Pakistani teen finds out in class about winning Nobel Peace Prize

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:52pm EDT
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By Darren Staples

BIRMINGHAM England (Reuters) - Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai said she was in a chemistry lesson when a teacher informed her on Friday that she had become joint winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls' right to education, is the youngest winner of the award, which she shared with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labor.

"I was totally sure I hadn't won it but then suddenly one of my teachers came to the class and she called me and she said 'I have something important to tell you'," she told reporters in the central English city of Birmingham where she now lives and attends school.

"I was totally surprised when she told me 'congratulations, you have won the Nobel Peace Prize and you are sharing it with a great person who is also working for children's rights'."

Yousafzai said winning the Nobel Prize had strengthened her desire to campaign for the right of all children to an education.

"It's sometimes quite difficult to express your feelings but I felt really honored, I felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal or a medal that you would wear, or an award that you would keep in your room," she said.

"I have received this award but this is not the end. This is not the end of this campaign which I have started. I think this is really the beginning. I want to see every child going to school."

Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery from the Taliban attack, Yousafzai set up the Malala Fund to support local education advocacy groups.   Continued...

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, speaks at Birmingham library in Birmingham, central England October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples