see this
we see in the movie. Visits are really precious moment. He named me MILAN up when you are brought the scrolls of your family tree, and there is not one females name on the generations and you look at it and say: I'm going to put my daughter's name Lala. Why did you do that and peterka society? Usually women are associated only with men. Mr sword, souls darker, Mr Spencer's, yes, mother, even if you take a woman to the doktor and the doktor asks what's this ladys them and the man says just like MR sold wife.
Well right, Mr Sessile, better. For me, it was unacceptable, Malalai had a name and were you doing this in defiance of the culture? Yes, of course I mean, I can't say bid in bedrock of society's fathers. Dont loved your daughter's, how human your love. Is you allow only controlling your daughter's is you are only to make them like slaves, and you said that I
controlling your honour in chastity. There's. Why? I'm keeping you and four was a method to catering you, because it is my love for me, love how something different for me because of my education that we, I was groomed, I learnt it. Low means freedom, law means respect, law means independence and debt NED. My treatment and my mindset in my behavior different towards my daughter, so one of the things it struck me the boast in he named me. Malaysia is you said she was not shot by some by a person but by an ideology. What did you mean by that? This very important question? The way some of the terrorists take? Islam is out of the way they do find it. I mean if you ask the guys who attacked her. They don't know there have been just store
All somebody told him they, this girl, she's campaigning for western education. Then she should be killed so cheese forgiven them. She never had any anger. You didn't have any anger either. Of course I mean I have a mango because of the poverty seekers who held the family, distorted into words enough Islam. I have anger about that and about that- and I feel pity, on the youth and on the young men who have been recruited for this horrible job. They don't know they held completely been brainwashed, like reports, I feel pity for them and I feel pity for the boys who did that in the beginning in the film it seems as though you were blaming.
Self. You were blaming yourself that this had happened. How did you release yourself from that blame or burden I had I worry that the world may be thinking they argue, she was a child and she should have been stopped by father. But when I asked her mother- and I believe in her because when I out of my home. I don't look in amendment emitted. I just stand in front of what you say in my ok. Yes, and then I got I just wish, but in that area- and I said what do you think it might responsible what has happened to have- and she said no and since this day right well, we're sitting with you Malerba has never expressed a single word which conveys a difficulty
He has gone through because of me, and I used to kill my wife that, if they kill me I have no other option is fine is bad thing, but it's fine, but the worst thing I imagine if they take my daughter and the worst thing happened, endorsing happen and the worst thing happened, but man but proposes God, disposes God has his own plans. How do you define god I'll? Ask you both for me: God really is another name for love for kindness. Most he hired
all these feelings and- and I think a card- isn't that tiny- that conservative being who wants us to live a very strict life like other regions, scholars use, Tuesday and swallowed by the Taliban that you should dressed in a specific way. You should talk in this, but a vague way and- and I used to wonder like is called sitting there and looking at my shoes in looking at my thinking. Ok, so I have bought on my dress- is too small and now he's going to send me to headed- and this is like how you think God for me, God is the name of love, the name of kindness. I love the definition and you see I've been for me, God. I think we may become completely disappointed in an hour to despair, and I see nothing.
To help me, I find guard beside myself and I have seen God when, while I was attacked, you got closer became closer. Allow finish this sentence. I believe I believe- and I know for sure that if you have strong commitment within your height How have love in your heart that you want to do something better? The whole world in the whole universe supports you and your cause, and I had this simple one word or one sentence dream. It was to see every child going to school and I spoke hard for it in my father spoke out for it in the small valley.
In Pakistan Swipe Valley and they journey started, and now it's going on in getting better in developing each and every What do you believe about love? Love is the greatest thing: ionized it's. What can be more beautiful than love and the love of your parents, the love of your brothers and after that, take what I disagree with the love of people and that really strengthen me. I might not have been able to go forward. I think many ways you know I was praying. I didn't know you and I was praying. I think you were here by the prayers of the world. Thank you all for sharing this time.
Thank you, are the bravest girl or think. If I can find a site, I think I'm over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pine cast. You can follow superficial on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet go to Apple POD, Kenneth and subscribe rate and reviewed this plant can join me next week for another,
super so conversation. Thank you for listening for the women who brought you sugar Emmi would bring visionary filmmaker Renee executive producer, Oprah winfried comes the New Authority drama series. She was the day exploring destroying relationship of one young couple: storing social, Lock, Olano Miller, Michael and a legendary Sicily Thyssen every second, every minute, every hour cherish the day, don't mister tombe. They promote agreement within twelve on the upper Winfrey network,
Transcript generated on 2020-02-02.